A new low for BBC.
Breaking news stories sometimes prompt spontaneous comments by journalists that reveal startling biases. Such was the case in an outrageous BBC interview on January 11 with a woman on a Paris street during the mass unity rally after the murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, the Jews at the kosher supermarket and other victims.
In reference to the murders of the Jews, Tim Willcox, a BBC News journalist, linked the anti-Semitic attack to Israeli actions towards Palestinians.
During an interview with a woman who said recent events resemble the 1930’s and Jews should respond by making clear they’re being targeted, he interrupted her to say:
Many…many…many critics, though, of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.
The woman, who was not a native English speaker, was taken aback and replied that you can’t make an “amalgam” – or analogy – in this way. To this Willcox responded:
But you understand that everything is seen from different perspectives.
The brief video clip can be seen here.
As prominent British journalist Nick Cohen notes regarding the BBC comment:
Wilcox like so many others does not understand that anti-Semitism is not a rational, if regrettably bloody, critique of Israeli foreign policy but an insane conspiracy theory that has captured the minds of millions of fanatics, moved whole nations and led to uncountable deaths.
Tim Willcox needs to apologize on the air to viewers to underscore that BBC does not subscribe to irrational and bigoted views that, in effect, blame Israel for murderous attacks on Jews anywhere. Under a hail of criticism for the exchange, Willcox tweeted a half-apology on January 12 about his statements, writing:
Really sorry for any offence caused by a poorly phrased question in a live interview in Paris yesterday – it was entirely unintentional
But the offense had not so much to do with a poorly phrased question as with a mindset so aligned with the Palestinian cause that even at a moment of unmistakable clarity about the evil perpetrated against innocent Jews, the BBC reporter sought to redirect the conversation to Jewish guilt and alleged responsibility for what “Palestinians suffer.”
Willcox and BBC need to say he got it completely wrong on the facts and the ethics.
The tweet isn’t good enough.