The BBC came under fire Wednesday after an incident in which it claimed Israeli soldiers were “targeting” medical teams and Arabic speakers in a Gaza hospital.
“Good god, this is blood libel from the BBC. The IDF said it entered the hospital *with* its own medical teams and Arabic speakers, so it can help people. BBC reports the IDF is *targeting* medical teams and Arabic speakers. That’s not a coincidence,” Oliver Cooper posted on X along with a video of the BBC making its claim.
Good god, this is blood libel from the BBC.
The IDF said it entered the hospital *with* its own medical teams and Arabic speakers, so it can help people.
BBC reports the IDF is *targeting* medical teams and Arabic speakers.
That’s not a coincidence.pic.twitter.com/m4PEcOtFRP
— Oliver Cooper (@OliverCooper) November 15, 2023
On Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces said that Israeli soldiers were entering the Al-Shifa hospital compound. Israel has said the hospital and tunnels beneath it have served as a headquarters for Hamas, which unleashed terrorists on Israel last month in a raid that killed about 1,200 people.
“We are absolutely appalled by BBC News footage which appears to show a newsreader misquoting a Reuters report which cited the IDF saying it was taking ‘medical teams and Arabic speakers’ into Al-Shifa hospital to help patients,” it posted.
“The BBC newsreader quoted the Reuters report as saying that the IDF was ‘targeting medical teams as well as Arab speakers,” the board wrote.
Following our statement this morning, the BBC broadcast an apology at 09:50. They were right to do so, but we will be following this up at the highest levels of the Corporation. This sort of misreporting is unacceptable from our national broadcaster. pic.twitter.com/is7kuEBiEM
— Board of Deputies of British Jews (@BoardofDeputies) November 15, 2023
“At best, this shows a staggering lack of care when reporting on a highly volatile situation, which can have a knock-on effect all over the world, including in Britain, where antisemitic attacks have risen by more than 500% since October 7th. Incidents like this make a mockery of the BBC’s oft-stated dedication to professionalism and impartiality. The Corporation must issue a public apology without delay for this egregious misreporting,” the post said.
The BBC did later apologize, the group noted in a follow-up post.
“This was incorrect and misquoted a Reuters report,” a BBC representative said. “We should have said that IDF forces included medical teams and Arabic speakers for this operation.”
The BBC’s stance on the Israel-Hamas war has been criticized by former Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett as “lacking moral clarity,” according to the Times of Israel, which noted the BBC was among the media outlets to swallow Hamas claims of more than 500 deaths in an alleged Israel bombing of another Gaza hospital on Oct. 17.
The truth later emerged that a rocket from a Gaza-based terrorist group misfired, landing near the hospital causing deaths that numbered in the dozens, not hundreds.
The Israeli military’s “precise and targeted” operation inside Shifa Hospital continues as of this morning, the IDF says.
According to the IDF, troops battled Hamas operatives outside the hospital overnight, and encountered explosive devices. It says several Hamas gunmen were…
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 15, 2023
The Reuters report said there was no conflict between Israeli soldiers and hospital staff or patients as soldiers prowled the hospital grounds.
“Before entering the hospital our forces were confronted by explosive devices and terrorist squads, fighting ensued in which terrorists were killed,” the Israeli military said.