A member of the House of Lords and former chairman of the British Broadcasting Corporation addressed the problem of media bias against Israel during a speech in Parliament on Wednesday, lambasting the BBC for its coverage of recent terror attacks against Jews in Israel.
Lord Michael Grade, who was chairman of the BBC from 2004 to 2006, praised his country’s backing for a Jewish national home in the 1917 Balfour Declaration, but lamented that much of the media today feeds false narratives about the Jewish state, while anti-Semites use Zionism and Zionists as a proxy for attacking Judaism and Jews.
“Zionism is the right of the Jewish people to self-determination, and is right at the heart of the Balfour Declaration,” said Grade. “However, sadly, the term Zionist and Zionism has in some quarters become a proxy for anti-Semitism.”
Increasingly, Grade continued, anti-Semites are able to disguise their hatred of Jews as criticism of the Jewish state.
“I’m not one of those who immediately brands a critic of Israel as an anti-Semite, far from it. However, some critics of Israel leave themselves open to such accusations when they single out Israel for criticism, but refuse to contextualize.”
“When Israel acts in self-defense, the narrative is distorted to fit their narrative of Zionist aggression.”
Grade then cited a particularly egregious example of media bias against Israel – an example he found from the BBC.
“Recently, two Palestinians, unprovoked, attacked Israeli police officers in Jerusalem with guns and knives, while the third stabbed to death Border Police staff sergeant Hadas Malka, age 23.”
“The BBC headline on their news website was: Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem.”
This is not the first time Grade has taken the BBC to task for its anti-Israel bias. In 2015, Grade blasted the British media outlet for “inexcusable” bias, and accused it having “directly misled” viewers regarding terror attacks on Israel and Israel’s security measures against the terror wave.