London (archive)
London (archive) Nati Shohat/FLASH90

The Metropolitan Police have found no evidence to support the BBC's claim that a passenger on a bus of Jewish youths which was attacked by a mob of violent youths who attempted to smash its windows used an anti-Muslim slur, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Video footage from the incident, which occurred during the Hanukkah holiday, shows the young men yelling antisemitic abuse and threats at the open-top bus, while also attempting to smash its windows and spitting at it. and others made Nazi salutes.

Some of them also took off a shoe and hit the bus with it, which is an insult in Arab culture, as the bottom of the shoe is considered unclean.

The BBC report on the attack included a claim that someone on the bus made anti-Muslim slurs, going as far as to present the purported slurs as fact while referring to the videotaped attack as "alleged."

Jewish organizations which examined the video have found that the statement the BBC claimed was an anti-Muslim slur was actually a man saying in Hebrew: "Call someone, it's urgent." Jewish groups have accused the BBC of victim blaming and attempting to find a way to blame both sides for the antisemitic attack.

Police investigated the attack as well as the BBC's claim. A police source told the Campaign Against Antisemitism that no evidence had been found to substantiate the BBC's claim that an anti-Muslim slur had been used and that that part of the investigation had been closed.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism said in a statement: “We understand that police investigating the antisemitic attack on Jewish teenagers celebrating Chanukah on Oxford Street have found no evidence of the supposed ‘anti-Muslim slur’ from the victims that BBC London has said could be ‘clearly heard’ and now that part of their investigation has been closed down. The BBC must immediately release whatever evidence they have based their reporting on or apologise fulsomely and publicly.”

“This incident is one of many in which the BBC has victim-blamed Jewish people for antisemitism, downplayed racism towards Jews, platformed antisemitism and fueled antisemitism in Britain. This bias against Jews has not gone unnoticed,” it added.