Israel-Palestine News Compiler

Gideon Levy: Swedish article on organ harvesting was cheap and harmful journalism

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 27, 2009

The bizarre Swedish report led to a no-less-bizarre Israeli response. Bad and irresponsible journalism crossed paths with bad and irresponsible diplomacy. Instead of simply denying the report, Lieberman, true to form, acted like a bully. In his fiery response – from his disrespectful mention of the Holocaust to identifying every criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism, to his ludicrous demand that the Swedish Foreign Ministry condemn the article – Lieberman caused great diplomatic damage to Israel. He even scandalously attacked Norway for marking the 150th birthday of its greatest author. However, the article’s damage to the fight against the occupation cannot be ignored.

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Bowen ‘breached rules on impartiality’

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on April 17, 2009


The BBC Trust yesterday called into question the corporation’s reporting of the most sensitive news story of modern times, publishing findings that the BBC Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, had breached guidelines on accuracy and impartiality. The ruling will be seized upon by campaigners who claim that BBC News is prejudiced against Israel in its coverage of the Middle East.

But the decision to censure Bowen caused anger within the BBC, with some alleging that the trust, which oversees the corporation, was undermining the credibility of its news.

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The BBC Trust’s editorial standards committee ruled on complaints about two pieces by Bowen, one online and one on Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent.

References in the web article to “Zionism’s innate instinct to push out the frontier”, Israel’s “defiance of everyone’s interpretation of international law except its own” and Israeli generals’ sense they were dealing with “unfinished business” left over from the 1948 war of independence, broke BBC rules on accuracy, the committee said.

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Bowen’s online article, published last year, put the present-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict in context by explaining the events of the 1967 Six Day War.

But the committee said he should have done more to make clear that there were other views on the matter.

Ruling that the article had breached the rules on impartiality, the committee said: ‘Readers might come away from the article thinking that the interpretation offered was the only sensible view of the war.’

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The Trust was responding to complaints filed separately by London-based barrister Jonathan Turner and by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

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