Guess Who ‘Enjoys’ US-Israeli Tensions

Q: Who said the following?

It has been an unusual and enjoyable new experience to be able to look on as the Israelis argued with their most important ally. The fact that the dispute is over Jewish settlements is even better for the Palestinian.

1. Khaled Meshaal (Hamas leader)

2. Hasan Nasrallah (Hezbollah chief)

3. Jeremy Bowen (BBC Mideast Editor)

4. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iranian President)

5. George Galloway (extremist former UK politician)

The answer may (or may not) surprise you. The person who gets such satisfaction from US-Israeli tensions is none other than Jeremy Bowen. However, after our colleagues at Just Journalism also spotted this, the BBC story was amended to the following:

It has been an unusual and enjoyable new experience for Palestinians to be able to look on as Israel argued with its most important ally. The fact that the dispute is over Jewish settlements has been even better for them.

According to Just Journalism:

Jeremy Bowen responded to our report via email, saying that there was a ‘glitch in [his] editing process’ and that when calling a chill in U.S.-Israeli relations ‘enjoyable’ he had meant to attribute this view to the Palestinians. The article was subsequently amended on the BBC News website but no acknowledgement of an error was made.

Indeed, normally when an online article is amended, corrected or updated, the BBC’s website shows a time stamp. The offending article, in this case, still shows Sunday 9 May as the last time that the page was updated despite the fact that we know from Bowen himself that his faux pas was removed days after that.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that the BBC is attempting to cover its tracks and Bowen is blaming a “glitch”. Is it the same “glitch” that caused the BBC to publish 51 stories in the first three months of the year that reflected poorly on Israel, while publishing just two during the same period that reflected poorly on the Palestinians? We don’t call that a “glitch” – we call it bias.

After all, the appointment of Bowen as Mideast Editor was meant to offer a solution to the BBC’s problematic coverage. Instead, as we have repeatedly stated, Bowen has, himself, become a major part of the problem and certainly not the solution.

The subject of numerous HonestReporting critiques over the years, Bowen was even found guilty of inaccuracy on Israel by the BBC itself. So, having started with a question, we conclude with this:

Why will the BBC still not remove Jeremy Bowen from his position as Mideast Editor?

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