An open letter to Lord Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC re Sharon’s visit to the TempleMount

 January 4, 2014 PM


 The summary to the July 2013 “BBC Trust Review of the Breadth of Opinion Reflected in the BBC’s Output” commendably declares:

“The BBC has a position of great trust in the eyes of licence fee payers. Its journalistic mission is to provide audiences with the ACCURATE and impartial information they need to be able to form their own views on the issues that shape public policy and their own lives”. [emphasis added]

In the spirit of intent to provide ACCURATE information, I believe you will be anxious to ensure that the BBC corrects PROMINENTLY on its web site and in its broadcasts, INACCURATE information  in the BBC’s January 1, 2014 “Profile of Ariel Sharon” which states:

“In 2000 Mr Sharon paid a controversial visit to the holy compound in Jerusalem known as the TempleMount to Jews and Haram al-Sharif to Muslims. Palestinians rioted and the second intifada (uprising) ensued”.

The above statement is factually incorrect. Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount  had been coordinated with the Palestinian security forces who had not objected and the intifada violence had already begun some time before Sharon’s visit.

Moreover Arafat’s widow Suha has confirmed in an interview with Dubai TV that the intifada was not spontaneous but had been pre-planned before this visit by Sharon. She said:

“Immediately after the failure of the Camp David [negotiations], I met him in Paris upon his return…. and he said to me, ‘You should remain in Paris.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because I am going to start an intifada. They want me to betray the Palestinian cause. They want me to give up on our principles, and I will not do so.. I do not want Zahwa’s [Arafat’s daughter’s] friends in the future to say that Yasser Arafat abandoned the Palestinian cause and principles. I might be martyred, but I shall bequeath our historical heritage to Zahwa and to the children of Palestine.


The above interview with English translation may be viewed here

I trust sir, that you will not allow this blatant inaccuracy to continue misinforming BBC viewers, listeners and readers.

Maurice Ostroff

About the Author
Maurice Ostroff is a founder member of the international Coalition of Hasbara Volunteers, better known by its acronym CoHaV, (star in Hebrew), a world-wide umbrella organization of volunteers active in combating anti-Israel media and political bias and in promoting the positive side of Israel His web site is at
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