Tuvia Book
Tuvia Book
Author, educator, Tour-Guide, artist

Double standards on terror: How the BBC reported the Gilboa prisoners’ recapture

Yesterday, Israel finally captured the final two Islamic Jihad terrorists of the six who escaped from the Gilboa high-security prison two weeks ago. Once again, reading the article on the BBC website today, one would find it difficult to realize just how dangerous and evil these men were.  The headline states. “Israel recaptures final Palestinian escapees.”  The words “terror” or “terrorist” did not even appear once in headline or the entire article.

The terrorist organization Islamic Jihad is referred to as a, “militant group” despite being on the UK, EU and USA list of designated terror organizations.  One of the terrorists, Zakaria Zabeidi, in prison whilst on trial for two dozen crimes, including attempted murder, was commander of Fata’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade terror group.  Fata is the military wing of Israel’s “peace partner” the PA. None of this was reported by the BBC. The terrorists are portrayed as companionate men.  The article states, “one of the men’s fathers told Associated Press his son agreed to surrender, in order not to endanger the house owners.”  It fails to mention that his son was a jailed convicted terrorist with the blood innocent families on his hands.  The article concludes with the bland, “All of the group were serving sentences for plotting or carrying out attacks against Israelis.” What it fails to mention is that innocent Israeli civilians, including children, have been murdered and maimed by these fanatical Islamic Jihad terrorists.  Also absent in the reporting is the fact that four of the highly dangerous terrorists were in jail for life in connection with deadly attacks against Israelis.  Indeed, the entire article is bland and sanitized.

This is in direct contrast to the BBCs reporting on terror attacks in London. These attacks are consistently referred to as “terror attacks” by the BBC.  In the London terror attack on Westminster bridge in 2017 the BBC reported, “London attack: Four dead in Westminster terror attack.”  In London (or anywhere else outside of Israel) when a terrorist, inspired by the incitement of militant Islam, murders innocents, it’s a “terror attack.”  In Israel, when terrorists, inspired by the incitement of militant Islam, murder innocents the word “terror” is nowhere to be seen in the BBC headline, or indeed the entire article.

Why doesn’t the BBC call a terrorist a terrorist if the attack occurs within Israel but only if the attack occurs outside Israel?  Why doesn’t the BBC realize that all terror, wherever it happens, from London, to New York, to Sydney, to Cairo, to Jerusalem stems from the same source, incitement by fanatical militant Islam to go out murder “non-believers” in order to establish a pan-Muslim caliphate?  Why does the BBC have double standards in the language and sentiments it uses to describe terror attacks inside Israel?  Why are the reports sanitized of the words “terror,” “terrorist” or indeed the word “murder?”

The BBC’s policy of reporting terror attacks with a different lexicon if they occur inside Israel is a prime example of the double standard utilized by vast swaths of the mainstream media towards Israel and may even contribute somehow to the pseudo-legitimization of these terror attacks themselves.  This is only the latest part of Orwellian pattern where the victim seems to be blamed for the terror attack, if the victim happens to be Jewish/Israeli.  This leads to the serious question.  Does the BBC have an anti-Israel agenda?  What other explanation could there be for this bizarre and fact-distorting “reporting” from a premier news organization?

About the Author
Dr. Tuvia Book was born in London and raised in both the UK and South Africa. After making Aliya at the age of 17 and studying in Yeshiva he volunteered for the IDF, where he served in an elite combat unit. Upon his discharge he completed his BA at Bar-Ilan University, as well as certification in graphic design. He then served as the Information Officer at the Israeli Consulate of Philadelphia, while earning a graduate degree in Jewish Studies. Upon his return to Israel, Dr. Book graduated from a course of study with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, and is a licensed tour guide. Tuvia has been working in the field of Jewish Education, both formal and informal, for many years. He has guided and taught Jewish students and educators from around the English-speaking world for some of Israel’s premier educational institutions and programs. Tuvia has been guiding groups for Birthright Israel since its inception and, in addition, has lectured throughout North America, Australia, Europe and South Africa. Tuvia served as a Shaliach (emissary) for the Jewish Agency for Israel as the Director of Israel and Zionist Education at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York (Jewish Education Project). He was a lecturer/educational guide at the Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE) in Israel for a decade. Tuvia has lectured at both Bar Ilan University and Hebrew University. He was a Senior Editor and Teaching Fellow at the Tikvah Fund. He is a research associate at the Hudson Institute. Tuvia is the author and illustrator the internationally acclaimed Israel education curriculum; "For the Sake of Zion; A Curriculum of Israel Studies" (Fifth edition, Koren 2017), and "Moral Dilemmas of the Modern Israeli Soldier" (Rama, 2011) and has a doctorate in Israel Education. His latest book, "Jewish Journeys, The Second Temple Period to the Bar Kokhba Revolt – 536 BCE-136 CE," will be published by Koren this year.
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