Tuvia Book
Author, educator, Tour-Guide, artist

Why won’t the BBC call a terrorist a terrorist?

Over the past weekend, seven innocent Israeli civilians, including Asher Natan z”l, a 14-year-old boy, were brutally murdered by a terrorist in Jerusalem. There were also many wounded in this and another attack, also in Jerusalem. Yet, reading the articles tucked away in the “Middle East” section of the BBC website, one would find it difficult to realize that this is what actually happened.

The headline states, “Jerusalem synagogue shooting: Israel arrests 42 after deadly attack.” The number of murdered Jews, or their names, are not mentioned in the headline, only the number of Arabs arrested by counter-terror forces. Cause and effect are reversed in this Orwellian headline. This is in contrast to the terror attack a few years ago in London which the BBC reported as, “London attack: Four dead in Westminster terror attack.” In London (outside of Israel) when a terrorist, inspired by the incitement of militant Islam, murders innocents, it’s a “terror attack.” In Israel, where innocents are murdered by a terrorist, inspired by the incitement of militant Islam the word “terror” is nowhere to be seen in the headline, or indeed the entire article. There was just a “an attack,” or a “shooting”, not a “terror attack.” And even more bizarrely the victims are not even mentioned by name or age. There is no attempt to humanize them.

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 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 main-stream media towards Israel and may even contribute somehow to the pseudo-legitimization of these terror attacks themselves. The terror attack is said to have happened in east Jerusalem, as if that somehow justifies terror. Terror is never justified. Does the main-stream media say an attack happened in south New York or west London? Every article after a terror attack, as if rationalizing it, always concludes with the same “cut and paste” statement:

Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war and considers the entire city its capital, though this is not recognized by the vast majority of the international community. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the future capital of a hoped-for independent state.

Once again innocent Israelis were murdered by a radical Islamic terrorist, and once again the BBC’s bizarre coverage showed clear sign of bias. It wasn’t just the brazen murder of innocents that was just as predictably followed by Hamas press releases praising “the magnificent operation” followed by the now ritual distribution of sweets and fireworks in the Palestinian territories to celebrate the murder of innocents. What is really the issue here, and obviously not reported by the BBC or other main stream media outlets, is the poisonous hatred that has seeped through every level of Palestinian society, to such an extent that a 13 year old boy can go out with the explicit intention to murder Jews and write to his mother that she will be proud of him.

Something is seriously broken in a society where political leaders, religious leaders, and even mothers praise their children for being murderers. Where children are incited 24/7 in school, by the media and in mosques to go out and murder. Where schools and public squares are named after murderers. Where murderers are extolled as the epitome of heroism (and rewarded with EU and American supplied tax-payers dollars) by the PA.

The world community, who funds and ignores this poisoning of an entire society, together with main steam western media that refuse to accurately report terrorism in the Middle East, needs to fix its moral compass and help the Palestinians press the moral “reset” button. Palestinians need to understand that one can’t murder oneself towards a state. The PA is responsible for the current violence and to overlook this is to ignore the situation. The world is not doing the PA a favor by not holding them to account. Indeed this is reinforcing the current deeply flawed mindset and reporting. Former Israeli Ambassador Dr. Michael Oren observed: “Being Palestinian means never having to say that you’re sorry.” Unless the PA educate and act for peace there will never be peace.

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," was published by Koren this year. To order:
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