A BBC reporter was cited for bias during his coverage of the mass rally in Paris on Sunday.
The reporter, Tim Willcox, interrupted a Jewish woman he was interviewing with the line:
“Many critics of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.”
Media watchdog Honest Reporting noted that Willcox used the term “Jewish” rather than “Israeli,” by implication holding French Jewry (and all Jews) responsible for the actions of Israel.
“Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel” is included in the European Union’s Working Definition of Anti-Semitism. The U.S. State Department defines as anti-Semitic: “Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.“
When the woman being interviewed didn’t go along with Willcox’s logic, he interjected:
“But you understand; everything is seen from different perspectives.”
Willcox subsequently apologized online. “Really sorry for any offense caused by a poorly phrased question in a live interview in Paris yesterday — it was entirely unintentional.”
Honest Reporting said that “the issue is more than one of a ‘poorly phrased question’ and goes to the heart of how the BBC deals with the subject of Israel and anti-Semitism. The BBC needs to openly acknowledge the seriousness of this incident at a time of growing anti-Semitism and physical attacks on Jews.”