BBC radio program declares Israel to be ‘occupied Palestine’

The BBC logo is seen at the entrance to Broadcasting House, the BBC’s headquarters in central London. Photo by Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/Sipa USA.

The November 2 edition of the BBC World Service radio program “BONE” (formerly known as “Outside Source”) led with element (from 00:04 here) regarding the previous day’s legislative elections in Israel.

The form of the program understand voice messages sent by members of the public around the world. Following a report by Tom Bateman, BBC Jerusalem bureau, presenter James Reynolds says to the listeners (from 01:55):

Reynolds: “…we have received messages from voters in Israel. Voters include Jewish Israelis who make up around 75-80% of the population as well as the community known as Arab Israelis who make up a minority of around 20% of the population. Let’s listen to some messages.

Of the two posts chosen by the OS team for global amplification, only one actually came from a voter: a resident of Lod, who said she voted for the Jewish Home party.

The second post (from 3:30 a.m.) came from an Israeli citizen who had chosen not to vote and introduced herself in a way that listeners might well have found confusing or offensive.

My name is Nasreen Randour [phonetic]. I am a Palestinian living in occupied palestine. I am an entrepreneur and an activist. I am 43 years old and I have decided for the first time in my life not to vote [emphasis in bold added].

Reynolds didn’t bother to explain to listeners that a small minority Israeli citizens whom he has previously described as Arab Israelis identify as Palestinians – and that the people the BBC audience is used to hearing described as Palestinians vote in Palestinian Authority elections (if and when they take place) rather than Israeli elections.

Moreover, no effort has been made to clarify that Randour’s reference to “occupied Palestine” actually means Israel – rather than the areas BBC audiences usually hear described as “occupied” – and that its use manifestly politically motivated term actually denies the existence of Israel. .

The same politically motivated terminology was repeated later in Randour’s contribution:

Now, what has happened in the last three years in occupied palestine is simply unimaginable. Ever since Palestinian society within occupied palestine elevated… we lifted our heads and for the first time came out of the closet with who we are, with our Palestinian identity…” [emphasis added]

Clearly, Reynolds and his production team had two reasonable choices. One was to explain to listeners around the world that the phrase “occupied Palestine” is actually a denial of Israel’s right to exist.

The second choice was not to broadcast an overtly political message, which denies the existence of a sovereign country.

Notably, BBC World Service radio chose not to take any of these options, and instead gave global amplification and mainstreaming to this patently offensive and anti-Semitic message.

Hadar Sela is co-editor of CAMERA UK – an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), where a version of this article was published. originally published.

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