BBC employees accuse the broadcaster of biased reporting on Israel’s war on Gaza, alleging a double standard in humanising Israeli victims compared to Palestinians and omitting crucial historical context.
BBC employees have accused the broadcaster of failing to report on Israel’s war on Gaza “accurately”, investing greater effort in humanising Israeli victims compared with Palestinians, and omitting vital historical context in its reporting.
In a letter seen by Al Jazeera, at least eight UK-based journalists accused the broadcaster of “double standard” in its coverage in comparison to the way it reported on Russian war crimes in Ukraine.
The journalists requested anonymity for fear of reprisal.
The report came amid heightened humanitarian disaster in Gaza as a result of Israel’s relentless campaign on the besieged strip, which has so far killed over 14,500 Palestinians, including more than 6,000 children.
Last month, reports emerged that BBC staff were allegedly crying in toilets and taking time off from work over the broadcaster’s coverage on Israel.
They accused the oldest and largest British broadcaster of being “too lenient” on Israel and “dehumanising” Palestinian civilians.
The British daily The Times reported that concerns were raised with senior editorial figures in a meeting mid-October and an email about the BBC’s policy of “treating Israeli lives as more worthy than Palestinian lives” was sent to Director-General Tim Davie.
“Staff have been crying in the toilets and freelancers have been sacrificing earnings by not showing up to work because of the distress caused. Many people are feeling deeply disturbed,” a source told The Times.
BBC correspondent based in Beirut, Rami Ruhayem, said he had “the gravest possible concerns” about the coverage.
“Words like ‘massacre’, ‘slaughter’ and ‘atrocities’ are being used prominently in reference to actions by Hamas, but hardly, if at all, in reference to actions by Israel. Does this not raise the question of the possible complicity of the BBC in incitement, dehumanisation and war propaganda,” he said in an email to Davie which was shared with BBC News international journalists.
Days into Israel’s 7 October war on Gaza, the BBC reportedly launched investigations into journalists working for its Arabic service in the Middle East for social media posts “justifying the killing of Israeli civilians by Hamas”.
At least six BBC reporters were allegedly taken off air as the company investigated their “pro-Palestine” social media posts.