Quote of the day 11th December 2021
“Given the available evidence, or rather lack of it, it is worrying that the BBC has so far defended its report that there were ‘clearly’ anti-Muslim shouts from the bus, while the antisemitic gestures were only ‘alleged’. They need to provide the evidence to support their defence or rethink and issue an urgent correction and apology.”
Former BBC chairman Lord Michael Grade, urging the corporation to prove its claim that Jewish victims of an antisemitic attack on Oxford Street last week made an anti-Muslim slur, or retract it and apologise.
This intervention comes after a week of complaints from the Jewish community over the BBC's reporting of a sickening attack on a busload of Charedi youngsters, most of them teenagers, celebrating Chanukah in central London when their bus was attacked by a group of young men who appeared to be motivated by Anti-Semitism.
The BBC has published reports like this one of the incident which includes the allegation, as amended, that "A slur about Muslims can also be heard from inside the bus."
I've listened to the footage apparently referred to which has been widely shared on social media, and can hear no such thing in English. There is a comment in Hebrew, which I do not speak,
Tikra lemishehu, ze dachuf” which I am told translates as "Call someone, it’s urgent”.
I agree with Lord Grade. If the BBC has any evidence that any of the Jewish victims of this dreadful incident really did use an Anti-Muslim slur, the corporation should produce it. If they cannot, the BBC should retract the statement and apologise.