Would you bother to fact-check a story about an Arab-Israeli soldier who is penalized for not being willing to shoot Palestinian children?

Not if you work at the BBC. Some person submits this Israel-bashing story on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day during the Today program where he suggests a Muslim corporal in the Israel Defense Forces had been jailed for refusing to shoot Palestinian children. He presents the story as fact when it is, in actuality, complete fiction. Needless to say, they let it on the air without bothering to check the facts.

They’re apologizing now, which is very generous of them, but one has to wonder (again) about their common sense and bias.

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  • Seems to me it was just one guy.

    The fact that the BBC is actually apologizing for him and for the story sseems to speak pretty highly of them.

    Not many company admit that they erred in some way.

  • So I can go on the air tomorrow on the BBC Thought of the Day and let the world know that I met a Palestinian who enjoys drinking the blood of dead Jews and they will simply apologize after I do it?

    Great for spreading propaganda, this BBC.

  • Did anyone knew what he was going to say before they aired him?

    I don’t know, I’m asking.

  • I don’t have the url right now, but the guy only “apologized” for 2 mistakes: the conscription thing and the age of the “soldier”. He implicitly mantained the rest of the story, including the heroic killing of a suicide bomber that went misteriously unreported by the Israeli newspapers.

    BTW, I know Adam appears in the Koran, but is it a plausible name for a Muslim Arab?

  • There’s “the guy”, and then there’s “the BBC”. They guy is an ass, sure.

  • I always preffered my Matza with just a hint of Belgian-child’s liver, don’t you?

  • I read the “apology”, it was the most pathetic thing i ever read! disusting…. I sent them a email saying they should apology for calling themselves a news organization!!

  • A few things. 1. “The guy” is a minister in the Church of Scotland called Dr John Bell who claims to be bewildered by all the fuss and insists that he would never have used the anecdote had he known there was going to be such a furore.
    2. The BBC initially made two “factual” corrections until they were asked whether they’d bothered to check with the Israeli authorities as to whether there was any truth in any of the script. Then they changed their apology.
    3. The Religion and Ethics Department of the BBC did hear an advance version of the script before transmission but their “gatekeeping” is not as in place as that of BBC News. Almost certainly this will change in the future.

  • Sardonic, maybe he should just have not used the anecdote because…it was a blatant lie.

    He’s bewildered by the furor in large part because the media in Britain has become so stridently – and unfairly – anti-Israel, that anybody can falsely accuse Israelis of the most horrible atrocities and people just nod their heads and agree knowingly.

    Also, do you find it amusing that the Religion and ETHICS Department at the BBC let this through?

  • Bell is, if anything, naive to have swallowed wholesale the line that “Adam” was giving him. He doesn’t appear to understand why people were so enraged at the claim about Israeli soldiers, which is his stupidity. As for the suggestion that I am amused by the doziness of the Religion and Ethics Department… that seems to be your misunderstanding.

  • Sardonic, sometimes we can be a little too sardonic for our own good. You’ll note there is a question mark at the end of my sentence regarding the Religion and Ethics Department. It was merely a question.

  • Sardonic, I find it amusing. 🙂

    Oh, and by the way, thanks for the additional information. It was interesting and helpful.