Dear Secretary of State

I am writing to you about the BBC.

As a licence payer I share your concerns about BBC ‘groupthink’ and ‘tokenism,’ but I am also concerned about bias and the misreporting of news.

There are no greater examples of those latter tendencies than BBC reports on Israel.

It is ironic that the BBC, which prides itself on top quality investigative journalism, has spent huge sums of licence payers’ money refusing to comply with FOI requests to publish the Balen report.

The report, commissioned in 2004 by the corporation, examined accusations of bias against Israel.

Perhaps the reason it was not published is because bias was found, and that bias persists to this day.

There are many examples I could offer but for reasons of brevity I will mention just two.

In May 2021, the terror group Hamas launched thousands of rockets into Israel.

The conflict arose after Fatah had cancelled elections and the terror group Hamas sought to make political capital from that decision.

However, the Jerusalem bureau of the BBC sought to frame the source of the conflict around Sheikh Jarrah, a decades long property dispute.

The BBC offered no historical analysis of Sheikh Jarrah and did not explain the connected issues of the elections and the dispute between Fatah and Hamas.

Instead, they offered the following reports (information compiled by CAMERA-UK) that were factually inaccurate and centred around the Hamas terror groups narrative:

My second example is the reckless reporting of the BBC’s Middle East correspondent Jeremy Bowen.

On 24 May he reported that six Palestinian children and two adults were killed by an air strike.

The IDF categorically stated that Israel did not fire the rocket, but despite this, and despite the evidence of three NGOs that confirmed that the deaths were caused by a Hamas rocket, the Bowen piece sought to equivocate and give viewers the opposite narrative.

Mr. Bowen referenced a piece of shrapnel given to him by a Palestinian source who suggested it was evidence that it was an Israeli strike, however, even though there was no verification of that shrapnel being related to that incident, the journalist used it to infer that Israel was responsible for the strike.

Here is a further dissection of his report provided by CAMERA-UK: 

This BBC journalism that I have quoted is neither accurate or impartial, nor does it educate or inform its audience.

It is inaccurate, emotionally charged and reckless.

The BBC is bound to provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them.

The examples I have provided demonstrate that the BBC does not do that.

Whether that is ‘groupthink,’ ‘tokenism’ or, if a predetermined set of unpublished values are the root cause of this failure to honour its public purposes, needs to be determined but UK taxpayers should not be asked to fund a public news organisation that has such issues.

When you have your discussions with BBC management can you please raise these matters with them and seek answers.

This letter has been copied to my constituency MP.

Yours sincerely

Israel Britain Alliance Ltd. Registered Address: 71-75 Shelton Street, London, WC2H 1BB. Company Number: 11054917