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Last updated: 2003-06-02

The Board of Deputies has made a formal complaint to the BBC regarding the profile of Israel which appears on the BBC website. Whilst profiles of other countries provide factual, informative information, Israel’s profile is partial, inaccurate and entirely misleading.

The website implies that the failure to reach a peaceful settlement lies solely with Israel. There is a complete omission of the main stumbling blocks to peace; the continued terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens and the failure of most of the Arab world to recognise Israel’s right to exist. Whilst other countries are afforded a ‘capital’, Israel’s profile refers only to the ‘Seat of government’ whilst references are made to Prime Minister Sharon’s wealth and housing purchases. Mr. Sharon is also accused of sparking off the second Intifada despite Palestinian officials admitting that the Initifada was meticulously planned in advance of Mr. Sharon’s visit. Yasser Arafat’s own profile details a courageous and popular individual with no mention of the terrorist atrocities carried out by his own Palestinian Liberation Organisation and his regular calls in Arabic for the annihilation of Israel.

Board Director General Neville Nagler commented: “It is unclear why Israel’s profile should be presented in so tendentious and unbalanced a manner, whereas other country profiles are objective and balanced. There are many points which are highly inappropriate in the BBC’s presentation. It is unacceptable for the BBC to display such bias, which falls foul of their own guidelines of impartiality.”