BBC News, long accused of anti-Israel bias, came under fire again on Sunday after publishing a misleading headline on its website about a fatal stabbing attack in Jerusalem.
The article that accompanied the headline reported on an incident Saturday evening in which a Palestinian terrorist murdered two Jewish Israelis and opened fire at security forces before he was shot dead by police.
The BBC headline initially read, “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two,” sidelining the deadly attack, and ignoring the fact that the Palestinian who was killed was its perpetrator.
American Jewish journalist Jeffrey Goldberg referenced the headline on Twitter, commenting, “To be fair, it takes a great deal of creativity to come up with headlines like this one.”
The BBC amended the headline following an angry letter from Government Press Office head Nitzan Hen, but, according to reports, did not officially apologize to Israel for the error.
Hen’s letter to Richard Palmer, the head of the BBC bureau in Israel, explained why the headline was mistaken, adding that it broke the most basic rules of journalism with its inaccuracy and bias.
Qatari media outlet Al Jazeera was also sharply criticized for its initial reporting of the attack. A tweet it published on Saturday linking to an article about the incident read, “Palestinian shot dead after fatal stabbing in Jerusalem; 2 Israeli victims also killed.”
In an editor’s note after receiving complaints, Al Jazeera wrote, “Many people in our audience have pointed out that the tweet appears to minimize the killings of the Israeli victims and leaves out the context that the Palestinian man was their attacker.
“This criticism is valid and we regret the wording of a tweet written under the pressure of breaking news. The story on the site was briefly headlined with similar wording, which we amended in an update.”