BBC official admits the network ‘got it wrong’ on Fogel murders


(JTA) — The British Broadcasting Corp. “got it wrong” in its reporting of the massacre of the Fogel family by Palestinians in the West Bank village of Itamar, the broadcaster’s outgoing director-general said at a parliamentary committee hearing.

Mark Thompson of the BBC made the admission June 19 while being quizzed by Conservative member of Parliament Louise Mensch, according to the London Jewish Chronicle. Mensch complained about the light coverage of the killings on BBC radio and television programs.

Thompson, according to the Jewish Chronicle, responded that the story occurred during a “very busy news period,” including the fighting in Libya and the tsunami in Japan, and that “news editors were under a lot of pressure.”  

He reportedly added, “Having said that, it was certainly an atrocity which should have been covered across our news bulletins that day … But I do want to say, to all our audience, including our Jewish and Israeli audiences here and around the world, we do want to make sure we are fair and impartial. We made a mistake in this instance.”

In March 2011, Palestinians entered the Fogels’ home and murdered Udi, 36; Ruth, 35; and their children, Yoav, 11; Elad, 4; and Hadas, who was 3 months old. Another daughter came home and discovered the bodies.

Two Palestinian men were each sentenced to five consecutive life sentences for the murders.

In her complaints about the BBC’s coverage of the killings, the Jewish Chronicle reported that Mensch said, “I only found out, after the event, from an American blog, called ‘Dead Jews is no news,’ and the more I went into it, the more shocked I was. There was a feeling that the BBC just didn’t care and that if a settler had opened the home of a Palestinian family, slit the throat of their children, that the BBC would have covered that.”

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