BBC deletes ‘unbalanced and partisan’ videos about Israel, Palestinians from its website

June 3, 2021 by JNS
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The BBC has removed a series of controversial videos about Israel and the Palestinians from its website following a complaint from the group UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), the pro-Israel group said on Monday.

The BBC news building, June 2007. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

UKLFI described the BBC Education series of “Bitesize” videos, which were aimed at schoolchildren and designed to be used in schools, as “unbalanced and partisan.”

It argued that by providing these videos to schools, the BBC was “encouraging illegal conduct” that is in contradiction of the 1996 Education Act, which forbids “political indoctrination at maintained schools” and requires schools to take measures to ensure that students “are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.”

In response to UKLFI’s complaint, Helen Foulkes, head of BBC Education, said the videos were “part of Bitesize’s legacy content, which was migrated to the current site several years ago.”

She added that “they are part of a range of content which we have begun to review to ensure that it remains compliant with the most recent BBC editorial guidelines. The series will be suspended from the site whilst this editorial review is carried out. Once the review has been completed, we will decide which content to retire permanently and which to reinstate and/or edit.”

In response, UKFI CEO Jonathan Turner said: “We asked the BBC to investigate this matter and remedy it in an appropriate way to promote a balanced presentation of this controversial subject, and we hope that the BBC is now doing so.”

JNS

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