On Wednesday 31st January the BBC News broadcast a video report by Jeremy Bowen about the case of Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian teenager charged with security offences.
His report started with footage of an incident that went viral on the Internet, when Ahed assaulted two Israeli soldiers, trying to provoke them into a violent response whilst they were being filmed.
Bowen then talked about the imbalance of force and the way it has invaded the lives of another generation. Yet he says nothing about the fact that the two soldiers were remarkably restrained during the incident.
Nor does he highlight the ridiculous nature of the comment by Ahed’s father:
“I don’t really know how people see the hands slapping the soldier,
I see the face of the soldier slapping the hands of my daughter …”
Instead, what the veteran Middle East editor for the BBC chose to do was to interview Oren Hazan, a highly controversial member of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset.
In so doing, he obtained some extreme comments from this provocative politician that seemed to counterbalance the extreme behaviour of Ahed Tamimi and her family.
Whilst there is clearly an element of truth in his argument that the Tamimi’s village, Nabi Saleh, is a ‘microcosm of the conflict,’ by choosing to interview this particular Israeli politician, Jeremy Bowen succeeded in masking the truth of the original incident completely.
The truth of that incident is the enormous challenge that the Israeli security forces face as they seek to contain the violence of terrorists who are supported by combative members of the general population.
The Israeli security forces very rarely get any credit for the way in which they go about maintaining security in such difficult circumstances. And once again the BBC has failed to give them any credit for it whatsoever.