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THE chairman of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign has condemned the way that the BBC changed a story on air strikes in Gaza that killed three people this week when told to do so by Israel.
Hugh Lanning said that it is the “job of the BBC to be objective and not a parrot of the Israeli forces” after the broadcaster changed its headline when it received a formal complaint from the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.
Anyone who thinks BBC editors control their Israel-Palestine coverage needs to read this Tweet today from an Israeli government official. He *orders* the BBC to change a headline - and soon afterwards they comply pic.twitter.com/3yruv6amrF
— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) August 9, 2018
Mr Nahshon singled out the headline, stating that a pregnant woman and her 18-month-old daughter had been killed by Israeli bombing.
He tweeted in response to a BBC Twitter post: “This is a formal complaint by @IsraelMFA.
“This title is a deliberate misrepresentation of reality (that’s the polite equivalent of ‘this is a LIE’, if you don’t get it).
“Israelis were targeted by Hamas and IDF acts to protect them.
“Change it IMMEDIATELY!!!”
Under pressure from Mr Nahshon, the BBC switched its headline from ‘Israeli air strikes kill woman and toddler’ to ‘Gaza air strikes kill woman and child after rockets hit Israel.’
Mr Lanning said: “The BBC reported the story properly in the first place.
“It seems to be a matter of not being prepared to stand by the stories that are true. It shouldn’t be the case that the BBC jumps when told to.
“Israel will put out its story anyway, which would be fair for the BBC to report. They could create another story for the other side rather than change the headline that was not incorrect.
“If the story was about us at the PSC, they would add a small comment at the end of the story, if they even contact us at all.”
A BBC spokesperson said: “Although the original headline was not factually incorrect, we updated it to add more context.”
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