Wednesday, 29 June 2011

BBC Spreads False News Item: Israeli Court Sentences Dog to be Stoned

The Star of David in Codex Leningradensis, an Old Testament manuscript from 1008. Image courtesy of Wikipedia. Throughout the centuries Jews have been discriminated against, and other nations have spread rumours about them.

Joel Kontinen

BBC is not necessarily objective in its reporting. Recently, it spread the news of a court in Jerusalem that purportedly sentenced a stray dog to be stoned because the animal had found its way into the court and had refused to go away.

Although for a while this was the most popular news item about the Near East, BBC had to admit that it was not true.

BBC obviously forgot to check its sources. Maariv, a Hebrew-language newspaper, reported on the dog before BBC did but it had to retract the news item and apologize for spreading it.

Anti-Semitism is a disturbing phenomenon. Bias can easily creep into reporting on the Near East, causing western journalists to seek anything that would give them the right to criticise Israel, the only real democracy in the region.

However, journalists should realise that Israel does not condemn dogs to be stoned.

This was not the first time that BBC spreads news items about Israel that have not entirely been true. (Read more here and here.)


Jerusalem court denies dog condemned to stoning. BBC News 20 June 2011.