During Hannukah celebrations on Monday, November 29, 2021, a group of Jewish teens on a party bus were spat on and harassed by men who waved the Nazi salute and shouted “Free Palestine.” This incident was recorded by the victims. Instead of reporting on the victims, the BBC initially claimed that “some racial slurs can be heard from inside the bus.” This was later corrected to “a slur about Muslims can also be heard from inside the bus.” Worse yet, the BBC called the abuse of Jewish teens “alleged” but stated unequivocally that the anti-Muslim slur was audible.
As fluent speakers of Hebrew, we immediately recognised that the “slur about Muslims” was a phrase in Hebrew. We isolated the audio and discovered that what was actually said was “Tikrah lemishu, ze dachuf,” meaning: “Call someone, it’s urgent.”
In an attempt to correct the error, we contacted the BBC journalist via Twitter direct message. However, as the screenshots show, his BBC editors included the lie about the Jewish teens, and despite our explanations, he stood by his decision.
We immediately shared these screenshots with a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and we tweeted the cleaned up version of the audio, where one can clearly hear the Hebrew phrase “Tikrah lemishu, ze dachuf,”
While the BBC’s claim has been shown not to be true by a full investigation by the Board of Deputies and independent forensic experts, the article is still online.
The Times mentions our conversation with this journalist: “In private messages seen by The Times, Farley told an antisemitism campaigner: “This was actually something picked up by my editors, not me.””
The perpetrators of the crime are pictured on our blog , so please check that out.
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