BBC Arabic commentator was jailed for role in murder of Israeli settler

BBC Arabic commentator was jailed for role in murder of Israeli settler
BBC Arabic commentator was jailed for role in murder of Israeli settler

Mansour has appeared on BBC Arabic’s Talking Point program six times since the Oct 7 massacres, appearing as a “ political analyst” on Nov 7, and a “Palestinian author and political analyst” the following month.

In January, he appeared on the program as a “researcher in the Madar center of Israeli studies”.

Speaking from Ramallah, he commented on an attack in the Israel city of Raanana in which a 79-year-old woman was killed. I have attributed it to the “atmosphere” in the West Bank and Israel’s actions there.

On another occasion that month, he was asked by the BBC Arabic website about the assassination in Lebanon of Saleh Arouri, a Hamas official.

The website reported that Mansour had “spent 20 years in Israeli prisons” and “accompanied” Arouri “for long years.” However it stopped short of specifying the allegations against him.

Mansour also appeared on Talking Point in March, April and May this year, when he was presented as an “author and researcher in Israeli affairs.”

After being approached by The Telegraph, the BBC admitted it should have provided “additional context” about Mansour for its viewers.

The corporation’s use of Mansour as a pundit has been criticized by the Campaign for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (Camera), which lobbies for “accurate and balanced” coverage of Israel.

A Camera spokesperson said: “As though repeatedly featuring unrepentant terrorists without due disclosure were not enough, Talking Point once sought Ismat Mansour’s so-called ‘expert take’ specifically on Israel’s alleged responsibility for Palestinians murdering a Jewish civilian – an attack just like the one he himself had taken part in and later suggested ‘promotes’ peace.”

“This program alone speaks volumes about how seriously UK license fee payers should take the BBC’s statements about its Arabic service covering the war “accurately, impartially and diligently.”

BBC Arabic has come under repeated criticism over claims its coverage of the Gaza war is biased against Israel and that a number of its presenters and journalists are sympathetic towards Hamas.

It rejects the claims, maintaining that its coverage meets the BBC’s editorial standards and is balanced and accurate.

A BBC spokesperson said: “Esmat Mansour is widely used as a commentator across media including The Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel.

“BBC News Arabic is committed to hearing from a range of voices and perspectives, and although at times when we have heard from Mr Mansour we have referenced his 1993 conviction, we recognize that, when appropriate, further details should be given to provide additional context for our audience.”

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