The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg was too slow deleting a tweet on Israel’s ‘corrupt relationship’ with the UK

kuenssberg BBC GE2017
Support us and go ad-free

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg was too slow in deleting a tweet on Israel’s “corrupt relationship” with UK politicians. On 8 November, the BBC Political Editor posted a quote from a senior Conservative who claimed that the UK establishment has ignored the backdoor access Israel has within the UK. The tweet also said that the Conservative had called for Lord Polak, a key ally of Israel, to be ‘chucked out’ of the party:

The “corrupt relationship”

Then, Kuenssberg apparently deleted the tweet. But not before Middle East Monitor took a screenshot.

The tweet was part of Kuenssberg’s coverage of the events leading up to Priti Patel’s resignation. Patel, the now former International Development Secretary, was found to have taken part in 14 undisclosed meetings with Israeli officials, in serious breach of government protocol. Polak, the honorary president of the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), reportedly arranged 12 of the meetings and attended all except one of them.

The now deleted tweet included a senior Conservative’s call for Polak to be expelled from the party for such behaviour. But some have suggested that Polak was actually acting with the government’s approval. The Jewish Chronicle (JC) alleges that Theresa May knew about Patel’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “hours” after it happened. Meanwhile, Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson argues that it’s “impossible to sustain the claim that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was not aware of Ms Patel’s presence in Israel”. 10 Downing Street denies that it knew about any of the meetings before they were revealed by the media.

The Israeli lobby “in action”

Commenting on the deleted tweet, former Guardian journalist Jonathan Cook claimed it was the power of the Israeli lobby “in action – again”. Cook seems to be referring to the well-documented allegations about the influence of the Israeli lobby over the BBC.

These include allegations that the BBC has bowed under pressure to change headlines to make them less accusing of the state of Israel. In 2015, the BBC‘s complaints unit ruled that the broadcaster had breached its own guidelines in its reporting of Palestinian fatalities. And a BBC online editor once sent internal emails to staff urging them to write more favourably about Israel. In general, the BBC faces accusations of downplaying the reality of the brutal occupation of the Palestinian people.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Responding to The Canary, the BBC declined to comment on Kuenssberg’s deleted tweet. The Canary also approached the Political Editor for comment, but had received none by the time of publication.

Get Involved!

– Find out more about the BDS movement here.

– Follow independent news from Israel like +972 Magazine and Mondoweiss.

– Check out the Jews for Justice for Palestinians blog, and Norman Finkelstein’s blog.

– See more Canary articles on media biasPalestine/Israel.

Support The Canary so we can keep holding the powerful to account and exposing the bias of the mainstream media.

Featured image via Policy Exchange

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed