BBC challenged on Obama Israel speech report

By Simon Rocker, May 29, 2012

The BBC Trust has partly upheld a complaint against the corporation over an online article which reported American President Obama's position on the Middle East process.

The article, posted on May 19 last year, was headlined "Obama insists 1967 'basis' for Israel-Palestinian peace" and went on to state that the president insisted that "the 1967 border must be the basis for negotiations to set up a future Palestinian state".

But Zionist Federation member Stephen Franklin – who has previously had complaints upheld against the BBC's Middle East coverage - took issue with the wording, saying that in a speech President Obama had used the word "should" rather than "must".

Mr Obama had stated that the Americans "believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognised borders are established for both states."

After the BBC's editorial complaints unit and then the trust's head of editorial standards rejected his complaint, Mr Franklin lodged a further appeal.

The trust's editorial standards committee agreed that the words "must", taken with "insists", was "too strong" and "therefore not duly accurate".

Last updated: 3:59pm, May 29 2012