BBC journalist praised the ‘exquisite journalism’ of Holocaust revisionist

Amman correspondent Layla Bashar al-Kloub previously condemned 'the Zionist entity'


A BBC Arabic journalist praised the “exquisite journalism” of a television presenter who questioned the Holocaust and branded Israel “terrorists”.

In May, Amman correspondent Layla Bashar al-Kloub posted a gushing tribute to Muna Hawwa, a Palestinian activist suspended by Al Jazeera for having produced and shared a video that asked, “How true is the #Holocaust and how did the Zionists benefit from it?”

In her message welcoming the Palestinian activist back to Twitter after a suspension from the platform, Ms al-Kloub wrote:

“My dear Muna… there was a great victory for you, yourself specifically, the victory of the free word, and the victory of exquisite journalism, you have proved everybody you are capable of confronting large institutions by yourself, may Allah strengthen you.”

Ms al-Kloub has attempted to clean up her social media after the problematic posts were uncovered.

She wrote in November, 2016: “The Zionist entity does not recognize any international law or agreement, their entire [legal] proceedings are infringements of human rights treaties. They are the terrorists, not us.”

She has now deleted this message, which she posted in response to the sentencing of a 14-year-old Palestinian assailant to 12 years in prison.

In May this year, during the 11-day Gaza conflict, Ms al-Kloub re-posted a map of the region saying it showed a time “before Israeli occupation of 1948”.

The posts were flagged by media monitoring group Camera UK as part of a review of whether BBC Arabic reporters were breaching the corporation’s social media guidance.

It comes after the JC presented BBC Arabic with a dossier in February accusing it of systematically downplaying terror attacks on Israelis, repeatedly using Hamas-inspired language, showcasing extreme views without challenge and publishing a map in which Israel was erased.

In June, a former Palestine Specialist for BBC monitoring was sacked for tweeting “Hitler was right”.

And in September, the JC revealed that BBC Arabic had given a platform to social media posts attacking “Zionist terrorism” and hailing the imagined destruction of Israel.

Camera UK has also complained to the BBC about an article written by another BBC Arabic journalist, which it said contained two major factual errors and a number of omissions that appear to place Hamas in a more favourable light.

Following the complaint, the BBC corrected some of the errors. That included claims that, having taken over the Gaza strip, Hamas had “ceased suicide attacks and was content with firing rockets”. That was corrected to say that since 2008, Hamas had “claimed no responsibility for any suicide attack”.

The JC understands that Ms al-Kloub has been reminded of the BBC’s social media guidelines.

A spokesperson said: “The BBC’s team of experienced editors and journalists that come from across the Middle East and around the world are subject to the same strict editorial guidelines, which cover social media use.

"BBC Arabic shares exactly the same principles of accuracy and impartiality as BBC News in English and we strongly reject the suggestion that its impartiality is compromised.”

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