|An open letter signed by 7,000 people was today sent to the BBC calling for the removal of the broadcaster’s Head of Statistics from all reporting on Palestine and Israel.
The demand followed an article published on the BBC website, in which the Head of Statistics, Anthony Reuben, misused Palestinian casualty figures in an attempt to back up Israel’s claims that it had not targeted civilians during its July/August assault on Gaza.
Reuben used the article to try and discredit the UN Human Rights Council’s assertion that the Israeli attacks, which killed more than 2,000 Palestinians, were indiscriminate.
In its letter to Lord Hall, the BBC’s Director General, Palestine Solidarity Campaign said that the article showed that Reuben’s impartiality and journalistic integrity on the subject of Palestine and Israel could not be guaranteed.
It also pointed out that Reuben had previously interned at the right-wing Israeli newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, and added: “The views which are apparent in that Israeli newspaper appear to have seeped into Reuben’s reporting for the BBC.”
The letter continued: “We therefore call on the BBC to assure its audiences that Reuben will no longer be assigned to reporting on Palestine and Israel, as his impartiality and journalistic integrity on this subject cannot be guaranteed. We believe that this is the very least the BBC can do if it truly believes in its Royal Charter commitment to producing, and being seen to produce, balanced and impartial journalism.”
The letter gathered 7.000 signatures from members of the public in less than two weeks, and was delivered to BBC Broadcasting House today.
The open letter to the BBC can be viewed here: http://www.palestinecampaign.org/please-sign-open-letter-bbc-gaza-casualty-figures/
Anthony Reuben’s article, ‘Caution needed with Gaza casualty figures’ is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28688179