Over at NRO, Charles C.W. Cooke drew my attention to an article which appeared in The Telegraph concerning a meeting involving the mandarins at the BBC. Their discussion centered around how to describe Abu Qatada, the imprisoned al Qaeda terrorist who a British immigration tribunal ordered released on bail earlier this month.
Although Qatada is wanted on terrorism charges in the United States, Belgium, Spain, France, Germany, Italy as well as his native Jordan, the BBC told its staff in no uncertain terms, “Do not call him an extremist – we must call him a radical. Extremist implies a value judgment.” Its scribes were also told not to use images which might show him to be overweight. Well, I guess even jihadists have body image issues.
In response to the BBC’s decision, Conservative MP James Clappison remarked, “It makes you wonder what you have to do for the BBC to call you an extremist.” Given that a man such as Abu Quatada has fallen short of the mark, one can only hope that nobody ever finds out.
Well, how about being a Jew living in Israel? Consider some of the BBC’s recent headlines:
Israel bars 12 “extremist” settlers from West Bank
Israelis rally against ultra-Orthodox extremism
Shimon Peres urges Israelis to rally against extremism
So while the BBC declares it is beyond the pale to impart a value judgment where it concerns a Muslim jihadist, it expresses no such hesitation when it comes to Israeli Jews. This, my friends, is nothing more than anti-Semitism.
UPDATE: Cooke acknowledged this post yesterday afternoon.