LONDON – As nations around the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day this week, two British MPs came under fire for comments that critics said trivialized the tragedy, and the BBC confirmed that it was investigating a series of questions that one of its correspondents asked an Israeli woman following the Paris terrorist attacks earlier this month.
A member of the Jewish community had contacted the BBC about news presenter Tim Willcox’s line of questioning during a live broadcast of the protest march that took place two days after the killings at a Paris kosher supermarket.
Having asked her about anti-Semitism in the French capital, he suggested that Israel’s critics “would say the Palestinians have suffered hugely at Jewish hands as well.”
The complainant alleged that Willcox’s questions were “misleading in that it linked the Paris killings in a kosher supermarket with events in the Middle East,” and that the “question displayed bias against Israel.”
Andrew Bell, director of the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit, said the network was happy to investigate, and he confirmed that its editorial guidelines stipulated that the channel’s portrayal of people “should avoid careless or offensive stereotypical assumptions.”
Bell, who said the BBC had received a large number of complaints on the subject, added that the outcome of the investigation would be published by February 23.
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