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Wiesenthal Center puts BBC 3rd – after only Iran, Hamas – on antisemitism list

Organization’s head says ‘months of intense debate and discussion’ preceded ranking; cites alleged biased reporting, antisemitic staff

People looks out from inside BBC's New Broadcasting House, in central London, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/ Lefteris Pitarakis, file)
People looks out from inside BBC's New Broadcasting House, in central London, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/ Lefteris Pitarakis, file)

The BBC has been branded antisemitic by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and placed third on its annual “Global Antisemitism Top Ten” list, according to a Sunday report.

First and second place went to Iran and the Gaza-based Hamas terror group, respectively.

The head of the organization, Marvin Hier, told the Daily Mail that “people might be surprised to see the BBC on our list, but the decision to place the BBC at No. 3 came after months of intense debate and discussion.”

“We believe the BBC has been guilty of several incidences of antisemitism during the past year,” he said.

“People might assume we would put neo-Nazi groups on our list,” Hier told the paper, “but the BBC is there because when a globally recognized organization allows antisemitism to creep into its reporting, it makes it all the more insidious and dangerous.”

The full list is to be released on Tuesday.

Illustrative: Rabbi Marvin Hier, discusses the historical accuracy of Mel Gibson’s film, ‘The Passion of The Christ,’ during a press conference at the Museum of Tolerance, in Los Angeles, February 24, 2004. (AP Photo/Stefano Paltera)

Hier cited the BBC’s reporting of an attack this month in London on a busload of Jewish teenagers, who were celebrating the Hanukkah holiday, by a group of men who chanted anti-Israel slogans. The report claimed that one of the apparent victims used an Islamophobic slur.

“The BBC falsely reported that a victim on the bus used an anti-Muslim slur. But what was heard on tape was a distressed Jewish man speaking in Hebrew, appealing for help,” Hier said.

The top-ten list also noted that a journalist for the BBC — who has since been dismissed — tweeted that “Hitler was right” in 2014.

The pro-Israel Honest Reporting media watchdog flagged the seven-year-old tweet, which led the BBC to open an internal investigation that ultimately led to Tala Halawa’s firing.

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