A video from 2011 has emerged today that shows Jeremy Corbyn claiming the BBC has a “bias towards saying… Israel has right to exist”.
Appearing on Press TV, the Iranian state-owned television network, critics say the Labour leader seemed to call into question whether Israel could be considered a democracy and appeared to cast doubt on whether the state had the right to exist.
In the video, Corbyn said: “There is pressure on the BBC from probably Mark Thompson, who seems to me to have an agenda in this respect.
“There seems to be a great deal of pressure on the BBC from the Israeli government and the Israeli embassy, and they are very assertive towards all journalists and to the BBC itself – they challenge every single thing on reporting the whole time.
“I think there is a bias towards saying that Israel is a democracy in the Middle East, that Israel has a right to exist, that Israel has its security concerns.”
Remember that time @JeremyCorbyn appeared on PressTV and said that the Israeli government and Israeli embassy are “very assertive towards all journalists and the BBC” and as proof of this said “there is a bias towards saying . . . Israel has a right to exist”. No? Here you go… pic.twitter.com/9Jy8l1VKHT
— The Golem (@TheGolem_) August 7, 2018
A Labour spokesperson said: “Jeremy was arguing that despite the occupation of Palestinian territory and the lack of a Palestinian state, Israeli concerns and perspectives are more likely to appear prominently in news reporting than Palestinian ones.
“Jeremy is committed to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution – a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine.
“The Israeli government is well known to run an effective and highly professional media operation.”