Saturday, November 25, 2006

Not for the first time she has a point...

November 24, 2006
The famed objectivity of the BBC - from Melanie Phillips' blog:

There has been a vicious racist and antisemitic attack in Paris after a football game in which the Israeli team Hapoel Tel Aviv beat Paris-Saint Germain. A black plainclothes police officer came to the defence of a French Jewish Hapoel supporter after he was attacked by PSG fans. The officer shot dead one PSG fan and wounded another.

Here is how the Associated Press reported the incident:

‘They were shouting “filthy Jew” and when they saw our colleague, who comes from the Caribbean, they also yelled, “filthy black, we’re going to get you,” said a police union official, Luc Poignant. Police said the two men who were shot were members of PSG’s far-right fan base that has a notorious violent and racist history. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said some PSG fans shouted ‘Death to the Jew’ as they attacked the Hapoel fan, whom officials said was French. The police officer first responded with tear gas, but was knocked to the ground by a blow to the head and kick to the stomach, Sarkozy said. He then drew his gun and opened fire… Paris prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin said the PSG supporters had made Nazi salutes and shouted, ‘Le Pen, president,’ a reference to Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the extreme-right National Front party.The National Front later accused the prosecutor of ‘complicity in defamation’ and warned the party would sue anyone who links it with the events.

Here is how Agence France Presse reported it:

Five fans were in police custody Friday morning and face possible charges for ‘racist and anti-Semitic insults’, police said. ‘Four young people presumably from the Jewish community were rounded on by a group of supporters of PSG. They decided to separate, and one of them Yanniv Hazout was chased by attackers … The mob grew to some 100 people,’ said state prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin… A hard core of PSG supporters — dubbed the Boulogne Kop — is known for its far-right allegiance, and several have been banned from the club’s matches.

And now here is how the BBC reported it:

A French football fan has been shot dead by a plain-clothed police officer after a European football match. The officer reportedly fired tear gas, then live ammunition in an effort to disperse a fighting crowd near Paris’ Parc des Princes football stadium. The group of 150 Paris Saint Germain supporters were surrounding a fan of the Israeli team Hapoel Tel Aviv, who had beaten PSG 4-2 in the Uefa Cup. An investigation has been launched into the shooting, police said.

Paris Saint Germain fans have a reputation for violent incidents, with the club disciplined over their behaviour several times in the past. The skirmish broke out by the Parc des Princes in the aftermath of PSG’s defeat. The police officer, who has not been identified, threw tear gas to break up a group of Paris fans surrounding the Israeli.

The officer was then chased towards a McDonald’s restaurant nearby, holding the crowd at bay with his firearm before firing at least two shots, reports said. Police union official Luc Poignant told the AFP news agency that the officer ‘had no choice but to defend himself and protect another person’. There was an atmosphere of high tension among Paris fans immediately after the game, which continued a poor run of form for the team. AFP quoted witnesses describing a climate of ‘extreme confusion’ in the streets. Police reinforcements were sent to the area in an effort to calm the violence in the moments after the Paris fan was shot.

The BBC has excised all references to the anti-black and antisemitic nature of the attack, all references to the far right and all references to the racist pedigree of the PSG fans. Wrongly identifying the Hapoel supporter as an Israeli rather than a French Jew, it gives the impression this was merely a fight between rival supporters of two nations’ football teams.


Update from Melanie's blog:

Yesterday, I drew attention in this Diary to the fact that BBC News Online managed to report a vicious anti-black and antisemitic attack in Paris after a France/Israel football match without making any reference whatever to the racist and antisemitic nature of the attack, despite many such details having been reported by various news agencies. Subsequently, the BBC has updated its report with a new version, which contains the racist and antisemitic details it previously omitted. Whether it was shamed into doing so by my post is not known; it may simply have been forced to respond to President Chirac’s comments.


Askinstoo said...
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William said...

YUP, SHE DOES HAVE A POINT this time. The BBC needs to get its act together. It's a shame though that - despite having promised to attend an NCF event when invited face to face a while back - when we actually invited Melanie - repeatedly - to attend the St Brides' conference on racism and xenophobia - she didn't even reply.