The BBC Trust has decided that Dan Snow breached its Editorial Guidelines on accuracy when he implied that Israel had started the Six Day War in a film called ‘History of Syria,’ the BBC reported Thursday.
A complainant initially complained to the BBC that Snow’s statement that ‘In 1967, Assad was Minister of Defense when Israel launched a series of strikes against Egypt, Jordan and Syria…’ “vilified” Israel.
The BBC rejected this complaint, saying that the show did not imply Israel was the aggressor, only that it launched the attacks.
However, the BBC Trust found that “more context was required” in the BBC Two documentary.
The Trust said it was clear that the program’s focus was Syria and the history which lies behind the present conflict.
It noted an earlier defense by the show’s executive producer in which he said: “The ‘offending’ line – about Israel launching a series of airstrikes in 1967 – is not inaccurate.”
“It is bald, admittedly, but given the Syrian context of the film, I don’t think it is reasonable to think that we should have created the space to place the line within a broader Israeli context.
“The focus was Syria… to have spent more time on the background/context from an Israeli perspective would I think have been distracting or, worse still, confusing.”
The Trust determined, however, that the events of the Six-Day War were of such significance in the history and politics of the Middle East, that, “despite the brevity of the reference, more context was required.”