“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Please pray for our new campaign tackling anti-Israel bias at the BBC, which will be our biggest offensive on the bias in UK media to date.
One thing many in the country may not be aware of is the Christian foundation upon which the BBC was founded.
When the corporation was founded, it was “dedicated to Almighty God” with the founders praying that “all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished” from the corporation.
The BBC’s broadcasting house in central London was opened in 1932. Above the central archway in the entrance lobby was a large Latin inscription of the broadcaster’s values statement. It read the following:
This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting in the year 1931, Sir John Reith being Director-General. It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness.
This inscription, which has references to Philippians 4:8, remains in the same place today as it did in 1932, surviving the 2010 refurbishment.
It shows the strong sense of Biblical values held by the founders and belief that the corporation should be a force for good, for uprightness and honesty. It is said Sir John approved of the sentiment, but wasn’t sure if the BBC could live up to it. He was sadly right. The BBC has failed in its standards of reporting honestly and accurately in regards to the truth concerning Israel.
But it is a mission statement that is as necessary and relevant as ever. If the BBC is to become a reliable and honest source of information on Israel, it must reform and get back to its vision. Furthermore, there is much hostility towards the truth that must be “banished” from the “house”.
This is why CUFI’s campaign launched on Friday, partnering with the IBA, aims to tackle the appalling bias against Israel that has been evidenced for too long.
Funded by the British public, the BBC is not living up to its founding principles in its coverage of Israel. Its unbalanced reporting is leading people to the wrong conclusions about what is happening in the Middle East. The BBC is failing, deliberately in our opinion, to “inform and educate”, leading many people to the wrong conclusion about the threat Israel faces and how it responds. Furthermore its biased reporting is fuelling antisemitic discourse in the UK.
Not only is the BBC misleading its worldwide audience, but it is breaching also its Royal Charter, which is supposed to “provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them”.
CUFI has chosen to focus this campaign on the BBC’s coverage of rocket bombardment into Israel from its southern borders. In the last two years the BBC has published only eight stories highlighting the security challenges that Israel faces from rocket attacks from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and ISIS. However, on only one occasion did the BBC lead its report with accurate order of events.
On seven occasions their reports led with the Israeli military response instead of the initial attack against Israel. Worse still, over that same period there were nineteen additional attacks on Israel that the BBC chose not to report on at all.
As Christians, it should concern us that an institution, which was founded upon Biblical principles, should be so influential shaping attitudes that are against Israel.
It is our prayer that the campaign will elevate this issue in Parliament and in the public sphere and that pressure will be placed upon the BBC Board. Please pray that it is effective and that ultimately our stand for the truth in British media will be a blessing to Israel and contribute to this nation’s outlook towards Israel.
For more information about the campaign and how to email your MP and the BBC using our customised email, please click here.
The following prayer points are to assist you as you pray. For the stories behind these prayer points, please view the CUFI Weekly News Round-up, by clicking here.
- Pray that the BBC will return to its Biblical foundations and seek to promote truth in an honest way.
- Pray for CUFI’s campaign against the anti-Israel bias at the BBC. Pray that as supporters of CUFI and its partners write to MPs, there will be an awakening to the important role the BBC has in presenting the truth about Israel.
- Pray that the BBC Board will incline its ear to the concerns expressed by the campaign.
- Continue to pray for Israel’s borders and for the protection of all those living in southern Israel amid a continuation of the violence by Gazan rioters.
- Pray for the situation in mainland Europe, especially as the situation of anti-Semitism in France remains a severe concern as well as intelligence reports in Germany this week highlighting the anti-Semitism relating to a rise in Islamic extremism in the country.
- Pray for Rabbi Sacks following the former chief rabbi’s decision to speak out regarding Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism in the Labour party. Despite the backlash against him, some anti-Semitic, pray that his voice will be heard
- Pray for those within the Labour Party who are speaking out against anti-Semitism. Continue to pray especially against the intimidation being faced by Jewish MPs in the party.
- Pray for the Jewish community in the UK. Many Jewish individuals have spoken out about their fears of living in Britain under a Corbyn leadership. Pray that Jews in this country will see a strong support from their Christian friends at this time.
- Praise the Lord for the almost 9,500 that have now signed CUFI’s Christians Against Antisemitism Declaration. Pray that many more Christians will sign and that it will be effective in its purpose.