ITV News aired an interview with a British Palestinian woman about Islamophobia in Britain, just days after she appeared on Iranian state television to describe the killing of Jews as a “homecoming” and described Hamas’ terror attacks as a “moment of triumph.”
The Board of Deputies of British Jews criticized ITV for “staggering failures of due diligence” for giving a platform to Latifa Abouchakra, who has been accused of being a pro-Tehran propagandist.
Ms Abouchakra, a reporter for Iranian state news channel Press TV, was interviewed about her experiences of Islamophobia in England.
During the broadcast, Ms Abouchakra, who was described as a “British Palestinian living in London”, said she had been called “a terrorist” by strangers on the street.
But critics are calling on ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn Julia McCall to “publicly apologize” for “giving airtime to a literal propagandist of the Iranian regime”.
Latifa Abouchakra, a reporter for Iranian state news channel Press TV, was interviewed on ITV News about her experiences of Islamophobia in England
Last week, following the terrorist attacks in Israel that left 1,400 people dead and hundreds taken hostage, Ms. Abouchakra released a report in which she described the attack as a “homecoming” of “Palestinian resistance groups.”
She also referred to the hostages, including around 20 children, as “prisoners of war”.
In a video shared on her Instagram shortly after the October 7 terror attacks, a smiling Ms Abouchakra said: “Nothing will ever be able to undo this moment.”
“This moment of triumph, this moment of resistance, this moment of surprise.” This moment of humiliation in the name of the Zionist entity. Nothing ever.’
A letter signed by Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: “ITV’s decision to invite Ms Abouchakra.” […] of millions of British Muslims was an astonishingly poor one.
“As a 20-second internet search could have informed your station’s researchers, Ms. Abouchakra is a reporter for Palestine Declassified, a show on Press TV, the Iranian regime’s state broadcaster.”
“This was a catastrophic breach of your station’s journalistic standards.”
“I sincerely hope that your station publicly apologizes for this extremely incompetent decision.”
An ITV spokesman said: “ITV News London has broadcast a report on the increase in hate crimes following recent events in the Middle East.”
“We are investigating concerns raised following the transfer regarding a contributor.”
The row came after Channel 4 was criticized for giving a platform to a grinning Hamas official who said reports of beheadings and the burning of children were Israeli lies and denied it had taken any hostages.
During the broadcast, Ms Abouchakra, who was described as a “British Palestinian living in London”, said she had been called “a terrorist” by strangers on the street
Critics accused the station of “irresponsible journalism” by letting a spokesman for the terrorist group “spread lies” and denying the massacre of civilians on October 7th.
Hamas Politburo member Osama Hamdan was seen grinning as Channel 4 News host Matt Frei challenged him over the “horrendous massacre” of Israelis, including reports of “beheadings” and “burning of children” by the militants the group.
The terror group’s spokesman responded that Israel was “lying,” adding: “This is a big lie invented by them. “They built this country on the blood of Palestinians.”
When asked later in the interview about the abduction of “innocent civilians” and their transfer to Gaza, the Lebanon-based spokesman denied that there were any hostages, despite ample evidence to the contrary.
Hamdan said: “There are no hostages.” There are prisoners of war and foreigners.”
In the interview, the spokesman also stressed that Israel was responsible for an explosion at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital that Palestinian health authorities said killed 500 people.
‘She [Israel] They are lying and they must admit that they committed this crime and they must be referred to the war crimes court,” he said.
During the broadcast, Mr. Frei, who has lived in Israel since the conflict began, asked Hamdan about the horrific actions of Hamas militants as they massacred their way through southern parts of Israel.
Channel 4 was criticized after presenter Matt Frei (left) questioned Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan (right) about the October 7 attacks
Mr. Frei challenged the Hamas spokesman and said, “Do you regret the slaughter of Israeli civilians?” Because many people I have spoken to here believe that what you did on October 7th was your cause, the Palestinian cause Thing has been set back by decades.”
A Channel 4 News spokesman said: “Since the beginning of this conflict, Channel 4 News has been reporting on the unfolding crisis based on the principles of independence, due impartiality and accuracy.”
“Given the different narratives that emerged around the attack on Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, a senior spokesman for Hamas’ political wing was interviewed last night and harshly criticized as part of the program’s independent and impartial reporting.”
Meanwhile, the BBC continues to face criticism for refusing to label Hamas as terrorists.
The BBC described Hamas as a “militant” group despite being banned as a terrorist organization in the UK, and described the killing of hundreds of innocent civilians as a “militant” attack.
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On Saturday, the broadcaster’s former television executive Danny Cohen warned that the BBC’s “failures” in reporting were having “dangerous, real consequences.”
His comments came days after a BBC Middle East correspondent speculated that a bombing at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City was most likely caused by an Israeli airstrike, saying: “It’s hard to see what that else could be.”
Israel has firmly denied responsibility for the explosion, as has Hamas. Officials around the world are trying to determine the cause of the explosion that killed hundreds of people.
While the BBC never said its report was about an Israeli airstrike, it did have “false speculation.”
Mr Cohen said the coverage of the horrific explosion that shocked the world showed a “bias and deep-rooted prejudice” within the company.