On Tuesday evening, Anjana Gadgil, a BBC anchor, drew upon language that evokes blood libels during an interview with former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces “are happy to kill children,” she said at one point.
On Wednesday, the BBC issued a statement in response to a complaint, which it summarized as being related “to specific interview questions about the deaths of young people in the Jenin refugee camp.”
“Across the BBC’s platforms—including the BBC News channel—these events have been covered in an impartial and robust way. The United Nations raised the issue of the impact of the operation in Jenin on children and young people,” the BBC responded.
“While this was a legitimate subject to examine in the interview, we apologize that the language used in this line of questioning was not phrased well and was inappropriate,” it added.
Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, tweeted that she is pleased that the BBC apologized “for the clearly unacceptable language which was used in their interview with Naftali Bennett.”
“Having written to the director general on this matter today, I appreciate the corporation’s speedy response,” she added.
Bennett tweeted a story about the apology in the Jewish Chronicle, adding: “We are not quiet about the State of Israel’s honor.”