Israel buries its Beeb grievance

The Israeli Government has restored its co-operation with the BBC following its withdrawal in July after an edition of BBC Two current affairs programme Correspondent, writes Wale Azeez.

The Israeli Government barred the BBC from briefings and refused to field spokespeople for its stories, after it took offence at the programme, which looked at Israel’s biological and nuclear weapon capability.

Israel accused the BBC of “bordering on being anti-Semitic” after the show aired on BBC World.

It is understood that Mark Byford, director of BBC World Service and global news, met Israeli foreign ministry officials to resolve differences.

BBC Jerusalem bureau chief Andrew Steele said he was pleased normal relations had resumed, and that it would now be “business as usual” for the team.

The BBC has appointed former Nine O’Clock News editor Malcolm Balen as its first Middle East consultant on news. It is also looking for a Middle East correspondent, based in Israel.

Orla Guerin has been Middle East correspondent since 2001.

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