Particularly since the unfortunate car explosion in which his Arab driver/stringer was killed a number of years ago at the hands of what Bowen once described in a subsequent interview with the London Daily Telegraph as "trigger-happy Israeli soldiers", Bowen's prejudice against Israel has been all too apparent.
The death of his Arab colleague in an explosion that took place berfore his eyes, shortly after he himself had left the vehicle, was an event that evidently traumatised Bowen, who has referred to the incident bitterly countless times since (as in this video).
In those circumstances, as soon as his emotional involvement became clear, the BBC should have transferred Bowen to some other part of the world.
But it did not, and to add salt to the wounds of aggrieved pro-Israel complainants it inexplicably went on to reward him, despite the banal nature of his "analysis" of regional politics and despite the fact that a complaint against him had been partially upheld, with the post of Middle East editor!
Hadar Sela of BBCWatch (who's certainly having her work cut out for her during the present crisis) has drawn attention here to the fact that Bowen "tries to persuade TV audiences that Hamas does not use human shields".
And now Bowen, in a further thumbing of his nose to the objectivity incumbent upon him and his employer by the terms of the BBC's Charter, has written in that uncompromisingly leftwing journal of opinion, the New Statesman:
"I saw Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, giving an interview to the BBC after Israel had killed more than 60 people in the Gaza district of Shejaiya. He said he regretted the civilian casualties in Gaza but they were the fault of Hamas. Netanyahu said Israel had warned people to get out. Some had taken the advice; others had been prevented from leaving by Hamas.
I was back in London for my son’s 11th birthday party by the time all those people were killed in Shejaiya. But my impression of Hamas is different from Netanyahu’s. I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields...."To quote Craig, of the IstheBBCbiased? blog:
'This comes despite Hamas publicly advocating the use of civilians as human shields (something Jeremy Bowen fails to acknowledge). The Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, was caught (by MEMRI) speaking on a local station recently, saying:
This attests to the character of our noble, jihad-loving people – who defend their rights and their homes with their bare chests and their blood.
The policy of people confronting the Israeli warplanes with their bare chests in order to protect their homes has proven effective against the occupation… we in Hamas call upon our people to adopt this policy in order to protect the Palestinian homes.
And yet Jeremy Bowen dismisses it all, even after UNRWA found Hamas rockets in two of its Gazan schools, and despite credible reports that some civilians are deliberating ignoring Israel's warnings and that groups of civilians have actually gathered at targeted buildings in order to serve as human shields [see Channel 4's FactCheck blog].
A week in Gaza, and yet Jeremy Bowen "saw no evidence...of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields".
Presumably, the blinkers he was wearing at the time didn't help.'And as Hadar Sela has observed (link above):
"BBC licence fee payers pay a lot of money in order to be informed of facts. Hamas’ use of human shields is one of many important facts audiences need to know about in order to be able to reach an understanding of this particular international issue as they are promised in the BBC’s constitutional document. It is bad enough that in over a week of reporting from the Gaza Strip, not one BBC journalist has explained the human shields issue properly to BBC audiences. It is beyond grave when the man in charge of Middle East reporting – not some junior journalist – not only fails to inform, but actively seeks to deny and refute the issue.
Bowen’s inaccurate and partial reports – which increasingly give the impression that he has self-conscripted to the Hamas media campaign – are coming in thick and fast. As long as the BBC continues to allow that, it breaches the public purpose remit which obliges it to “[b]uild a global understanding of international issues” and that is a problem which BBC management should not be allowed to ignore."