BBC Arabic is refusing to list Israeli-Arab Iyad Shalabi as this year’s first Arab gold medalist at the Paralympics.
Shalabi, 34, won gold in the 100-meter backstroke in the S1 division in a time of 2 minutes, 28 seconds, becoming the first Israeli-Arab to win a medal in either the Paralympics or the Olympics.
However, the Arab language news service reported as if his win did not occur, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
Instead, BBC Arabic reported that Jordanian weightlifter Omar Qaradah was the “the first Arab with special needs to win a gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.” But Qaradah’s medal came the day after Shalabi’s win.
The omission was repeated in a BBC Arabic article titled “The most distinguished Arabs who grabbed the spotlight at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo,” in which Shalabi was not mentioned.
BBC Arabic’s claim about Qaradah was repeated on the BBC’s Tokyo Roundup, with the Jordanian listed as the “first Arab” to win a medal at the Tokyo Paralympics.
It was again mentioned twice on BBC Arabic’s Trending show and on it Youtube channel.
After CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis) issued a complaint to the BBC, they changed their Paralympics coverage to designate Quadarah as the “first delegate of an Arab country” rather than “first Arab,” but still did not acknowledge Shalabi’s achievement.