Front Row, BBC Radio 4, 22 February 2016: Finding by the Editorial Complaints Unit

Complaint
The programme included an interview with the Israeli writer A B Yehoshua during which the interviewer referred to a novel by Dorit Rabinyan as having been “banned” by the Israeli Minister of Culture. A listener complained that this was inaccurate, as the book had not been banned and the Minister of Culture had not been involved in the matter.

Outcome
A decision had been taken by the Pedagogic Secretariat of the Ministry of Education that the novel, “Border Life”, which deals with the relationship between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man, would not be included in the list of required reading for the equivalent of A-Levels. Although the decision and the reasons advanced for it have given rise to controversy, the book remains freely available in Israel, and it was misleading to refer to it as “banned”.
Upheld

Further action
The programme team will ensure that presenters are appropriately briefed on issues of political controversy which may be touched on in the course of particular interviews.

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