After watching the first two episodes of “The Promise” on Channel Four, I was sure Peter Kosminsky’s advertising-savvy, cinematographic trickery would whip the audience into a passionate frenzy of Israel bashing ferocity in no time. A few prematurely written rave reviews from predictable sources reinforced this probability.
However, halfway through the third episode confusion set in, and last night’s finale degenerated into farce, with what looked like a guest appearance from the bedridden old lady out of “’Allo ‘Allo,”(Will nobody ‘ear the cries of a poor old woman?) along with a risible Rachel Corrie moment as Erin bravely faces a Caterpillar as it demolishes an already blown-up house. “Oh no!” I thought, “she’s going to be martyred!” But no luck.
Left-wing Paul’s pensive soliloquy, something like: “We can do anything we like to the Palestinians; beat them, rape them, pat them and prick them and mark them with B; disembowel them, blow their houses down – and we Israelis just carry on swaggering, like the dirty European Jewish interlopers on Muslim lands that we really are” – evidently reflecting the director’s personal politics. I assume Paul’s ominous “Come back soon Erin, there’s work to do” has further significance. A sequel perhaps?
As if all that wasn’t enough, consider the interactive Q&A debriefing with the great man himself. Winsome looking Kosminsky reveals that he and six others spent eight years talking to Combatants for Peace and Breaking the Silence, consulting experts from the Jenny Tonge school of thought, reading the Guardian and watching the BBC so that his film could give a true picture.
An interactive participant called Leia, possibly some sort of comedienne, asks insightfully: “Do you expect a backlash from the Jewish community?”
There was I, thinking his wistful expression was due to stress from being on constant lookout for a targeted assassination by terrorists from the Jewish community. But no. Kosminsky was philosophical. I paraphrase. “Unfortunately we’re not allowed to criticise Israel without being accused of antisemitism.”
After the Tweets on the Twitter thread, further indications of imbecility amongst Kosminski’s fans crop up in questions such as: “What is ‘The Promise’ in the series?”
Instead of answering “The gigantic key, you moron!” Peter writes: “Hi Aisha. Thank you for your question. It has many levels, including I Promise to provide you illiterate cretins with a focus for all your pent-up frustration. Go forth and vent your spleens!! ….. promised land, Jews, nakba, catastrophe, etc etc.” (My paraphrasing again.)
‘Iman’, wonders if Kosminsky found it hard to put aside his preconceptions. “What a great question Iman!” No, Iman, it wasn’t hard to put them all aside because I didn’t have any in the first place.”
“Hi Peter, I’m Jewish and I thought it was one-sided.” Says Lucy from London.
“Hi Lucy. You would say that wouldn’t you. But it wasn’t, so there.” (I paraphrase.)
“What is your favourite bit?” asks someone else. “Gosh, so hard to choose – a Palestinian woman tries to prevent the IDF using her child as a human shield.”
What is he talking about now? He’s cherry-picked an incident where two IDF soldiers were convicted by an Israeli military court, and turned human shield-dom on its head. In fact the entire charade was made from a crudely tacked-together patchwork of things turned on their heads.
So we wait, with bated breath, for Mark Thompson to confront us with “The Other.”
If anyone doubts that the programme was an incitement, or to use the popular term a “recruiting sergeant” for antisemitism, they should simply read the warm review in the Palestine Telegraph. A resounding thumbs-up from “Journalist” Sameh A. Habeeb, with one small reservation.
Like the BBC, it was still too biased in favour of the illegitimate rogue Zionist entity.