Broken Promise

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.

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31 Responses to Broken Promise

  1. edward bowman says:

    This stuff is exactly like nazi propaganda, It crude and potentially violent and very sick. The small Jewish community in this country has little future in this country if a major institution like the BBC permits this stuff to be broadcast. The BBC  needs help from Chris Patten?

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  2. john in cheshire says:

    I decided not to watch any of it, and judging from what is said above, it was the correct decision. channel 4 – bastard child of the bbc.

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  3. Natsman says:

    Listening to Radio 2 earlier, where Steve Wright and his sidekick were saying how wonderful were the likes of Jeremy Bowen, John Simpson, et al, and how consistently unbiased their reporting was…

    Is there another Jeremy Bowen, about which I know nothing?

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    • Guest Who says:

      Listening to Radio 2 earlier, where Steve Wright and his sidekick were saying how wonderful were the likes of Jeremy Bowen…’

      Has some kind of memo gone out?

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2011/feb/26/dailytelegraph-libya

      From the Graun’s hypocritically ‘obsessed with some media negatively, and one positively’, media ‘gossip’. 

      Liked this comment by a poster: 

      The ‘excellent’ Jeremy Bowen may be exactly that, …. but I think you ought to be a little more discerning.

      As opposed to a delusional suck-up?

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  4. Charlie says:

    (Consulting experts like Jenny Tonge.)   My God! the woman’s a raving lunatic. 

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    • deegee says:

      Did Kosminsky really say he consulted Jenny Tonge? I don’t have the stomach to go through the interview top check.

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      • sue says:

        No. That’s just my exaggeration, (which isn’t so much of an exaggeration as it happens)
        What he did say, your stomach permitting, was:

        “Since starting on this programme in earnest, eight years ago, I have read several hundred interviews, forty books, as well as literally thousands of notes and documents held at the various libraries and museums that protect this particular part of our national heritage.”

         “We carried out an extensive research process for the modern-day story, both within Israel and outside. In this I was helped extensively by Israeli colleagues who generously gave their time and contacts to ensure that we could present a rounded picture. “

        “We also drew heavily on testimony from two sources – Combatants for Peace, (a local organisation dedicated to bringing former combatants from both sides together in the quest for peace), and Breaking the Silence, (a group of IDF soldiers who served primarily in Hebron and have spoken very powerfully and honestly about what they witnessed there). Both these sources are readily publicly available via the Web.”

        “We also drew on homegrown Israeli documentaries about the current situation and on films made by outside documentarists, particularly in Hebron. “

        “We did a great deal of research and had a good deal of help from Palestinians in constructing what we show, based upon documented research. “

        “Yes, Combatants For Peace really exists and its founders were very helpful in our research and preparation. The remarks made by Paul and Omar are closely based on recordings made at sim,ila”

        And the suggestions for further reading are here.

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        • hippiepooter says:

          So there was no mention of Jenny Tonge?  Sue, there is a difference between para-phrasing and falsifying.  The latter undermines the credibility of this site.

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          • uncle joe mccarthy says:

            please reread the column…this is what it says

            “consulting experts from the Jenny Tonge school of thought”

            doesnt say that he spoke directly to jenny tonge

            btw….most of the members of bts never served in hebron

            the founder of the group never directly served in any of the so-called occupied territories…he flew a chopper

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            • sue says:

              Uncle,
              I originally wrote ‘experts like Jenny Tonge’ never thinking it would be taken down and used as evidence against me in a court of law. As you can see below, I adjusted it to suit the  – I was going to say literal-police – but I’d better not ;)

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              • uncle joe mccarthy says:

                sue,

                as kominsky as of yet has only identified two groups which he has consulted (both made up of far left suicidal nutters), i believe you have every right to make any assertion that you wish

                i know for a fact, that even without him saying so, those supposed documentaries that he consulted are in fact, youtube videos posted by the ism and b’tselem

                and i would love for one of the apologists to attack me on that assertion…as i will happily post the links to the exact videos he used

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          • sue says:

            Kosminski admits his reference material was from ‘Palestinian sources’ the Guardian, the BBC and the extreme Israeli left.  Not very far from Jenny Tonge, in fact. I often use ‘shorthand’ vocabulary to make a point.  To clarify I’ll amend the wording to  ‘experts from the Jenny Tonge school of thought.’ In fact I’ve already done so.

            There was no mention of the old lady from ‘Allo ‘Allo, Rachel Corrie, disembowelling, pat-a-cake pat-a-cake Baker’s man, or patchwork either. Should I un-falsify them too, so as not to undermine the whole site?
            Trust you to accuse me of falsification and discrediting the site.

            To tell you the truth, I thought the film was overrated, derivative, mendacious, and towards the end it tailed off into farce. The writing style I used,  including exaggeration and shorthand, deliberately echoed the flippancy in the film. I’m afraid I am incapable of providing the succinct style you admire.

            Have you watched the film?

            Charlie, sorry about your evening viewing, but surely the film would ruin it without any intervention from me.

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            • hippiepooter says:

              Ah Sue, you take criticism so well.

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              • sue says:

                Hippiepooter,
                let’s clear this up.  Jenny Tonge is well-known for outbursts of hostility towards Israel. For that reason I used her name to symbolise the type of expert opinion that informed Peter Kosminsky and his researchers.
                I did not literally say he used her, I said he used ‘experts like Jenny Tonge’ but as soon as I realised it was being taken literally I amended it to ‘the Jenny Tonge school of thought.’

                I used Dr. Tonge as a symbolic figure because Kosminsky had spent eight years researching the film, yet still hadn’t come across the Israeli perspective.

                How could one spend so much time to achieve so little I asked myself. Surely it could not have been merely to make a glossy polemic which echoed mainstream antisemitic propaganda and pick up a few baftas and oscars for himself into the bargain?

                No, I thought, this man is sincere. A true artist. Jenny Tonge’s  tentacles must have had something to do with it. She must have got her grips on him, in fact she’s probably got a certain grip on the whole film crew.

                I asked if you had seen the film by the way. If so you might have expended some energy on addressing that, and less on criticising me.
                The officious tone of your comment was unnecessary.

                Now let’s see how you take criticism.

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                • hippiepooter says:

                  Sue, you really do need to try to be less shirty.  Charlie and deegee above read what you originally put the same way I did and I’m sure anyone would have done.  Any neutral observer who had seen the piece would in all probability have viewed you as falsifying the facts and that clearly undermines the credibility of this site.

                  Your stroppiness at having this pointed out to you undermines your own credibility.

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        • uncle joe mccarthy says:

          may i paraphrase?

          kominsky: i spent alot of time on youtube watching vids made by the ism and btselem

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  5. Charlie says:

    I recorded “The Promise” to view tonight. Sue has now ruined my evening viewing.

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  6. Grant says:

    OT  , but , in the absence of a new general thread, I love the headline on the BBC website:-

    ” BA man guilty of terror charges ”  !

    And here was silly old me thinking it was the Buddhists who were the terror threat.   Now, courtesy of the BBC, I learn that it is British Airways.

    This poor boy doesn’t know which way to turn !

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    • Guest Who says:

      Maybe we need a site page, like that one for causes of global warming, to cover the multifarious circumlutions the BBC goes through not to, as such, state the simple facts.

      So far, for ‘men who stray’ in a terroristic manner, I recall recently:

      Newcastle man
      Plumber

      … to which I can now add:

      BA man

      Though, as indicated elsewhere, if from other faiths (especially one), perps’ religious affiliations seem to be almost mandatory to include, as in ‘Christian couple…’

      One could concede that their beliefs are germane to the story, however hard to link the practices of Geordieism, Builderscrackism or Strikingtraveladdictism with suicide bombing, etc.

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  7. dave s says:

    The film attempted to deligitimise Israel. No ifs or buts about it. But this is what the ” progressive” dominant elite wants . Not because it is a moral or sane policy but because their lives are ruled by unreason and an emotional need for a cause.
    Do they seriously think that the Jews of Israel are just going to shrug their shoulders, pack their bags and just vanish? Probably they do.
    After all they have ” European ” values just like them and will just accept they are in the wrong and have always been in the wrong.
    A film like the “Promise” is dangerous. It helps to embolden the Arab states to try an attack on Israel by creating a climate that is unreal.
    Wars are often the result of unrealistic expectations and an over confidence on the part of one side. The Promise can only serve to bolster that over confidence that invariably leads to a disastrous defeat.

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    • hippiepooter says:

      Dave S: “Do they seriously think that the Jews of Israel are just going to shrug their shoulders, pack their bags and just vanish? Probably they do”.  I think they dont care what the consequences of buttressing anti-Semitic hate will be.  Some of them (many of them?) I’m sure are wetting their pants with excitement at the thought of a wholesale massacre of Jews in Israel and then a ‘wave effect’ to catch up with Jews elsewhere.  The ultimate power-trip in these sad, degenerate minds.

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  8. David Preiser (USA) says:

    I don’t want to see this out of concern for my blood pressure, so I have to ask:  do they mention what’s been happening to the Jews of Malmö or the Netherlands?

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    • uncle joe mccarthy says:

      the entire drama takes place in british mandate palestine and israel circa 2005….so the answer is no

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  9. uncle joe mccarthy says:

    i wish a real journalist would deem to interview mr kominsky regarding the show.

    i was pretty surprised that kominsky finally came out with exactly what his research entailed, as for close to a year now, he and his production company were extremely vague (except to note that he had interviewed those brit soldiers who were a part of the occupation, post ww2)

    no matter his protestations to the contrary, kominsky never set out to make a balanced piece…he set out to make a piece of propaganda.

    i would liken this to a film maker who decided to rewrite the history of vietnam, in order to portray the united states in a much more favorable light.

    i usually have no problem with a movie or drama taking dramatic license with historical facts, as that is usually done to either make the program flow better, or to improve the story.

    however, in this case, it was used to demonize the jewish people, while turning the brit occupation into something benign, and turning the arabs into a saintly people who would never have caused jews harm, were it not for the rich, white, semi jewish people who colonized their land.

    the sad thing is….this program will most likely sweep next year’s baftas….and im wondering…will chris hitchens (if he is still alive) excoriate this drama, as he has most eloquently done with the kings speech? i highly doubt it.

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  10. sue says:

    Peter Kosminsky does some more explaining in the Telegraph.

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    • dave s says:

      I read the piece. What can you say? Simply distorted history to suit his deligitmisation of Israel.

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    • hippiepooter says:

      “It’s a common misconception that the conflict between Jew and Arab in the region has its roots in Biblical times. Our research suggests that the two communities lived in relative harmony until the 1930s, intermarrying and speaking the local vernacular – Arabic. The burgeoning of Zionism as a concept coincided with the attempted extermination of Ashkenazi Jews in Central and Eastern Europe.”  
       
      How suprising that it transpires his ‘research’ included amongst various anti-Semitic sources the self-hating Israeli Marxist Left.  Certainly the way Kosminsky refers to the Holocaust in the above is most peculiar.  I’ve hardly ever heard anyone say they think the Arab/Jewish conflict in the region dates back 2,000 years. 
       
      Somehow Mr Kosminsky omits to mention that the terrorism of the Irgun (and Stern Gang) was condemned by the mainstream Hagannah, that after independence formed the Israeli Defence Force.  
       
      Somehow he fails to mention the history of Arab pogroms against the Jews in Palestine prior to the 30’s, whipped up by demagogue’s due to the well known national aspirations of the Jews since the formation of the Zionist movement in 1898 and the Balfour Declaration in 1917.  Pogroms such as occurred in widespread anti-Jewish rioting by Arabs in Palestine in 1920 and the pogrom that drove the 2,000 year old Jewish presence in Hebron in 1929 (h/p Louis Theroux’ recent documentary).  All under the nose of we British.  
       
      Unfortunately Mr Kosminsky’s drama is not available on youtube outside of the UK, no doubt it will be in due course.  Hitler groupies throughout the world will no doubt be lapping it up when it is.

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  11. hippiepooter says:

    An interview with Peter Kosminsky in The Independent on ‘Britz’.

    “People will say I have made a recruiting film for al-Qa’ida”

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  12. Roger says:

    Watched all 4 miserable episodes and learnt that all Jews are comic book monsters/coldly emotionally retarded. Even the peaceniks will, when the crunch comes, pick up a gun and fight, never mind that they have said they would never again. Is this because like the scorpion hitching a ride across the river it is in their DNA and they can’t help it? The scene where Len and his two friends are ambushed and shot by two dastardly Jewish terrorist  and in the surrounding cafes the Jewish patrons continue to greedily eat cream cakes and drink, what can only be, the ‘blood of Palestinian children’.

    I thought that the juxtaposition of the bombing of The King David Hotel by Irgun and the suicide bombing of the Cafe/Bar was just so finely balanced in its depiction. I particularly thought that the way the camera lingered over the body of woman victim being extracted from the rubble of the King David was exquisitely matched by no similar close up depiction of the body parts left behind by the suicide bomber, but one of that poor lost soul, Len’s grand- daughter, with her ever so slight scare in that place her brain was supposedly lodged.

    Every Israeli lived in a Hollywood palace. Every Palestinian lived in a hovel and still the Jews wanted to tear their homes down.

     Every Palestinian was an absolutely innocent kindly angel suffering at the hands of these alien monsters. The depiction of the home of the suicide bombers family in Gaza so realistic and accurate it took my breath away. This family that had given up a daughter to the cause had no anti – Jewish images anywhere in their home. The younger sister who braided the hair of her sister, the bomber, had a room of pink cuddly toys and pink walls, just like any child being brought up by Katie Price, as a brain dead idiot. No, not here any hint that you might have to fill a child with hate and vengeance for the child to want to go out and commit such an act. Or is that they are coerced?

    Alas Mr. Kosmisky such breath taking moral complexity I have not seen since as a child I watched cowboy films where the bad guys were dressed in black and the good guys were all Palestinian.

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    • sue says:

      Roger, the cinematographic trickery you point to are Kosminsky’s tools of the trade, which you and I saw  as clunking and clumsy. But the Eastenders intellect is ill-equipped to realise when they’ve been had.
      Middleastenders, someone, somewhere said.

      Not only was the Palestinian girl exactly like a child of Katie Price, (or should that be the more apt “Jordan?” :) ) all the Palestinian characters  behaved like inhabitants of home counties suburbia.
      I was hoping that the farcical coincidences in the final episode would  show how ludicrous the plot was, but the Tweeters and commenters didn’t get it at all.
      Their responses could be put into two categories.
       Adoring born-again antisemites, (Thank you for showing us the way the truth and the life)
      And the rest i.e. frantic attempts to point out all  the historical errors and omissions.
      Did Kosminsky get the message?
      No he certainly did not. All he’ll probably get is a Bafta.

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  13. sue says:

    Paul’s parting words to Erin were something like ”Come back to Israel soon, Erin, there’s work to do.” It begs a sequel.

    I bring you “ Promise Two”

    Back in the UK Erin joins the peace movement which organises a flotilla.  Also on board are a gang of ultra left wing “Israelis for Gaza” but one is caught smuggling weapons, whereupon he is kneecapped, tarred and feathered.

    Erin falls for one of the activists who looks a bit like Omar, but when the IDF attacks the good ship SS Mohammed Al Dura, he is so stressed that he has an epileptic fit during which Erin finds a giant key in his pocket and she realises he is the grandson of the lovely old Arab old lady and her own dead grandfather.

    The most aggressive of all the violent IDF soldiers turns out to be Erin’s best friend who spares Erin out of loyalty, but shoots the unarmed activists in the back of the head, sparing only the most ultra left wing ‘Israeli for Gaza’ who is so stressed that he has an epileptic fit and Erin suddenly realises that he is the grandson of her own old dead grandfather and the evil Jewess Clara. With tears in her eyes she realises that there is at least one well-meaning Jew in the world.

    The final scene. They land in Gaza and liberate all the starving Gazan children from behind barbed wire in a subtle cinematographic parallel with the liberation of Bergen Belsen. (They could re-use the footage.)

    They dole out sweets, medicines and wheelchairs. A tiny Palestinian child  hands Erin an album in which is a crumpled faded photograph of her Grandad posing with Mohammed in 1948 before the Jews stole his house.

    Some of the children have epileptic fits.

    (Kosminsky could leave out the fits if he thinks it would be a bit much.)

    Of course they would have to spread this out over four episodes so there could be a sub-plot which they could cunningly intertwine, I suggest something to do with op cast lead and the body count.  

    I’ve been preparing this for eight to ten whole minutes and have tried to include both sides  (activism and epilepsy) of the story sympathetically.
    I’m posting this on the end of a defunct thread because I can’t think of a better place for it.

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