Solihull Sojourn

Bio has already linked to this article by Israelinurse, everyone’s favourite contributor to blogs Harry’s Place and CiFWatch. She describes appearing on The Big Questions, in the third and last topic on the show, antisemitism. The format of this programme is bound to lead to frustration all round, and true to form, this one ended just at the point when they were getting down to some delicate nitty gritty.
Israelinurse’s original post might be a tad too long for the sensitivities of this site, but here are some of the juicy bits.

“[I]in my initial telephone conversation with the programme’s assistant producer I raised the subject of the BBC’s suppression of the publication of the Balen Report at an estimated cost of some £200,000 so far to the license-fee paying British public. Despite this, they decided that they wanted me on the show. Then, a couple of days before the journey to Birmingham, I received a further phone call instructing me that I must not mention The Guardian on air. My protests that this rather Fawlty Towers-style ‘don’t-mention-the-war’ restriction was absurd were met with the explanation that as no representative of The Guardian would be present at the time of broadcast, and therefore that organisation would not have the right of reply, there was a danger of legal action being taken against the BBC which they were keen to avoid.

I decided that there was in fact no need to mention the ‘G’ word, and so decided to go ahead despite the gag-order.

Upon arriving at the broadcast venue early on the Sunday morning, I considered it prudent to check with the assistant producer exactly under which ‘tag’ (the potted description under one’s name when one appears on screen) I would be appearing. Yet another moment worthy of the Fawlty Towers script writers ensued when I was informed that they did not wish to define me as being connected to CiF Watch as “the public will not know what that is”. So much for the media’s duty to inform; apparently if the public doesn’t know, the BBC isn’t going to tell them!

Having already sacrificed my weekend, there was nothing to be done at this point but just get on with it. Imagine then my joy, dear reader, when I discovered that the ‘expert contributors’ on the opposite side of the debate were none other than Haim Bresheeth and our old friend Tony Greenstein – the latter complete with a ‘Boycott Israeli Goods’ lapel badge the size of a jam jar lid, which fortunately did not make it into the studio. Interestingly, at some point during the programme, both of the above had their ‘tag’ written as ‘Vilified by Zionists’. Now that you really could not make up!

One does have to ask oneself if a TV programme such as this can in fact make any worthwhile contribution to highlighting the worrying trend of rising antisemitism in Britain. Personally, I very much doubt it. The claim made by the show’s host Nicky Campbell whilst we were in the ‘Green Room’ before the broadcast that the Balen Report is merely a ‘journalistic’ issue serves only to strengthen my view that the ‘group-think’ within the media industry is so well rooted that business – in all senses of the word – will continue as usual until some brave and pioneering producer will stand up and question the commonly held premises which currently prevent the media from tackling the real truths behind the increase in antisemitism in Britain and many other countries.

As long as broadcasters are afraid of legal actions on the part of other media organisations and more concerned about gaining PC credibility by ‘giving a balanced view’ than doing any real analysis …… I’m not holding my breath.

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23 Responses to Solihull Sojourn

  1. Fat Face Penguin Seal says:

    Dearest Sue,

    I applaud your campaign (obsession?) with combatting anti-semitism, but I do feel you are going about it the  wrong way. Maybe your time would be better spent looking at why two groups in partciluar (extremist Muslims, white skinhead neo nazi types) still peddle anti-Jewish racism. Maybe a decent analysis of this would be more productive than you current technique. Both the far right and the radical Muslim crowds hate Jews – maybe better education would help solve this? Just a thought – its easy to snipe and criticise as you do, try doing something more positive for the cause.

    On another, though related, point – maybe you could also look at other minority groups/religions that are persecuted; for it is not only Israel/Jewish faith that gets this treatment. Many Muslims in this country and abroad are persecuted for their faith, and tarred by the ‘their all terrorists’ brush. Same for Christians in non-Christian countries. Convince me you’re an equal opportunity crusader for tolerance and belief sue – not just another bigmouth who complains about all kind of anti-semitic complaints yet ignores that bigotry when it occurs to other groups.

       0 likes

    • sue says:

      FFPS,
      Thank you for your unusual comment.
       
      Normally, objections to my postings challenge a) their tenuous link to BBC bias, or b) my rambling unfocused writing style.

      I am disappointed that you think I snipe, because that is exactly the accusation I often fire at others, and I dislike it intensely.
       
      I wonder how you think I could educate Muslims and far right skinheads? Surely the BBC is better equipped to do that than I, but sadly, far from educating them it foments any hatred and anger already present by providing biased and one-sided coverage. That is why I post on BBC, so in a convoluted way I’m campaigning for exactly what you suggest.

      If you are saying that rather than wasting my time tapping away at a keyboard I should be conducting a decent analysis of the antisemitism in Islam or Nazism, I’m afraid that is above my pay grade, but not to worry, many others have done it before and will no doubt do it again.

      I’m unable to do the convincing you have asked for, so we’ll just have to accept that I am another of your bigmouths who complain about all kinds of anti-Semitic complaints. I do hope that will be okay with you.

         0 likes

      • Fat Face Penguin Seal says:

        Well I suppose what I’m saying is this:

        You may think the BBC peddle anti-semitism (I don’t think that, but we’ll put that aside for now) and therefore you have chosen to target the beeb for this. I just feel that maybe your time would be better spent dealing the actual groups that are openly and vocally anti-semitic, as opposed to the BBC where any it is a more inferred type of anti-semitism you pick up on.

        I do take your point though, that the BBC could (and should) educate people better on these subjects. Sadly though the state broadcaster behaves like any other TV company and tends to prefer documentaries that are controversial, as opposed to informative and genuinely thought provoking.

        As to how you could educate these types; maybe through teaching tolerance and a respect for others…which again brings me back to my point that some people on this site are not especially tolerant of others themselves.

        My apologies for the word ‘snipe’ – as someone pointed out in another thread, my spelling/grammar/articulation is often poor as i am at work and typing as fast as i can. I believe the sentiment is far more important than any specific word or phrase.

           0 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Where are all the Beeboids worrying about a backlash against Jews every time Israel is accused of doing something wrong?  How many Mohammedans are actually persecuted in the UK for their religion?  I’m talking about actual persecution, not public comments critical of Islam or the behavior of some Muslims in the UK.  How many acts of violence have there actually been against Mohammmedans in the UK because of their religion (violence against Muslim women by Muslm men provoked by religious beliefs doesn’t count 😉 )?  How many Muslim houses of worship or community centers or graves have been vandalized versus Jewish ones?

      The BBC behaves as if it’s Mohammedans who are perpetually victims – or potential victims at the drop of a hat.  Yet, there is zero concern from the Beeboids about Jews in the UK.

         0 likes

      • Fat Face Penguin Seal says:

        Is Mohammedan an offensive term? It’s an odd one, anyway…

        If the BBC does downplay anti-jewish violence, then it does the same for anti-muslim violence. Earlier this year a Mosque was firebombed in Luton (in response to those extremists protesting the soldiers). That story didn’t get much of a play on the BBC. My point here, as I feel I have to spell it out sometimes, is not that Muslims are treated worse, but that acts of violence occur against Muslims as well as Jews (though not as much Christians) because of their faith.

        In terms of how many acts of violence have been comitted against Jews compared to Muslims; I don’t know, you don’t know, hell I doubt the police even know. Honestly, based on working in a related area, I would think theres a similar number of racists attacks/abuse towards both Jews and Muslims in the UK. If anyone can prove me wrong or right with some actual evidence on that, I’d be interested to know the actual stats.

        I don’t agree that the BBC portrays Muslims as victims – I think a lot of that must be your interpretation of their coverage; but I don’t believe its a conclusion that most people come to.

           0 likes

        • Biodegradable says:

          In terms of how many acts of violence have been comitted against Jews compared to Muslims; I don’t know, you don’t know, hell I doubt the police even know.

          Atl least you now admit your ignorance on a topic on which have so many oinions.

          I know, so do many others.

          Honestly, based on working in a related area, I would think theres a similar number of racists attacks/abuse towards both Jews and Muslims in the UK.

          You would think, would you?

          If anyone can prove me wrong or right with some actual evidence on that, I’d be interested to know the actual stats.

          Proving you wrong is too easy, and educationg you is something you should do for yourslef before mouthing off.

          See here then click the link for the “Antisemitic incident report 2008

          See the breakdown of anti-Jewish/anti-Muslim hate crimes in California.

             0 likes

  2. Biodegradable says:

    ‘their all terrorists’

    Is that like “all you’re bases are belong to us”?

    I’d suggest you learn some basic grammar, but don’t bother. You have nothing to say that’s worth writing, well or otherwise.

       0 likes

    • Fat Face Penguin Seal says:

      Ah, diversion technique No.1 – ignore everything said, focus on spelling mistake.

      You’re a great guy, thanks for being here. 

         0 likes

      • Biodegradable says:

        OK young Penguin, here’s something you said that I take issue with:  
         
        … maybe you could also look at other minority groups/religions that are persecuted; for it is not only Israel/Jewish faith that gets this treatment. Many Muslims in this country and abroad are persecuted for their faith, and tarred by the ‘their all terrorists’ brush. Same for Christians in non-Christian countries. Convince me you’re an equal opportunity crusader for tolerance and belief sue – not just another bigmouth who complains about all kind of anti-semitic complaints yet ignores that bigotry when it occurs to other groups.  
         
        That is a perfect example of “soft Holocaust denial”.  
         
        ie: Attempting to draw comparisons and equivalence between antisemitism and the unquestionable prejudices suffered of some other group ones seek to minimise the pain felt by the real victims of real Jew-hatred.  
         
        Go tell a rape victim not to whine, tell her she’s not the only one and anyway, somebody else was raped and beaten.

        Go tell a Tibetan to stop kvetching because more people were massacred in Ruanda.

        Go tell a Turkish Kurd he should be concerned with the plight of the Chechens.

        You wouldn’t dream of doing any of that, would you?

        So why are you so reluctant to face the issue of antisemitism?

        “The Muslims are the new Jews” Yeah, right.

           0 likes

        • sue says:

          FFPS,
          Further to the above, on the equality theme, where’s the equality of condemnation or scrutiny of other countries that perpetrate far greater violence against their enemies than Israel does? Where’s the outcry against Muslim on Muslim violence? Where are the UN resolutions against … list of etc etc. You will have heard all that before, but you can’t be selective about equivalence. It’s an all or nothing situation.

           I agree with you about unnecessary rudeness and aggression on this site, but it’s no worse than any other website. Anonymity emboldens everyone and the written word enrages people in a unique way, which wouldn’t apply face to face. I hope.
          I seem to remember that you are not entirely innocent yourself.

          The thing I am interested in Mr. Seal, is what have you to support your decision that the BBC doesn’t ‘peddle anti-Semitism?’
          I’m not trying to be derisive, but if you know only what the BBC and perhaps other pro-Palestinian sources tell you, are you in any position to judge? If I haven’t even managed to plant any doubts in your head about anti Israel and anti Jewish bias at the BBC, what hope is there that I might persuade Muslims and Nazis?

             0 likes

          • Fat Face Penguin Seal says:

            My decision that the BBC doesn’t support anti-semitism is based on the simple fact that I don’t see how the BBC potray Israel in a biased way. The BBC report on Israel right? Some of what Israel does is open to debate, and hence they report it. You seem, as others to, to interpret the reporting of these things as anti-semitic. We probably won’t agree here; you will now tell me that Israel either doesn’t do anything wrong, or that the coverage isn’t negative enough towards Islamic radicals/Palestine. That’s your take on it; but as a right of centre person myself, I do not watch the BBC and find myself thinking that they are prejudiced against Israel.

               0 likes

            • sue says:

              Are you saying that your certainty that the BBC has given you a full enough picture to judge  whether it’s biased or not  is simply based on faith in the BBC ?
              Because if so your entire participation in this discussion, let alone this whole website, is pointless.

              I certainly won’t tell you Israel doesn’t do anything wrong. What country could ever boast that? Would I say my own country, Great Britain, never does anything wrong? Would you say that? But you can defend its core values and other admirable things about it without being accused of saying it never does anything wrong.

              Simples.

                 0 likes

        • Fat Face Penguin Seal says:

          That is a perfect example of “soft Holocaust denial”.

          On a serious note, that is offensive to me that you would suggest that. A mentality such as that one, ie. accusing people of holocaust denial at the drop of a hat, is extremely counter productive to the Israeli/Jewish cause.

          Anti-semitism doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with the holocaust. Remember; the holocaust was a product of anti semitism, not the other way round. Plenty of people are probably anti-semitic without being holocaust deniers.

             0 likes

          • Biodegradable says:

            I put “Soft Holocaust denial” in quotes, and went on to explain that I was talking of minimising antisemitism and its effects by comparing it to some supposed “islamophobia”, as you were doing. I didn’t accuse you of Holocaust denial but your attempts to minimise antisemitism as just another prejudice, like that suffered by Christians, Bhuddists or Quakers is offensive to me because it it is  form of denial.

               0 likes

        • Fat Face Penguin Seal says:

          So why are you so reluctant to face the issue of antisemitism?  

          Again, don’t be an idiot. If you inferred that from my earlier post you are either incapable of thinking, or just attempting a smear. I assume the latter. My point was clear; anti-semitism should be challenged, uncovered and defeated – but so should prejudice towards other peoples and other religions. Hatred towards Jews is no better or worse than hatred towards Christians, Muslims, Balck people etc. And that is what annoys me about this site – for every comment about alerting us to the danger of anti-semitism, there is a comment on another thread that is equally prejudiced and dangerous in it’s offense towards Muslims. We need to eradicate this type of bigotry towards all faiths/races – not just one or two of them.

             0 likes

  3. Will says:

    An Israeli movie

    Beaufort
    Tuesday 17 November
    10:30pm – 12:35am
    BBC4

    The BBC Radio Times reviewer tells us

    Joseph Cedar’s adaptation of Ron Leshem’s novel is set during the final months of Israel’s occupation of Lebanon
    Despite the digs at the Israeli high command, the perspective is never wholly impartial.

    Is that something that would be said or expected about a production that erred on the side of Israel’s enemies?

       0 likes

  4. Grant says:

    So Christian and Jewish persecution of Muslims is on a par with Muslim persecution of Jews and Christians   ?

    It is the Buddhists I really worry about.

       0 likes

  5. Grant says:

    Fat Face 15:56

    Who are the Beeboids to educate anyone on any subject when they seem almost to take pleasure in wallowing in their own arrogant, parochial, narrow-minded ignorance   ?  

       0 likes

  6. DP111 says:

    <i>As long as broadcasters are afraid of legal actions on the part of other media organisations and more concerned about gaining PC credibility by ‘giving a balanced view’ than doing any real analysis</i> …

    Its a little more then legal actions that worries the media and journalists engaged in reporting from the ME and Israel – the thought of being shot and throats slit, or being kidnapped and held in some cell in Lebanon, tends to discourage even the hardiest of journalists.

       0 likes

  7. Sharia Laws says:

    Hello infidels.
    I as a women combatant, i rather like this one given my husbands are all on remand, so i can say what i want.
    Jews, hey ! Well they are jolly rotten because my BBC minder tells me so. He’s very good you know, this minder chappie, the usual whet behind the ears graduate ( bound to go far in the BBC ! ) hasn’t a clue what day it is.
    How-ever, in between him falling over and asking for Nanny ( he’s only 3rd in line, there-fore no chance of my advancement) I took him to task over the Zionist problem, which was a waste of time as he thought it was a toilet block.
    As a result i now offer myself completly to the BBC in any way shape or form.
    Yes, i’m the Anty-Wag !
    DG: Your hired ! Will $5m do ?

       0 likes

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sharia Laws

    The Holy Koran, written by our Perfect Man Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), is quite clear on this. You have spoken to a man without a male relative being present and therefore you are to be killed to restore your family’s honour. Our Prophet would have done this to any of his wives (even 6 year old Aisha) but of course they were not foolish enough to cross Allah’s Messenger.

       0 likes

  9. deegee says:

    Perhaps contributors would like to see the programme:
    Antisemitism pt 1, BBC 1 ‘The Big Questions’ 15 Nov 09
    Antisemitism pt 2, BBC 1 ‘The Big Questions’ 15 Nov 09

    This is taken from YouTube and I am not responsible for any comments added to the clips in the form of bubbles. It is obvious what is a BBC banner and what was added later.

    This ‘debate’ became not a debate on has Britain become more antisemitic but an excuse to once again give the enemies of the State of Israel a platform.

    The ‘debators’ were not a random selection but were chosen for their known positions. Why then was the first comment from the audience given to Haim Bresheeth ‘Vilified by Zionists’!? Because he could be reliably counted on to take the discussion away from attacks on British Jews and onto Israel.

    Why was there no ‘neutral’ representative from the police or an organization dealing with hate crimes?

    Why was the word Muslim never spoken? Was it an instruction from the organizers? The Rabbi quoted the Kopranic description of Jews as Pigs and Monkeys but for some reason refused to acknowledge where the quote came from. Was this yet another case of BBC pre debate censorship?

    Why was the role of the media in inciting attacks against Jews never brought up?

    For Fat Face Penguin Seal’s information attacks against Jews and Muslims are not roughly equal. The figures for UK are hard to collect partly because the Police don’t have a category for religious hate crimes and partly because of the correlation between subcontinent India and religion. Is an attack against an Indian Muslim a crime against Muslims or Indians? What is clear is that involvement of Jews as perpetrators of ‘hate’ crimes is statistically insignificant while Muslims are heavily involved in crimes not only against Jews but against Hindus and Sikhs.

    BTW I strongly suggest FFPS change his online moniker. It is the Internet equivalent of wearing a sign saying, “KICK ME”.

       0 likes

    • sue says:

      Deegee,
      You’re quite right of course about the set-up, but that sort of thing applies to most television because of the programme makers’ cynical belief that it’s necessary to get an acrimonious debate going which they think makes good viewing.

      Your observation about the reluctance to mention the M word was what I meant in my original post when I remarked about the untimely ending of the programme. It seemed to me that Nicky Campbell was unsuccessfully trying to prise the word out of the Rabbi, possibly so that others could accuse him of Islamophobia.

         0 likes