Those pesky Jews. BBC Watch exposes some historical revisionism from the State Broadcaster. First the facts….
“In 1862 the population of Jerusalem numbered some 17,800 people, with the majority (eight thousand) being Jews. Two years prior to that date the first Jewish neighbourhood outside the Old City walls – Mishkenot Sha’ananim – had been built by Sir Moses Montefiore. Inside theOld City itself, restoration work on the Hurva Synagogue was in its advanced stages and the quarter boasted additional synagogues, schools and hospitals. The Mount of Olives had by that time been a Jewish burial ground for 3,000 years. ”
However, a listener to John McCarthy’s programme on Jerusalem from the series “In a Prince’s Footsteps” which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on May 8th (available here for a limited period of time) would have no idea that any Jews lived in the city at all when Prince Albert visited it in 1862 – or indeed before or after that date.
McCarthy is just one more in a long line of BBC talking heads who seems to choke at the idea of recognising Jerusalem as Jewish. Remarkable really. But surely it is time for McCarthy to correct himself?