Anti-Semitism Discovered In the Muslim Community: Shocker!

Douglas Murray’s blog post in the Spectator caught my eye yesterday, in which he points out a must-read article in the HuffingtonPost by Mehdi Hasan. No, really:

The Sorry Truth Is That the Virus of Anti-Semitism Has Infected the British Muslim Community

Hasan felt compelled for some reason to speak out against Lord Ahmed’s rant about how a Jewish conspiracy caused his conviction for killing someone while driving and texting at the same time.

To claim that your jail sentence for dangerous driving is the result of a Jewish plot is bigoted and stupid. The peer has since been suspended from the Labour Party and forced to stand down as a trustee of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation. I’m not sure how many “Jewish friends” he has left – if, that is, he had any to begin with.

Full disclosure: I know Lord Ahmed and have defended him in the past. In 2007, he flew out to Sudan to help free the schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons from the clutches of the odious Islamist regime in Khartoum. In 2009, an Appeal Court judge noted how the peer had “risked his life trying to flag down other vehicles to stop them colliding with… his car”. He is not a latter-day Goebbels. But herein lies the problem. There are thousands of Lord Ahmeds out there: mild-mannered and well-integrated British Muslims who nevertheless harbour deeply anti-Semitic views.

No kidding.

The truth is that the virus of anti-Semitism has infected members of the British Muslim community, both young and old. No, the on-going Israel-Palestine conflict hasn’t helped matters. But this goes beyond the Middle East. How else to explain why British Pakistanis are so often the most ardent advocates of anti-Semitic conspiracies, even though there are so few Jews living in Pakistan?

The fact that a visceral hatred of Jews and conspiracy-mongering is rife within the Mohammedan communities around the world is old news to people here, and surely it’s not a stunning revelation to Hasan, either. The real question is, what will the BBC do about this?

To be honest, I’ve always been reluctant to write a column such as this. To accuse my fellow Muslims of being soft on the scourge of anti-Semitism isn’t easy; I feel as if I am ‘dobbing in’ the community, telling tales to the non-Muslim teacher. Nor do I particularly want to assist the English Defence League in its relentless campaign to demonise all Muslims, everywhere, as extremists and bigots.

We aren’t. And we’re not all anti-Semites. But, as a community, we do have a ‘Jewish problem’. There is no point pretending otherwise.

So it’s not news to Hasan after all. He’s been aware of it for a very long time. How about the BBC? We all remember how they leapt to support Baroness Warsi when she lamented that Islamophobia had “passed the dinner table test” in Britain. They made sure to do a Have Your Say on it. The World Service audience got their own Have Your Say, asking who was responsible for Islamophobia. I don’t need to reel out a laundry list of all the news reports, radio shows, and drama programming the BBC has produced in the last few years trying to encourage people to accept Islam, and even welcome it. More recently, in keeping with the BBC’s remit to foster social cohesion, they promoted the national “Wear a Hijab Day”, to encourage girls of all races and religions to spend the day embracing this aspect of Mohammedan culture, to learn how “the other” lives and so bring communities closer together. Some of us joked at the time that we wouldn’t be holding our breath for the BBC to do a “Wear a Yarmulke” day. But now it seems like this would be the perfect opportunity for them to use the special, unique powers and influence of the BBC to take a stand against the anti-Jewish sentiment that has equally passed the dinner table test in Britain. And it’s not just at the dinner parties Mehdi Hasan goes to, either.

Hasan seems to be aware that the Palestinian situation is not necessarily the sole reason for the hatred of Jews amongst his co-religionists. He may not know just how far back it goes (before the creation of Israel, in fact), and one has to equally wonder if anyone at the BBC shares his awareness. Only time will tell. I don’t think Hasan’s purpose here is to delve into the history of anti-Semitism in the Muslim World or anything like that, so there’s no problem with him not going into it. However, the BBC does do history and background, when it suits them, so there’s no excuse for them not to get into it in detail.

If the BBC doesn’t respond to this with even a fraction of the energy with which they’ve attacked the problem of Islamophobia, it will be a clear failure of their Charter-bound duty. Whether or not it’s evidence of a similar epidemic of anti-Jewish sentiment at the BBC remains to be seen.

Explaining Briefly Why Some People are Prejudiced Against the BBC

(Radio 4 Today 7:13)

 A religious studies exam question, “Explain why some people are prejudiced against Jews”, has sparked controversy over whether it is a reasonable question to put to young people. Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, discusses the question.

So says the Today website.

“You’re sitting an exam on religious studies. Question: Explain briefly why some people are prejudiced against Jews. Well, is that a reasonable question to ask  young people?”  asks Evan Davis.

The chairman of the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education thinks not. He suggests it was appropriate for a classroom discussion, to tease out why “these” prejudices arose, but when put as an exam question “you’ve lost the context” and it implies that the prejudices might be valid.  Jon Benjamin agrees. He says the question doesn’t ask for an analysis of ‘prejudice’, but virtually asks for a list of what’s wrong with Jews.

“If a student came up with such a list,” posits Evan, “they’d get an appalling mark.” (Probably.) Evan tried to illustrate the difference between the words ‘explain’ and ‘justify’ by making an analogy that involved substituting ‘Jews’ with ‘criminals’ and ‘self-harmers’.

It begged the question, could one replace ‘Jew’ with ‘Muslim’ here? Not that that would be helpful, because of course the zeitgeist that culminated in the holocaust is generally known to have been founded on ‘irrational fear ignorance and scapegoating.’ Suffice it to say that so far, dare I say, most prejudice against Muslims appears to be founded on the rational fear of misogyny, homophobia, antisemitism and  terrorism.  What’s more, no exam board would imagine for one nano second that they could get away with asking a question like that.

Evan’s snippet of an item was misleading and counterproductive. If it wasn’t for the fact that antisemitism is rearing its ugly head all over again, this whole furore would be a bit of nonsense.  I’ll explain why.

It says in the Telegraph:

“The exam board insisted that the question was part of a paper focusing on Judaism and the “relevant part of the syllabus covers prejudice and discrimination with reference to race, religion and the Jewish experience of persecution”.

“We would expect [students to refer] to the Holocaust to illustrate prejudice based on irrational fear, ignorance and scapegoating,” she said.“Part of the syllabus is that children must study the causes and origins of prejudice against Jews.”

So in that context the same isolated, clumsily-phrased question is arguably a good thing, which we might now see in a completely different light.

If Evan’s poor little snippet of an item had started off with that information, and he hadn’t sensationalised and isolated the question from its context, it might not have looked like an ill-conceived blunder by the exam board at all, but considering the BBC’s long-term barrage of one sided, out of context reports about Israel, it’s become  impossible to ask a question like that without causing offence. In fact the whole caboodle needed to be seen in context, not just the offending question. If it wasn’t for the BBC setting the scene over decades with their ever-present antisemitic innuendos and half-stories, posing such a sensitive question in an exam could have been thought-provoking and perhaps even positive. As it is, everyone concerned made mountain of a touchy, hyper sensitive issue that should have been a molehill.

 

Disaster Day

On BBC News 24 yesterday, Jon Donnison reported the demonstrations in the Gaza strip and the West Bank by Palestinians celebrating Nakba day. I use the word ‘celebrate’ deliberately because Nakba day has become a celebration of victimhood rather than a commemoration of a Nakba (catastrophe) or cataclysmic disaster. Using this name brings it into line, in the world’s eye view, with a real catastrophe when half the world’s Jews were exterminated.

Naming the anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel after the Arabic word for catastrophe puts the largely self-inflicted expulsion of approximately 700,000 Arab inhabitants of the region on a par with the murder of six million Jews.

Jon Donnison’s report was more than a mere account of the demonstrations attended by ‘Thousands of Palestinians’. It was also a history lesson – consisting solely of a dumbed-down version of the ‘Palestinian narrative’, which itself is a very particular version of the creation of Israel. “The beginning of our continued hardship” he quotes Abbas saying, sorrowfully.

The role that Arab leaders played in this fright and flight exercise in 1948 by propagandising and scaremongering is ignored, as is the fact that the exeat was intended as a temporary  inconvenience while the Jews were neatly disposed of by invading Arab armies. Forgotten altogether is the little known “other Nakba”, the expulsion of approximately 800,000 Jews from the Middle East, who were absorbed into Israel.

“How Palestinian Arabs became refugees and how they have suffered at the hands of the Jews,” is a version of history that many have chosen to adopt as *the* authentic account of the creation of Israel. The term Jews has been prudently ‘euphemised’ into ‘Israelis’ as if to dissociate it from the malevolence that dare not speak its name.

Of course many suspect there is another side to this story, but, with the help of the BBC, they have chosen to adopt this one, and this one alone. Glorifying, or ‘rooting for’ the underdog bestows a quick-fix self-righteousness and a comforting sense of belonging. For the activist, the more radical, the more rewarding; the more assiduous, the more smug; the more strident, the more dangerous.

It can’t just be a simple case of unavoidable brainwashing from an overdose of incessant, biased reporting, because it’s easy to discover both sides of a story through the internet. Even if you know you’re not going to like it, the knowledge that the information is there for the asking suggests there’s an element of choice in the Israel-bashing zeitgeist surrounding the intelligentsia and the unintelligentsia, and the fact that so many choose to ignore or reject the so-called “Jewish narrative” out of hand, yet adopt the Arab one unquestioningly indicates that antisemitism resides within the default Israel-bashing epidemic.

Surely the BBC’s own biased reporting can’t be due to brainwashing either, unless they’re hopelessly incompetent, and incestuously regurgitating each other’s biased reporting. Their unique access to funds and resources means they are capable of ferreting out the whole story, so their failure to do so must be because of somebody, somewhere’s conscious decision, and their failure to fulfill their obligation to report fully and impartially must also be a matter of choice.

 

PYRAMIDS

Do you remember the story about the Pyramids being closed on 11.11.11? Must admit I just glanced at it but turns out that even when the BBC reports seemingly innocuous stuff, it ain’t necessarily so. So…from the BBC report;

“Egypt has closed the Great Pyramid outside Cairo after rumours that groups would try to hold special rituals on 11 November at 11:11. The rumours sparked an internet campaign to stop any ceremonies. However the head of Egypt’s antiquities authority said the pyramid had been closed until Saturday morning for “necessary maintenance” only. The Great Pyramid houses the ancient tomb of the Pharaoh Khufu. Two nearby pyramids and the Sphinx remained open.”

But what were “the rumours” and “special rituals” and which group was alleged to be preparing to commit them?

“Egyptian media reported that some Egyptians feared that the event would be used by Jewish Masons to reclaim the Pyramids as ancient Hebrew structures, denying Egyptians their claim to the pharaonic monuments. One SCA employee claimed that a crew of 1,200 Jews were planning to attend the event, crowning the mightiest of the three structures with a Star of David in order to assert the claim that Jewish laves built the pyramids, and not the ancient Egyptians, Egyptian daily Al Ahram reported. Former SCA Secretary General Abdel Halim Noureddin told Al Ahram Jewish Masons have been trying to cap the Great Pyramid since 1931 with the Jewish emblem, so this instance should not be surprising.”

So, vile anti-semitic rumour mongering from the newly liberated Egyptians. And the BBC fails to share the details? I am indebted to B-BBC reader Martin for pointing out the amazing sanitising on behalf of the Jew haters in Egypt.

BBC Censorship: Katty Kay’s Nice Anti-Semite Edition

Yes, I know, Katty was talking about the Occupiers in New York, but her report was meant to give you the idea that they’re all mostly nice, civic-minded, and righteous. Mark Mardell is still convinced that the Tea Party movement is driven by crypto-racism. So by his logic, we can use the following to state unequivocally that the Occupier movement is driven by anti-Semitism. Check it out, and wake me up when the same BBC which spent two years telling you we’re all racists because we opposed Socialist policies report this:

How about it, BBC? Any thoughts? If you tell me this is an outlier and not worthy of smearing an entire movement, then the majority of BBC reporting on the Tea Party is discredited. An amusing report on the LA scene can be found here. Note that the majority of the crowd is hideously white. But that doesn’t imply anything about their motives, right, BBC?

And this kind of anti-Jew sentiment was on display in New York as well. Curiously, Katty Kay and Laura Trevalyan failed to spot it. Or did they?

A Beeboid Wakes Up In Egypt

I lost count of how many times during the Egyptian revolution against the Mubarak regime people here pointed out how anti-Israel sentiment was a key issue in the country, and how this was constantly played down by the BBC. I’m sure any worrying here was summarily dismissed by defenders of the indefensible as being typical nonsense from “Israel Firsters” or the inane mewlings of people who see anti-Semitism everywhere à la Jerry Seinfeld’s Uncle Leo.

I’ve also lost count of how many times the BBC has tolerated the notion that Jews anywhere in the world must suffer for their support – or even assumed association – with Israel. We often try to point out the difference between criticism of Israel and demonizing it, and the latter is a problem with BBC reporting. The BBC even censored news of what’s happened to the Jews in Malmö, Sweden, where even the mayor says that whatever happens to them is deserved if they support Israel. The BBC has still never reported any of that. They’ve censored lots of news of violence against Jews in Europe, another example being the story of how the Dutch police had to start a sting operation where cops posed undercover as orthodox Jews as a way to catch the increasing number of people attacking them.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this “From Our Own Correspondent” piece about anti-Jewish sentiment in Egypt. In fact, I was almost as surprised as the BBC’s Thomas Dinham was to see evidence of the rampant anti-Semitism there.

How I was the subject of anti-Semitic abuse in Cairo

Relations between Israel and Egypt have become increasingly strained in recent weeks, and in the Egyptian capital there is a mounting sense of tension, including incidents of anti-Semitism.

Okay, let’s ignore the nonsense about how it’s only a recent thing. Give the poor Beeboid a chance.

Suspicion is a feature of everyday life in Egypt, and a fondness for conspiracy theories is as much a part of the landscape here as the constant traffic jams and their accompanying symphony of blaring car horns.

With the democratic certainties that greeted the immediate aftermath of January’s revolution having faded, however, the climate of mistrust and unease about the hard-won gains of the revolution is becoming increasingly palpable.

As disquiet sets in, so does the fear of foul play, backroom deals and, increasingly, malign foreign influences.

Back on solid ground here. This is the normal way of things in any Arab/Muslim country, as anyone who has spent more than five minutes anywhere in the region would know. To be fair, this kind of magical thinking – believing the most outrageous, quasi-supernatural causes for anything and everything – exists in many parts of the less developed world, from Africa to Asia. So good for Dinham for using those keen journalistic instincts to notice.

Dinham begins to relate his experience of sitting at a restaurant in Cairo, and beginning to notice the suspicious stares of the Egyptian men around him. A conversation soon starts, and he discovers they think he’s an Israeli. He doesn’t take it very well.

I was shocked. In nearly six months of living in Syria, where orchestrated hysteria about Israel is integral to the very identity of the state, I had never heard the accusation surreptitiously levelled against me.

Neither am I from Israel, nor am I Jewish, but as someone of unmistakably European appearance, I have found myself constantly associated with Israel in Egyptian eyes.

Dinham seems to miss the point here. Anti-Israel sentiment is spread in many ways in Egypt, not just by the government. And here it’s time to clearly separate the notion of legitimate criticsm of Israel from demonization. Most of this is demonization, not criticism. There’s the Muslim Brotherhood for a start. In fact, half the anti-Mubarak noise we heard during the protests was about how wrong he was for making peace with Israel. Assad and the Syrian government have never had to worry about that accusation, so there’s much less reason for people in Syria to be fretting over Israel the way Egyptians do, especially now. If he thinks it’s just the government who spread this stuff, he’s seriously out of touch.

So his story continues. A few days after this, a nearby bridge collapses, making a loud noise, and immediately the locals suspect foul play. Like I said, this is to be expected from people with this magical mindset. Dinham now expects it, too. But then he tries to play it down.

Israel is just one of a panoply of worries that exercise the conspiracy theorists that frequent Egypt’s cafes.

The standard fare of political gossip tends to revolve around the trial of [former President Hosni] Mubarak, internal corruption, and the causes behind the dire economic woes Egypt is currently experiencing.

A prosecuting lawyer at Mr Mubarak’s trial even introduced the novel idea that the ex-president had died years ago, and that the man on trial was none other than an impostor.

Again, this is typical of that mindset. The more wild and supernatural the idea, the more it spreads, and the easier it is to use as an explanation for just about anything. So Dinham doesn’t quite get this, and plays down the Israel angle.

I would hazard a guess that Israel struggles to make it into the top-five political issues discussed in Egypt.

“Political issues”. The problem is that the anger towards Israel is anything but simply political. Does he not realize this?

Israel has probably been less of a concern than the rising power of Shia Iran in the region, which apparently worries many in this overwhelmingly Sunni country, partly thanks to a constant stream of stridently sectarian rhetoric broadcast from Saudi Arabia.

Sounds like somebody has spent too much time speaking with the educated elite, and not so much with regular people.

In the Byzantine politics of the region, hearing strident opposition to Israel and its greatest regional foe, from the same person, almost in the same breath, is commonplace.

Again, magical thinking, not rational. This the result not of legitimate criticism of Israel, but of a relentless campaign of demonization, where Israel is the sole instigator, genocidal, always to blame, the root cause of all ills in the region. No surprise to us, but obviously very confusing to Dinham. So he’s been shrugging it off the whole time, staying inside the elite thought bubble. Until now.

Nevertheless, a strong and sometimes violent dislike of Israel is a fact of Egyptian life, something I was unfortunate enough to discover after a cross-border raid by Israel killed several Egyptian security personnel.

The Israelis had been chasing a group of gunmen who had attacked an Israeli bus close to the border between the two countries.

He’s not blaming Israel for starting it, for a change. He’s just saying the event was a catalyst for what was to come, which is probably correct.

While walking in the street someone pushed me from behind with such force that I nearly fell over.

Turning around, I found myself surrounded by five men, one of whom tried to punch me in the face.

Fortunately, Dinham had an intelligent response:

I stopped the attack by pointing out how shameful it was for a Muslim to assault a guest in his country, especially during Ramadan.

I applaud this. It makes a wonderful counterpoint to what I heard on the BBC News Channel back when Muslims in Paksitan Afghanistan started killing people out of anger against the idea that Pastor Jones in Florida was thinking about burning a Koran. At the time, Huw Edwards was speaking with some MCB mouthpiece about the incident, and expressed his concern that the response from the Muslims was less “nuanced” than some would like. The MCB guy said the violence was perfectly understandable because it was the end of Ramadan, and as people had spent the last month deep in prayer and spiritual contemplation that it was only natural that they’d want to kill. I’m not making that up, and we’ve heard that excuse a lot. So it’s nice to see a BBC journalist stating that violence in Ramadan is not acceptable. In any case, Dinham’s enlightenment continues:

Relieved that a seemingly random assault was over, I was appalled by the apology offered by one of my assailants. “Sorry,” he said contritely, offering his hand, “we thought you were a Jew.”

Too bad his colleagues aren’t equally appalled when this happens all over Europe.

Shaking his head in disbelief on hearing the news, an Egyptian friend sympathised: “That’s stupid, you are obviously not a Jew.”

The chilling implication I was left with was that, had I been Jewish, the assault would have apparently been justified.

Congratulations, Thomas Dinham. Welcome to the real world. We’ve only been saying this for years, while the BBC has tolerated it, played it down, and swept it under the rug. Let this be a lesson to all Beeboids. Jews everywhere are expected to suffer because of Israel, and the demonization of Israel is a direct cause of anti-Semitism and violence against Jews worldwide. Not criticism of Israel, mind, but demonization. There’s a difference.

It’s time the BBC was honest about it.

We Are All Freedom Fighters Now.

The BBC views the eruptions throughout the Arab World as one homogeneous, righteous, peoples’ call for democracy. To them ‘democracy’ can only mean ‘Western Style’ democracy. Legitimate doubts about that are brushed aside because journalists are too busy identifying with the protesters.

If the Egyptian protesters ever get their fair and free elections, it’s predicted that the Muslim Brotherhood will play a prominent role. No doubt the BBC would collectively shrug and say that’s democracy. If a Hamas style regime is elected, they’d insist the people must have what they want, even if it means kissing goodbye to freedom and cuddling up to Iran.

Daniel Greenfield expresses an alternative view, one which many people share, and one which others might like to hear about.

“Few of the gullible Western supporters who follow the revolution by Twitter, understand just how much the ordinary Egyptian taking part in the protests hates them. Behind all the English language signs produced for the foreign press and the articulate bloggers cultivated by the US and EU governments, is the angry mob who believes that Mubarak was a puppet of the CIA and the Mossad. “

Even if the BBC disagrees, it has an obligation to acknowledge that these views exist.
The way the BBC views the serious sexual attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan is not quite the same as his. Katie Connolly’s article and Daniel Greenfield’s are quite different. The BBC explains that reporting has become increasingly dangerous, even more so for women who face violent sexual assaults and rapes.

“BBC world news editor Jon Williams, noting the horror of Ms Logan’s ordeal, says that managing the risks of conflict reporting is a complex challenge.”

That’s conflict reporting in general. But Lara Logan was in Tahrir Square, amongst protesters who were calling for democracy, and she was on their side. Surely, they were righteous protesters who wanted western style freedom, were they not?

“The only popular cause in the Muslim world is fought against the Americans– even when the Americans are on their side”

says Daniel Greenfield

“Sexual violence is also a routine part of Egyptian mob scenes. In 2006, a crowd celebrating Eid Al-Fitr began assaulting every woman in sight. In 2009 alone, the UK foreign office reported handling nearly 30 cases of sexual assault against British nationals. Under Islamic mores, non-Muslim women are treated as whores. That may be why according to a 2008 study, only 68 percent of Egyptian women complained of being harassed on a daily basis, while 98 percent of foreign women did. When a group of jubilant enthusiasts of democracy found themselves near a Western female reporter without police supervision, what followed was absolutely horrible and terribly inevitable. It is what 98 percent of foreign women in Egypt risk encountering every day.”

Over in BBC land, it’s a different story.

“In many places women are treated far better than men,” Mr Williams says, recalling that BBC world affairs editor John Simpson became one of the first foreign reporters to enter Afghanistan in 2001 after crossing the border disguised as a woman.”

And very fetching he must have looked too. In his burkha.
Daniel Greenfield again:

“The cries of “Yahood, Yahood” or “Jew, Jew” reportedly shouted at CBS’s Logan while she was being sexually assaulted, reflect two things. Yahood is a common insult in the Middle East.[..]The negative depiction of Jews is rooted in the Koran, making it ubiquitous through the Muslim world.”

“The other aspect of it however is the prevalence of conspiracy theories throughout the Arab Muslim world. In Egypt, Nazi propaganda merged with traditional Islamic beliefs to give rise to Islamofascist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood. While Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are given little credibility in civilized nations– they are still highly popular in the Muslim world.”

The BBC isn’t bothering about all that antisemitic nonsense. Keep sending women to conflict areas, they advise. As long as they put on a burkha, carry a rape whistle, and stick a chair in front of the door, and if that fails:

“urinate, vomit or defecate on yourself”

– preferably not while reporting live on the telly.

Same Mistake

Several websites, including B-BBC (open thread H/T Piggy Kosher) have mentioned the case of “The popular Tunisian singer Saleem Bakkoush” who has been forced to cancel what seems to have been a cherished long-awaited performance at a prestigious festival, all because his fellow Tunisians discovered he had once performed at a synagogue. Which is enough to render him persona non grata in Tunisia.
He’s not alone. Pity the poor Tunisian singer who chanted “Long Live Netanyahu!”

That would be because of the antisemitism by the way, in case you didn’t quite grasp that from the article by BBC World Service Middle East editor Magdi Abdelhadi.

This BBC person has previous. In response to a complaint in 2009 the BBC had to remind the middle east team of the need to explain this ‘situation’ clearly, should it arise again. Well, it has ariss.
This ‘situation’ as blogged by Notasheep, and here.
From a comment by ‘anonymous’ from the Point of No Return Blog:

“I emailed MAH last night to ask why his article was framed purely in terms of the anti-Israel, rather than also the anti-semitic, nature of the incident (..I also asked ) why he mentioned at the end that most Jews “left” the Arab world decades ago, since we both knew that most of them were forced out or fled for their lives.

Disappointingly, he responded to say that in the Arab world the two issues are conflated (which didn’t explain why he did the same); that you can’t talk in terms of European antisemitism in the Arab (…) and that while some Jews fled, others left and anyway, that wasn’t relevant to the article […]I found his response – particularly around the extent and nature of Arab antisemitism – deeply disappointing, given his role at the BBC and the previous censure from the BBC’s ECU following his report on the Refugee conference last year which ploughed basically the same furrow – life not so bad for Jews in the Arab world, no serious mention of antisemitism, all about Israel not Jews. “

“bataween” replies:

“It was indeed Magdi Abdelhadi who was censured by the BBC’s ECU for saying that Jews were ‘well integrated’ into Arab lands when historically they were constrained as dhimmis
Life Not Hunky Dory For Jews in Arab Countries It is clear as day that this instance of the singer being banned is driven by pure (Arab) antisemitism, as you rightly argue, Anon, but MAH continues to fudge and dodge the question.
Following the London Jewish Refugees conference in 2008, the BBC promised to do more on the subject, but we are still waiting. Meanwhile the articles on the Palestinian Nakba continue to pour forth from the BBC, without the slightest attempt at balance.”

An important article the BBC should read. The Nakba Obsession by Sol Stern

Ooops. BBC Retracts Misleading Report

It seems some people DO have success when it comes to having their complaints upheld by the BBC. As long as they belong to the anti-Israel brigade.

Should a report that shows anti Israel campaigners in a poor light accidentally slip through the net, the BBC Editorial department will leap into action.

Nobody can interrupt a meeting or performance and come out smelling of roses.
Certainly Tony Greenstein and Deborah Fink’s display of exhibitionism that ruined the Jerusalem Quartet’s performance at the Wigmore Hall was counterproductive in the extreme. I hope their ‘cause’ suffered a setback of disproportionately greater magnitude than the distress their disruptive outbursts caused to the musicians and the audience that had hoped to enjoy the performance.

On the other hand, a meeting that took place at the School of Oriental and African Studies last year in which the guest speaker was Bongani Masuku, “a man condemned as an inciter of hatred against Jews by the South African Human Rights Commission,” was ‘disrupted’ by a question from Jonathan Hoffman about the morality of hosting such an event and inviting such a speaker, a hullaballoo ensued, which, unlike the one at the Wigmore Hall, was reported on the BBC website.

In the confusion it is alleged that racist taunts were hurled at Mr. Hoffman. “Jew-ish” and some such. Whatever they were, the threatening atmosphere that was engendered simply because of a question that went against the grain, was undeniable. If you can bear to look at the video, you’ll see that when Mr Hoffman asks “Why do you interrupt me?” The woman behind him can clearly be seen wagging a finger and saying “Because you’re a Jew!”

Some furious lobbying by organisations such as “JustPeaceUK” were instigated, in order to get the BBC report amended to what they considered was a TRUE representation of what had taken place, and to omit the bit about the racist taunts.

They succeeded; not only was the web report amended, but the original reporter was reprimanded, and the editor wrote:

“After publication it quickly became clear that there was more to what had happened in the meeting than was apparent from the video and Mr Hoffman’s allegations. As soon as that became clear the story was amended to reflect the differing views of those who had been at the meeting.
It is regrettable that the original story did not reflect a wider range of views and the journalist concerned has been made well aware of the requirement to do so in the future.
Yours Sincerely
Hugh Berlyn
Editor
News and Sport Interactive
BBC England “

Concert disrupter and anti-Zionist campaigner Tony Greenstein proudly declares the success of their lobbying on his website under the heading
“ BBC – Hoffman Lied When Claiming He was a Victim of anti-Semitism.”

Not only that, but the Head of editorial complaints, Fraser Steel has written apologising profusely and promising to take further action. We must wait with bated breath to see what that will be..

The Trials of The Diaspora and Other Stories

When Melanie Phillips went to Australia she thought she had died and gone to heaven. She discovered that down under, unlike here in Blighty, supporting Israel does not have to be done in private, by consenting adults.

For your information, Melanie Phillips is “known to be an extremist Zionist insane warmongering Islamophobe” who must be treated with circumspection and labelled “Mad Mel” by all liberal-leaning followers of the BBC. She does appear on the BBC from time to time, but as her views are deemed insane the listeners and viewers are allowed to snigger, knowingly.

Start The Week.
Good grief. Anthony Julius is on!
There’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that Andrew Marr was unsettled by Anthony Julius’s book, and the bad news is that Marr and guests still seemed to think anti-Semitism (in the UK) is understandable because of the actions of Israel.
Or do I mean anti-Zionism.
“We could go on talking about this for ages” said Marr. But we won’t. There was an elephant in the studio somewhere, too.

It might be time to get my coat.

BBC AIRBRUSHING ANTI SEMITISM…

I received this from a B-BBC reader and thought to share it…

“This morning at 5.30 I had the opportunity to compare the difference between Sky and BBC World’s coverage of this story.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5iGmuQwdsTmw7x3L1h1KcR-CmdilQ

Whilst Sky’s strap line and bulletin headlines platform the role of BRITISH diplomats who walked out during Ahmadinejad’s speech because of ‘alleged anti-semitic” ‘ comments (quote marks theirs), the BBC said merely that SOME diplomats had walked out because of ‘criticism’ of western policies and Israel (quote mark mine’).

Sky broadcast the speech at the 5.30 am in their bulletin, in the context of the British walkout and anti-semitism., You can view the speec here . http://news.google.co.uk/news/search?aq=f&pz=1&ned=uk&hl=en&q=british+diplomats+walk+out+UN+ahmedinajad

In it, the Iranian president lambasts Israel for actions leading to ‘genocide’ and then says how wrong it is that ‘a few thousand people’ world wide can have such an influence on banking, media and world policy – in fact repeating the whole protocols of the elders of Zion, Nazi conspiracy theory. Open Jewish world domination theory in the hall of the UN!

The difference between the two reports of verifiable fact was jaw-dropping. Do the BBC World editors hate Israel (and, it would seem, Jewish people world-wide) so much that they are no longer shocked by blatant anti-semitism?

The answer, of course, is YES.

Worlds Apart

For many years the BBC has been engaging in a two pronged campaign, on one front familiarising the British public with The Islamic World, and on the other steadily demonising Israel.

This is, after all, the British Broadcasting Corporation, so this flying in the face of Judeo-Christian tradition defies logic. The current BBC has been able to pull off a mass suspension of disbelief by taking liberties with the ‘old’ BBC’s reputation for virtue and impartiality acquired long ago.

It’s true that the instant we get a whiff of an unpalatable viewpoint we’re apt to shut down, so many people will have decided that what I’ve said already is not for them.
If anyone is still here, a spat, perhaps a cyberspat, has arisen which has brought another aspect of this sorry tale to the fore.

Vivian Wineman and Robin Shepherd both have slightly unisex names, so for your information they are both gents. Their disagreement is over the recent Community Service Trust report which concluded that antisemitism in Britain has risen alarmingly. Chris Huhne and several other MPs are aware of this and think it is intolerable.
Mr. Wineman, though, says it’s nothing to worry about, it’s not really happening, while Mr. Shepherd says it certainly is, and it’s very concerning.
Strange to tell, Mr. Wineman is a Jew, and Mr. Shepherd is not.

Mr. Wineman is the newly elected President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and he has expressed his controversial views in the Jerusalem Post in a ‘debut’ article. It was written in response to Robin Shepherd’s earlier article on the topic, also in the JPost, which took a different view, and which I mentioned here.

Mr. Wineman’s ‘nothing to worry about’ article has attracted many responses from a wide range of people who are appalled at his complacency, and who agree with Mr. Shepherd. who has in turn written about it all on his own blog.

The blame for this outbreak of racist hostility which is (or is not) increasing alarmingly, had initially been laid firmly at the door of Operation Cast Lead. However, on further examination all roads lead straight past this red herring and on to the real culprit. The BBC.
What has come to the fore, and something that clearly emerges from all this, is the way Britain and our state broadcaster are currently perceived around the world.

Alongside the increase in racially motivated incidents and covert hostility towards Jews, there is a growing worldwide perception that British Jews should watch their backs. The BBC is seen as antisemitic, Britain is seen as ‘no place for Jews’, and the BBC is seen as having played the most significant role in the fiasco that has led to this disastrous state of affairs.

Flights of fancy

Given that the BBC reflects and inevitably creates public attitudes, and is obliged to be seen to be impartial, could someone at the BBC kindly explain your portrayal of M.E. news.

For example this web article concerning the removal of the word nakba from textbooks for state-educated Arab Israeli nine-year-olds.
Although worded to give a veneer of impartiality, the article conveys an unpleasant underlying message with an innocent smile, the lip-service of balance barely concealing prejudices that turn the truth inside out.

“The passage in question, which occurs in one textbook aimed at Arab children aged eight or nine, describes the 1948 war, which resulted in Israel’s creation,”

What? The war resulted in Israel’s creation? The other way round methinks.
Israel’s creation resulted in the war. The war waged by the Arabs against Israel’s creation. Because of it. See? Upside down.

Your message shines through thus:

Far-right Jews have callously stolen the truth from little children, forcing them to deny their catastrophe and pretend instead that it was a triumph for the Zionist oppressors. Hebrew text books deviously focus on the heroism of Israeli forces in 1948 and gloss over the mass exile of Palestinians.
Israelis are arrogant boasting manipulators who cover up the proof about Israel’s lies over their brutal ethnic cleansing of millions of Arabs in 1948.
More impending oppressive legislation is in the pipeline from the far-right.

Is that what you really think but were constrained from saying outright? You had to make an attempt, through gritted teeth, to sound even-handed?
A little transparency please. Make people who write articles and broadcast over the airwaves learn some history. Please.

Look at the list of KEY STORIES. It’s almost as though you think there is nothing positive to say about Israel. Almost as if you fall into the category of what they call ‘ready made thinking about Jews.’

“Oh no,” you reply. “It’s not Jews we hate, it’s Israel.”

Well in that case why do you publicise Breaking the Silence and not this?
The amnesty International report about war crimes and not this?
And why don’t you mention the equal number of Jews, (not millions as you state in your article but an estimated 750,000) that were displaced from Arab countries in 1948, or reflect on the good fortune of Arab Israelis who enjoy a state education in Israel with text books that don’t perpetuate hostility and deliberately inflame grievances and hatred.

Racists Come Out!

It’s a pity being a racist has such a stigma attached. People go to any lengths to avoid being thought of as one. However, something unpleasant is being said by all these wonderfully innocent non-racist individuals who haven’t a racist bone in their bodies.Zionism equals racism, and Israel = Racist.

Despite the contortions they go through in order to get away with accusing other so-called racial groups of racism without looking a little tarred with the same abomination of a brush, that particular conjuring trick can never truly be pulled off. Even if they stand on their heads and don a burqa, they can’t avoid looking a tad hypocritical.

But, hey, what’s wrong with that? Don’t take that as a criticism. These days admitting to a bit of racism is almost the new honesty. Accepting antisemitism is already the new honesty, as in Dinner Party Antisemitism which I’m told is all the rage.

To be honest – as everyone seems to say so very frequently these days -Israel is, after all, the “Jewish” state; everyone hates Israel; why not just be honest and admit they hate Jews too?
Jews = Zionists and Zionists = racists. And, let’s all be honest, so are they!

Everyone knows that ‘To be honest’ is the new ‘Basically.’ Also popular, “If I’m being honest,” which is weaker as it begs the question, “Are you? Or not?”

Honesty is a virtue after all. Come on out, tell your granny, she’s probably one already.
Who cares what the EUMC has to say about antisemitism? Definition or no definition. Definition shmefinishon. Bring it on. Freedom! Throw off the shackles of P.C.! What a relief!
All together now. “We hate Jews. We’re out and we’re proud. Antisemites R us!”

That’s what the BBC + Jeremy Paxman would say if they were being honest.

But not Martin Jacques. He hasn’t quite come out yet. To him racism is still taboo!!!!

“No people like to admit to their own racism; the response is invariably one of denial. This makes the UN conferences on racism – and there have only been two this decade – important and worthwhile events. “

Time to get it off your chest Mr. Jacques, and come on out! You, the UN, and the BBC. The closet is overcrowded already.

And to pre-empt those waiting to pounce with allegations that this has a tenuous or spurious connection with BBC bias, I contend that it has very much to do with it. You reap what you sow. The BBC sows and we all reap.