BBC could be perceived as ‘institutionally antisemitic’ says leading academic

The BBC could be perceived as “institutionally antisemitic”, according to a leading academic expert on Jew-hatred.

Lesley Klaff, senior law lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, accused the BBC of “recycling antisemitic tropes”.


The panel, L-R: Joelle Reid, CAMERA on campus intern (student at KCL); Hadar Sela; Jonathan Turner; Richard Landes; Lesley Klaff

She said that the disproportionate attention afforded to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by the BBC suggested it could be seen as institutionally antisemitic.

Ms Klaff made the comment at Finchley United Synagogue, north London, on Tuesday, at an event co-organised by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), Campaign4Truth and monitoring group BBC Watch.

Read the rest of this article at The Jewish Chronicle here.

BBC News at 10 advertises Israel hate organisation from Mandela memorial event in Johannesburg

This is a cross-post from Richard Millett’s blog

BBC reporter's piece to camera for News at 10 on Tuesday night.

I don’t know what the definition of an “advert” is but I don’t expect to see any adverts on the BBC considering every British household with a tv has to stump up £145.50 a year for the BBC not to show them.

Had a BBC reporter been standing directly in front of a banner showing of box of, let’s say, Persil Automatic at the memorial event for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg on Tuesday for a piece for the BBC’s News At 10 I am sure complaints would have come in thick and fast.

Instead, for part of her piece to camera, a BBC reporter stood directly in front of a banner advertising the Palestine Solidarity Alliance. Underneath that name and their logo was Nelson Mandela’s quote “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”. The reporter then walked away to give a clear view of the banner:

The piece in front of the banner lasted for some 15 seconds, which would have commanded a fair return in terms of advertising revenue. This is some of what those lovely folk at the Palestine Solidarity Alliance desire:

“The PSA strives to build a National and International Movement that supports the campaign to isolate Apartheid Israel and promote solidarity with the people of Palestine in their quest for self determination. In this we draw attention to the human rights violations perpetrated by Apartheid Israel, the inequality that defines the racism inherent in Zionism and the injustices that continue to cause conflict and suffering. Furthermore, we also celebrate the heroic battles and victories of Palestinian people and movements in their struggle for freedom and human dignity.

Expose the evil nature of Zionism as a racist colonial venture in defiance of four Geneva Conventions, UN Resolutions 181, 194, 242, 338 and other multilateral and international human rights conventions, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Align with solidarity movements to build a strong (BDS) Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement with the freedom loving people and leaders of South Africa”.

The PSA also explicitly calls for “the right for return of the Palestinian refugees”. This is, in other words, the demographic destruction of the Jewish state.

I am not sure that Nelson Mandela, known for his desire for conciliation at any cost, would have been too proud of the BBC. Despite what Nelson Mandela might have said in favour of the Palestinians he was also quite understanding of Israel’s security needs.

But I wouldn’t bother complaining to the BBC. When a viewer complained to the BBC about anti-Israel activist Tony Greenstein wearing a Palestine Solidarity Campaign shirt and badge on the BBC’s The Big Question the BBC replied that his attire “was another form of expression”.

Sadly, I’m sure the BBC will respond in a similar ridiculous vein to any complaints about that PSA banner.

BBC: We’ve Never Heard Netanyahu Say What We’ve Reported He Said

“On BBC World Service’s Newshour today [August 2nd, 2013], correspondent Lyse Doucet interviewed Israeli President Shimon Peres. 

During the interview, a soft-spoken Doucet peppered Peres with questions clearly meant to cast Israel as disinterested in peace. In the process, the interviewer also misled readers with an erroneous claim about the Israeli Prime Minister.

After asking Peres whether he believes Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is a partner for peace and listening to Peres reply in the affirmative, Doucet asserted: “And yet we’ve never heard Mr. Netanyahu describe him as a partner for peace.” “

Read the rest of this post by Gilead Ini here.

Also on August 2nd, viewers of BBC television news saw a filmed interview with Shimon Peres conducted by Doucet. 

Doucet Peres int

In that report Doucet promotes the standard BBC mantras of “time running out” for peace and “illegal settlements”, stating that:

“Settlements are still a major obstacle. Building on occupied land in the West Bank is regarded as illegal under international law.”

She also claims:

“But recent Israeli government figures show construction is now at a seven-year high.”

As readers will no doubt remember, that throw-away claim is based on a June 2013 press release from the politically motivated NGO ‘Peace Now’ which the BBC showcased at the time. As BBC Watch showed at the time, that claim is based on a very partisan interpretation of partial statistics.  

So, as we see, even items ostensibly about Israel’s nonagenarian president becomes a vehicle for the quotidian promotion of the BBC’s politically motivated narrative. 

Diary of a BBC complainant

This is a cross post from Harry’s Place.

When was the last time you shouted at the telly ? Over the last twenty years I have had occasion to complain to the BBC, and I guessed the reason I got fobbed off was down to my lack of preparation or perseverance. So, for twelve months – as an experiment – I have kept a diary of our dialogue, so I could learn, adapt and evolve. I’m glad I did, otherwise – as you will see – I might have started to question my own sanity.

My beef is about the BBC’s coverage of Israel. Yours might be the EU, political correctness, global warming, or some other. I read with interest Nigel Farage’s comments about the BBC’s Europhilia and its stereotypical reporting on UKIP. Well said that man. In fact, were one to take Mr Farage’s words and substitute ‘Israel’ for ‘UKIP, I wouldn’t be writing this now. So I’m not alone. You don’t have to share my particular views, but just stay with me a bit longer.

The conclusion of my twelve month experiment is that the BBC is in reality accountable to no-one but itself. It is quite simply, the largest political party in the country: immensely powerful, biased to its core, either wholly oblivious of its prejudice (or cynically aware of it) and defiantly unrepentant. It is a totally closed system, with processes engineered to repel feedback from its customers.

So, what didn’t I like about the BBC’s coverage of Israel ? Let me give you a few examples. In each case I complained. In each case, and at every level, I was rebuffed.

Continued here

Themes, metaphors and Gaza

Over at the Algemeiner, A Jay Adler (who usually blogs at The Sad Red Earth) has a very interesting article entitled “When Is an Open-Air Prison a Terrorist Camp?” in which he examines the use of the metaphor of ‘Gaza as an open-air prison’ and other popular themes employed by activists and the media – among others – including the BBC.  

“But what is the intent of the metaphor? Is it not to deceive the judgment and manipulate the moral imagination of those addressed by it so that they will conceive Israelis truly as brutal jailors, while the Gazans, never duly convicted through any process of law, are drawn falsely as unjustly imprisoned?

What those who believe the metaphor forget, but those who concoct it ever recall, is that the goal of political metaphor is to refashion reality, which is to say lie about it but bury the lie. They bury it in metaphorical equivocation.”

Read the whole article here

[Editor’s note: after this post was prepared and queued, Professor Adler kindly provided a link to his article in the comments section of an earlier post. However, the article merits much wider reading and hence a place on our front page.]  

BBC’s Donnison & Davies duo bark up the wrong tree

In the eyes of many around the world, the British have long held a well-deserved reputation as animal lovers. Like some other  reputations, that one too may well have been tarnished this past week by Tweeting BBC staffers. 

If you managed to stay awake despite reading Jon Donnison’s seemingly endless Tweets complaining about noise disturbing his slumbers in a war zone (duh!), then you may have already come across the story told below by Brian of London from ‘Israellycool’.   

“So I’m not a representative of what was once the world’s most respected news organisation. I don’t carry the initials “BBC” in my bio. And it doesn’t matter how many times your write that your twitter account is personal: if you identify yourself as from the BBC in your bio, then travel to Gaza during a war on the BBC’s dime, we can assume what you say is going to rub off on the BBC.”

Read the rest here