To give credit where it is due, the programme did try to boldly go where no BBC reporter has gone before and in general gave the impression of trying to present a reasonably balanced picture. However, little – if any – context was given in relation to anti-Jewish discrimination or pogroms in Arab lands prior to the emergence of the Zionist movement and the establishment of Israel.
Neither did the programme relate to the additional influence of attitudes and ideologies imported by European colonialists or the consequences of, for example, the Vichy regime in North Africa.
In addition, several of the interviewees perhaps gave the impression that Jews in Arab lands were not interested in Zionism which – although perhaps the case for some – is by no means true of all. Consequently, listeners may have been left with the impression that the persecution of Jews in Arab lands has a background exclusively related to Zionism and Israel.
Impressions of the programme as recorded by Bataween at the ‘Point Of No Return’ blog can be read here.
Part two of the programme – in which the presenter will visit the Jewish community in Tunisia – is still to come.
- BBC World Service programme on Jews from Arab lands – part 2 (bbcwatch.org)
- Upcoming BBC WS programme on Jews from Arab lands (bbcwatch.org)
- BBC interviewee’s support for Greta Berlin’s antisemitic videos (bbcwatch.org)