BBC World Service programme on Jews from Arab lands – part 2

In the second part of the BBC World Service ‘Heart and Soul’ programme entitled ‘Arab Jews: A Forgotten Exodus’ (which can be listened to here), presenter Magdi Abdelhadi travelled to Tunisia to meet members of its tiny Jewish community. 

To his credit, Abdelhadi did a much better job in this second episode than in the first. Not only did he not shy away from presenting the various threats posed  by Islamist extremists  to the continued existence of Tunisia’s remaining Jewish community, but he vigorously challenged Rachid al Ghannouchi – leader of the En-Nahda party which heads the coalition in Tunisia’s current government – on his ‘double speak’ regarding attacks on Jews and his party’s relationship with the Salafists carrying them out. 

Al Ghannouchi has often been portrayed by some members of the Western media (and even by some Western governments) as a ‘moderate’, despite – among other things – his party’s feting of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh last January and his own long extremist history

Magdi Abdelhadi, however, seems to have got Ghannouchi’s number. Perhaps he could help out with some sorely-needed editing on the BBC’s ‘Country Profile’ page for Tunisia, where interim president Moncef Marzouki is presented as a “counterweight” to the Islamist En-Nahda party – despite his having earlier this year sponsored a conference co-organised by the Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood-linked ‘Palestinian Return Centre’  – and where a profile of the En-Nahda party includes the claim that Ghannouchi  is “widely viewed as a moderate, reform-minded Islamist”. 

5 comments on “BBC World Service programme on Jews from Arab lands – part 2

  1. I haven’t listened to the ‘Jews from Arab Lands’ programmes yet, but just to emphasize Hadar’s point that the BBC consistently presented him as a moderate, I posted several pieces about Ghannouchi on Biased-BBC. They contain one or two interesting links, some of which seem to be defunct, but others are still okay.
    In case anyone’s wondering, my piece about Wyre Davies was intentionally flippant.

  2. Pingback: BBC World Service programme on Jews from Arab lands – part 1 | BBC Watch

  3. Pingback: BBC report on Jews in Tunisia tainted by agenda-driven addition | BBC Watch

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