BBC R2 promotes and mainstreams anti-Israel Greenbelt Festival

The Sunday August 25th edition of the BBC Radio 2 programme ‘Good Morning Sunday’ hosted by Clare Balding featured a two-hour live broadcast from Cheltenham Racecourse where the Greenbelt Festival was being held over the bank holiday weekend. The programme can be heard here for a limited period of time.

Good Morning Sunday Greenbelt

In the above synopsis the event is described as “an arts, faith and justice festival” – with that portrayal having come straight from the festival’s own tin – but as many readers probably know, there is a lot more to the Greenbelt Festival than just happy clappy music gigs and some of the event’s other strata raise the very serious question of why the BBC spent two hours putting lipstick on this event.

Near the beginning of the programme Clare Balding remarks on the “lovely feel” to the festival and her interviewee, the festival’s creative director Paul Northup, describes the event as “inclusive” and engaging”. However, any stray Israelis who happened to stumble upon it would probably find the event decidedly less than inclusive.

Balding makes no mention of the fact that one of the festival’s ‘attractions’ was a “giant interactive floor game for all ages” titled “Occupation”.

“Our installation in the Centaur foyer aims to give a glimpse of the challenges faced by ordinary Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. There’ll be a giant, interactive floor game – Occupation! – for all ages. Roll the dice and make your way through checkpoints and challenges, permit denials and poverty. On your journey, you’ll learn about the issues affecting the West Bank and Gaza and find out how you can help Embrace the Middle East to make a positive difference to the lives of marginalised people.

Occupation! is just a game, and you can walk freely away whenever you want, but the message behind it is a serious one. In the West Bank and Gaza, injustice continues to weave through the fabric of Palestinian life. Join us as we embrace the work of our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters in their determination to be agents of change.”

The organizer of that exercise in the indoctrination of the hundreds of children who attended the festival is ‘Embrace the Middle East – a Greenbelt associate partner – which might be better known to some readers under its former name of ‘Bible Lands’ and which continues to be headed by anti-Israel campaigner Jeremy Moodey

An additional Greenbelt event organized by ‘Embrace the Middle East’ was the official launch of a document titled ‘Kairos Britain: A Time for Action’, which purports to be a ‘response’ to the 2009 ‘Kairos Palestine’ document.

The ‘Kairos Britain’ document is replete with far too many distortions and downright lies to mention in this brief article, as readers can see for themselves here. Those familiar with the Christian anti-Israel scene in the UK will recognize many of the names endorsing it (see the ‘related articles’ section below) and this screenshot of the document’s first page – illustrated with the infamous ‘maps’ which would be avoided like the plague by anyone with an honest agenda – gives some idea of how this document makes a mockery of the commandment “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” to which its authors presumably supposedly adhere. 

Kairos Britain

Clare Balding refrains from asking Paul Northup about his signature’s appearance on that decidedly non-inclusive ‘Boycott Divestment and Sanctions’ promoting document. She also ‘forgets’ to tell audiences that her musical guest Garth Hewitt is another signatory or that he is a patron of the Hamas-supporting Palestine Solidarity Campaign and heads the anti-Israel campaigning ‘charity’ ‘Amos Trust’ which even exploits Christmas to spread anti-Israel propaganda. 

Amos Trust 1

Amos Trust 2

Balding’s main guest is Jim Wallis, but again she neglects to mention his anti-Israel agenda and his organisation’s magazine’s repeatedly problematic portrayal of Christianity in the Middle East. 

Of course the vast majority of Christians in the UK have no time for the type of anti-Israel agenda promoted by the organisers of the Greenbelt Festival, but nevertheless BBC Radio 2 not only saw fit to devote an entire programme to this fringe event, but also completely whitewashed its anti-Israel campaigning with astounding efficiency, with the result that listeners would get the impression that this is no more than a cuddly extended church coffee morning with live music.

Beyond the obvious issues of accuracy and impartiality, it will clearly be of concern to many a licence fee payer to discover that the BBC is complicit in promoting and sanitising an event which stigmatises an entire nation, hence mainstreaming that delegitimisation.

Related articles:

Beyond Belief: Political Propaganda in the Anglican Church

‘Friends of Sabeel UK’ : promoting BDS and harming interfaith relations

The Great Methodist BDS Hijack

Lessons from the York Pogrom of 1190

Pacifist Aggressive: the Quaker echo chamber which empowers terrorism

The ‘flytilla’ – a cameo appearance by bigots and extremists within the anti-Israel campaign in the UK


15 comments on “BBC R2 promotes and mainstreams anti-Israel Greenbelt Festival

  1. it is time for Israel to take their BBC Dossier and tell the BBC Goodbye. No Journalists no broadcast rights just Goodbye. What are the British Board of Deputies and other leadership Organisations doing about the BBC?

  2. Relax. As long as they persist in this pattern, you know that their deep sense of inferiority is at work, but you do hope for their sakes and for their families that they’ll get help. Why do you think they focus on the Jews if it doesn’t goad them so?

  3. I have not had the opportunity to listen to the programme yet, but can’t resist stating the obvious. Even if the BBC chooses to actively support this very non-Christian Christian gathering, how could a two hour coverage of any event fail to mention a protest at the gate, a floor game in the central foyer, the launch of a new initiative and some background information of its key organisers and participants? Its astonishing given how much talking would need to take place to fill two hours of radio coverage given the fact that time cannot be filled in with visuals. One wonders at the lack of curiosity displayed by Balding who surely must have researched the event to be able to choose interviewees. So even if she were totally lacking in knowledge of the scriptures, ME history and the current political state in the ME, how can the BBC send her to cover an event for two entire hours during which time she failed to draw the attention of the listener to these anomolous events at a scripture meeting of “love thy neighbour” Christians? Some might say its just as well she took a vow of silence regarding the anti Christian behaviour of these “Christians”, but I disagree. She could and should have been inclusive. Mike Fryer would have made a great contribution to BBC balance had she interviewed him at the gate where a number of real Christians were protesting having been denied entry to this “inclusive” faux religious gathering. It is shocking that I and many others seeking truth and balance are forced to pay for BBC involvement in propaganda dissemination. Silence is just as guilty in promoting propaganda as active participation. Imagine how different pre war Europe would have been had the silent majority exercised their vocal chords. And yes before I hear a shout of how I dare compare the two, the Holocaust started with small so called insignificant rallies of deligitimisation of the Jews that went unapproved and unreported by major Western news media. We all know now that the deligitimisation was false, contrived to help a dictator commit genocide of the Jewish people. Surely its obvious that the current deligitimisation of Israel is that same attempt to eradicate the Jews, for Israel is the symbol of the Jewish nation in a PC world and her eradication is promoted by Hamas whose charter calls for exactly the death of all Jews worldwide.

  4. Embrace the Middle East? It would be a more attractive prospect to embrace a porcupine that has just sensed danger.

    These Christian friends of Islamic terrorists should rather embrace those Palestinian Christians who are being oppressed, brutalised and driven from their homes by their Muslim neighbours – and who have enough courage and honesty to admit that their woes are not caused by the Israelis but by the extreme intolerance of Islam to any other religion.

    But they will not do that since it would interfere with their slick, anti-Israel agenda.

    • What can be done against a Church education that labelled Jews as Christ Killers and that they must therefore be hated. A church that has at it’s head a Jewish Rabbi who never preached against Judaism but preached love and consideration – many Christian leaders (priests) therefore had to “destroy” the religion of their “G-d” OR embrace it. So Sabbath moves from Saturday to Sunday and dietry laws amongst others are abandoned in order to show their rejection of Judaism. Ishmael, a half brother of Isaac, has to either follow the family religion of Judaism – Abraham Isaac & Jacob OR reject it and find another one that isn’t that of the hated Jewish half-brother . When it arrives 500 years later, It has to preach the opposite of Judaism, so love becomes hatred, and has to oppose the Jews who are told to “choose life”. So Islam preaches hatred and chooses death – that way, through death, you become a Martyr. Later, Islam in order to survive has to destroy all non believers, Jews, Christians, Hindus – all who follow a different path. Of course there is also the major misunderstanding of Jews being the Chosen – which is not meant to make them the favourite or superior beings – only, those chosen to be a “light unto the nations” – starting place the Ten Commandments – which most civilisations have adopted one way or the other in their Constitutions. To make matters worse, those Jews seem incapable of being destroyed and seem to go on and on and from success stories to more success stories. So it has been written, and so it shall be.

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  7. Far be it from me to defend the odious BBC, but it’s interesting to note that Pastor Mike Fryer, the coordinator of the Christian demonstrators at Greenbelt who travelled to the festival specifically to show support for Israel, had contacted the BBC beforehand, and deemed it a victory when the BBC assured him that they would not be broadcasting the anti-Israel aspects.
    I have included his remarks in a long post re the pro-Israel Christians’ reaction to Greenbelt here:

    • Sorry, so why did they report anything about this meeting? How could they leave out the major theme of the day? That just serves to give them publicity for what the BBC made them appear to be rather than what they really are, a bunch of Jew haters spreading anti Jewish propaganda with impunity.

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