A BBC Two commission and the politicisation of Christmas

h/t LV, BF

Over the years we have often seen BBC produced content in which the Christmas season was exploited for the promotion of a chosen politicised narrative and this year, it transpires, will be no exception.

On December 17th at 21:00 BBC Two will screen an hour-long programme titled “Alternativity” which combines the Christmas theme with a much promoted BBC favourite – Banksy.

“This exciting arts documentary film offers an alternative take on the nativity story. The unique, hour-long film follows the production of a contemporary one-off performance of the nativity play quite unlike any other.”

The BBC News website informs us that:

“Director Danny Boyle has teamed up with Banksy to stage an alternative nativity play at the artist’s Bethlehem hotel.

The Alternativity was staged in the car park of the artist’s Walled Off Hotel in the occupied West Bank. The process was filmed for a BBC Two documentary. […]

BBC Two controller Patrick Holland said the programme would show “a challenging and provocative” version of the story. […]

Patrick Holland said: “It is brilliant for BBC Two to be working with Danny Boyle, Banksy and the creative team who together are making this alternative nativity.

“It promises to be a challenging and provocative exploration of a story that speaks to young and old alike.””

Readers are also told that:

“Banksy created a promotional image for the documentary showing a drone watching over the nativity scene.

He also put up two new artworks ahead of the event. One said “Peace on Earth” next to a twinkling star, which doubled as an asterisk. Below was the same asterisk and the words “Terms and conditions apply”.

The other artwork was painted on the wall and showed two cherubic angels trying to prise two panels apart with a crowbar.”

The article employs a formula frequently evident in BBC content: the anti-terrorist fence – constructed after hundreds of Israelis were murdered by Palestinian suicide bombers – is described as “controversial”, but no mention whatsoever is made of the terrorism that caused it to be built.

“The anonymous street artist opened The Walled Off Hotel in March, boasting the “worst view in the world” – next to the controversial barrier Israel has built in and around the West Bank.”

While in the past we have witnessed the BBC repeatedly providing uncritical PR for Banksy’s anti-Israel agitprop, we now see that the corporation has elected to take an active role in the promotion of such politically motivated propaganda by using licence fee funding to commission this ‘documentary’.  

Can readers recall any other examples of public funds being used by the ‘impartial’ BBC to amplify a political activist’s delegitimisation of a particular country?

Related Articles:

Documenting five years of BBC politicisation of Christmas

More Balfour Declaration agitprop promotion on the BBC News website

Multiplatform BBC amplification for anti-Israel ‘political statement’ PR campaign

BBC inaccurately promotes Banksy propaganda as a ‘documentary’


15 comments on “A BBC Two commission and the politicisation of Christmas

  1. That is why I nearly smashed the TV when the whole of the Newswatch programme on Friday was taken up with an interview with outgoing head of news James Harding (who is Jewish) who kept referring to the “impartial” BBC! There is also a programme about icon-painting in Bethlehem which is probably equally propagandistic in an even more snide way.

    • I wanted to smash my TV watching this vile anti-Semitism masquerading as “documentary about the Nativity under occupation”. Where was the context? Boyle states how crude & brutal the wall is but does not elaborate on the crude and brutal massacres of Israelis that was the reason for this security wall having to be erected in the first place.

      To add insult to injury Judaism was completely airbrushed out of the Nativity play with Christians and Muslims exclusively staking a claim to this story about the King of the Jews.

      Everywhere I looked I saw pro-Palestinian propaganda fuelled by anti-Semitism, there is not another word for it, and found myself disgusted that a film director and an artist can see no further than beyond their own brainwashed Leftist ideas.

      This production reminds me of Hitler’s favourite film director, Leni Reifenstahl, and I am pondering on the damage it has done to anyone not fully conversant with the facts of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

  2. Please remember that your so-called ‘security wall’ or ‘anti-terror wall’ was unanimously delared illegitimate by the International Courtmany years ago

  3. Well…having watched the programme I am at a loss to see why anyone can claim that the reason for the wall was not mentioned…it was clearly stated that the wall was built because of the attacks on Israelis.
    I found the programme very moving. I found Danni Boyle a bit flippant at times, but then he seemed to quiet down and just absorb the enormity of the situation.
    I was particularly upset by the constant surveillance and the humiliation of all the Palestinian workers as they shuffled through those awful tunnels.
    We need to see what is happening in Christ’s birthplace, as experienced by the Palastinians as well as the Israelis…who are having a very different experience of this part of the world.
    Brave, careful, and superb documentary. Well done, BBC.
    Any charges of anti-Semitism are woefully misplaced. The coverage which involved the IDF was balanced and fair, and showed them in a gentle light. Pretty generous, I would say, given how they have been acting recently against children…..

    • Brenda
      Were you equally moved to comment on the Second Intifada which witnessed the murder of more than a thousand israeli citizens by Palestinian homicide bombers in restaurants ,buses, hotels etc?Perhaps you can locate a comment or two just for some balance

  4. I too am concerned at the bias of the BBC in covering news in Israel/Palestine. They give very little coverage to the daily atrocities endured by the Palestinian population in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Many ordinary civilians are abused and injured or even killed in questionable circumstances each day but these stories never get into the BBC news. Children, as young as 8 years are abducted by Israeli military forces in a very aggressive way and abused, tortured and intimidated but watching BBC news one would never know this goes on.
    Hadar Sela objects to the wall built by Israel, stealing further Palestinian land, being described as “controversial”. Yes, this is the wrong word to use for this wall. It should properly be described as “illegal” which is how the World Court described it in 2004 when they ordered that it be taken down. Sela says that hundreds of Istaelis who were killed before it was built but makes no mention on the thousands of Palestinians killed by Israel during the same period. Of course in his mind their deaths don’t count .

  5. I thought it was a great production. I didn’t see anything unfair about it impartial and honest. In fact I don’t think showed enough of the hardship the people are going through because of the occupation. Those complaining are just simply tryin to hide israelie wrong doings!

  6. Pingback: Political narrative and inaccuracy in BBC Two’s ‘Alternativity’ – part one | BBC Watch

  7. Pingback: Political narrative and inaccuracy in BBC Two’s ‘Alternativity’ – part two | BBC Watch

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