BBC in hot water over antisemitic caricature in Proms programme

The Algemeiner brings us a story which once again highlights the pressing need for the BBC to educate its staff on the topic of identifying antisemitism.Algemeiner pic

“The BBC apologized on Friday for publishing an antisemitic caricature of famed Jewish violinist Leopold Auer in a program for its annual summer concert festival.

“We use a range of caricatures and illustrations in our concert programmes and wanted one of Leopold Auer,” a BBC spokesperson said in an email to The Algemeiner. “We’re sorry to anyone who was offended by the image choice – this was never our intention.”

The spokesperson also said the BBC has “no plans to use that image again.”

The offensive illustration of Auer appeared in the program for a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. The concert was part of the BBC Proms, an eight week-long festival of concerts, lectures, workshops and family events, ending with the famous Last Night of the Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall. A number of composers specifically dedicated pieces to Auer, including Tchaikovsky.”

Read the rest of the Algemeiner article here and the Jewish Chronicle’s report here.  

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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.]