Bowen was true to his and Al Beeb’s agenda-laden form.
He loftily pronounced the biblical account of Moses and the Exodus to be “a fanciful tale ... the stuff of fairy tales”.
“If the Hebrews were never in Egypt then perhaps the whole epic was fiction, made up to give the Jewish people a history and a destiny,” he declared. And he scoffingly dismissed what he called “the religious justification of the State of Israel” – Moses’ “burning bush” encounter with the Almighty.
As the London-based Israeli journalist Douglas Davis observes of that documentary, in an essay entitled “Hatred in the Air: The BBC, Israel and Antisemitism” that appears in the book A New Antisemitism? Debating Judeophobia in 21st-Century Britain (2003):
“I have no problem with a documentary that suggests scientific explanations for seemingly miraculous events in the Jewish story, but I do object when I suspect that the purpose of the investigation is to delegitimize the basis of Judaism and to undermine the claim of the Jewish people to national expression in even a part of its ancestral home. ...[I]t is inconceivable that the BBC would devote an hour-long prime-time documentary to a critical investigation that served to delegitimize the Prophet Muhammed and undermine the basic tenets of Islam.”Now, the BBC seems set on the delegitimising-Israel-through-undermining-Judaism course once again.
Aaqil Ahmed, a Muslim who to many Christians' astonishment and indeed consternation was appointed Head of BBC’s Religion and Ethics department a couple of years ago, commissioned Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou, an atheist university lecturer in theology and religion at Exeter University (for whom also see http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-bible-a-history/articles/abrahams-inheritance), to present a three-part series “that seeks to de-construct and sceptically critique the Holy Scriptures of Judaism and Christianity”.
Have a look at the presentation on King David, replete with much modern Israeli imagery, including a certain wall, beside which the presenter strides, and you’ll see what I mean: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8383956/Bibles-Buried-Secrets-BBC-Two-review.html
And please be sure to look at David Vance’s fine post on the Biased BBC website, which in discussing the Stavrakopoulou series shows how the BBC manages to decry the Bible as a fount of male chauvinism and to excoriate sexism in Christianity while treating the misogyny of the Quran and of Islam in a manner that I can only describe as respectful, if not reverential. http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/2011/03/loving-religion-of-peace-loathing.html
The comment by Max on the following thread is of interest too: http://cifwatch.com/2011/03/15/in-the-arab-world-but-not-of-it-glaring-omission-underlines-the-anti-israel-bias-of-the-bbc/#comments