Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Monday, 3 September 2012

"In Another Arab Land ... Palestine": More BBC Anti-Israel Propaganda

Playing around with the remote control on Sunday evening, I happened to catch an episode of a BBC Four documentary entitled "The Thirties In Colour".  The programme consisted primarily of footage by mainly American tourists of travels in predominantly exotic destinations: Polynesia, Micronesia, the East Indies, South Africa, and so on.

It was apparent not long into the documentary, which I later learned first aired four years ago, that the narrated script exuded a definite leftist bias, and to reinforce this message a succession of talking heads belonging to a variety of academics of a politically correct bent interspersed the footage to remind us of the woefully deleterious impact that European colonisation and missionary activity had upon "indigenous peoples".

Occasionally the cultural relativism, the premise that all civilisations are created equal (and the devil take downtrodden women, I suppose) reached breathtaking heights, as when we were told, in all seriousness, of how colonial rule in one island in the Dutch East Indies had tragically destroyed the "heroic" lifestyle of the warring headhunters.  To lachrymose commentary, we saw footage of these former headhunters in their warrior costume, all dressed up but with nowhere of a headhunting nature to go.

It was when the footage reached Morocco, with the narration continuing on its characteristic way, that I had a sudden sinking feeling.  "Brace yourself!" I told myself. "You know what the next port of call will be."

And so it proved, the female narrator (whose waspish tones throughout were laced with the requisite amount of disapproval at the appropriate points) informing us with due emphasis and not a word about the Turkish-ruled past:
"In another Arab land ... Palestine ..."
And so we were told that in promising a National Home in Palestine for the Jews Britain had assured the Arab population that nothing would be done to disadvantage them – but had not kept its word.

There was talk of how Palestine was being taken over by "Jewish colonists," and one of the talking heads found official British footage taken in 1939 "quite sinister".  The footage, he noted, was largely a commercial for Jaffa oranges, omitting any hint of how Palestine had been "completely destroyed" by violence at that date. The omission was due to the fact that Britain wanted to give the impression that it was "in control" of the Mandate instead of "disregarding the interests of Palestine".

All in all, I found this to be a decidedly nasty segment, set as it was in the context of the programme's general anti-imperialist thrust.

Although there was little in it directly critical of Jews, it helped to bolster the impression, as that description of Palestine as an "Arab land" foreshadowed, that the subsequent creation of Israel had been a great wrong.

After the programme first went to air in 2008 it drew the following criticism from a member of the Anglo-Jewish community, Stephen Franklin, who complained about the programme's "totally extraordinary report" to the BBC Trust.

The focus of the complaint, which along with others he made regarding items pertaining to Israel was (surprise surprise!) rejected by Al Beeb, can be viewed here.

Mr Franklin subsequently blogged in a post entitled "BBC Trust sees no lack of impartiality in blatantly misleading reports":
'There was a sequence shown from “Springtime in the Holy Land”, one of two films released at the same time to advertise Jaffa citrus products. After the first showing of the film in Tel Aviv in April 1939 the films were reviewed in the Palestine Post on 25th April in the following terms. “The agency which advertises citrus fruits invited an audience to view some films which are to be used the world over to make people orange conscious. One film was a poster affair of animated oranges and fast moving moons which would not induce me to drink anything but coco cola (sic) or Schweppes Ginger beer. The other was one of those subtle advertising stunts, which should leave the perspective victim absolutely vulnerable to every orange that he comes across. It was a travelogue called Springtime in the Holy Land….”
The commentary then said “Taken in 1939, had the camera been diverted just a couple of degrees, it would have shown you a Palestine that had been completely destroyed by 3 years of rebellion of the Palestinian Arab community against both the Jewish settlers and the British colonial presence. Palestine would have been a fractured landscape of road blocks, of search points, of police presence, of military presence. There were concentration camps. There were collective punishments. Houses were destroyed. Towns…had been laid low. The country was flooded with British troops. It’s remarkable that they could film a film of Palestine at this moment without having a single British soldier or policeman in the frame.”
This was an advertising film. The British Tourist Board films during the “winter of discontent” didn’t show piles of rubbish bags in the streets of London. More serious than that in 1939 Jews were dying in concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau. The British didn’t have concentration camps. It was a totally inappropriate comment, and one that was likely to cause offence to Jews who had members of their family under attack by Palestinian Arabs in the Arab revolt and those with family members who died in real Nazi concentration camps.
The commentary also said “British control of Palestine was cemented in 1920 when it was granted mandated powers over the territory by the League of Nations. By then the British government had already pledged to create a Jewish national homeland in Palestine. Britain had assured the Arab population that nothing would be done to disadvantage them. But that promise wasn’t kept.”
As a simple matter of fact Britain had never assured the Arab population that nothing would be done to disadvantage them, but it also [has] to be seen in the context of the time.
Britain had already decided to bring out the infamous Palestine White Paper of May 1939, which clearly breached the terms of the mandate by tightly restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine at the time that Jews were most in danger. That was the real breach of their promise and it was confirmed as such by the Permanent Mandates Commission on whose behalf Britain governed Palestine, and who declared the White Paper to be “not in conformity” with the terms of Mandate Resolution of 1922. That breach of international law cost countless Jewish lives in the holocaust that followed.'

And so the BBC makes, and recycles, the shoddy reportage and outright propaganda that, in a media war of attrition against Israel, has turned and is turning countless viewers and listeners against the little Jewish State.

What a truly despicable organisation it is.


  1. This photo exhibition is just bizarre, a North Korean level of self centered delusion but SBS reports it as “news”. Note their fake astronaut says “one small step for a Palestinian”.
    Just as nutty
    Jumah at the DNC’ Speaker: ‘Muslims Visited America Prior to Columbus’ & ‘It Was a Muslim’ Who Guided Him to the ‘New World’

    But look at what happens when you don’t tow their idiotic line of BS:
    Channel 4 history of Islam sparks flood of complaints and presenter Tom Holland subjected to torrent of abusive tweets
    Tom Holland responds to the programme's critics
    The history of Islam is not off-limits
    (He points out Holland could only film his program in Israel and Jordan.)

    PLO's Ashrawi: No such thing as Jewish refugees
    Member of PLO Executive C'tee says Jews who came to Israel from Arab countries came voluntarily, pressured by Zionist groups.

    The Guardian !: Batsheva dance group: my deep shame at this bigoted festival protest

  2. Daphne, I complained to the BBC on the very point you are making, when the programme was originally broadcast a couple of years back. I even escalated it to the Editorial Complaints Unit. I got the most convoluted, mind bogglingly absurd and muddled brush off. Unfortunately, they sit in judgment on themselves, so getting the BBC to ever admit a mistake (or blatant political manipulation) is next to impossible.

    They really are disgusting people.

    1. I totally agree, Adam. Their complaints system is a farce and a scandal.

  3. The BBC is essentially state sponsored hate. And I am forced to pay for it by law.

    In addition,their correspondents are so second (or third) rate. Compare the intelligence of Tim Marshall on Sky (always with an original and insightful comment that you won't hear elsewhere) to the predictable, boring and consistently anti-Israel narrative of Jeremy Bowen.

    1. Sky is far preferable, and generally breaks news quicker.
      One of the few BBC ME reporters who strives for balance is Paul Wood, it seems to me.
      And don't get me started on the number of Beeboids who have a daddy who is/was also a BBC broadcaster!

  4. Thanks for quoting from my blog. Some of my complaints have actually been (in their terms) upheld although, even in those cases, the BBC haven't admitted just how wrong they were and the massive amount of bias shown by the Beeb in all the cases that I complained about.

    Clearly my complaint about The Thirties in Colour was not upheld by the BBC Trust.

    1. Thanks for taking the trouble to comment, Stephen. I appreciate it.

  5. In the conversation above you could be discussing the Australian ABC - also government financed propaganda outfit of which Goebbels would be proud. (although I think it was Lenin who said that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth...or words to that effect...and perhaps it was Goebbels after all who said it).

    But our state sponsored, sneering hate machines (the ABC and SBS) openly use Al Jezeera as a news-source, even broadcasting some of their programmes.

    The muslim killer who recently massacred 3 little Jewish children and their Rabbi father in France, shot a "snuff" movie of his killing. The tape of that mouvie was sent (after his suicide by cop) to AlJezeera - who was going to publish it, while the bodies of the little victims were barely cold, and it was only the intervention of Sarkozy who stopped them. Yes, I dont think AlJezeera is "standing with Israel".

    1. It was Goebbels, Rita.
      Many a time AlJazeera is more fair and balanced than Al Beeb!

    2. Al Jazeera has a clear agenda but I have been told that Israeli officials prefer it to the BBC because they report the interviews scrupulously accurately and never edit to give a different meaning than the interviewee intended.

    3. I've noticed that Mark Regev gets quite a good run on there, David.

  6. When I was at school during the first Gulf War in 1991, a "friend" told me in all seriousness that Iraq had attacked Kuwait because...of Israel. It was Israel's fault that Saddam attacked!

    Where does he work now? Foreign correspondent for the BBC!

  7. Stephen, I'm glad that someone else complained about it as well. I was given the line that "Arab" didn't just mean Arab, but could mean "Jewish" as well. It was an absolutely ludicrous argument!