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)

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

From Al Beeb's Central Casting: Pushy Jews & Unlovable Israelis

A BBC radio journalist, one Paul Moss, has been indulging in some offensive mockery of Jews and Israelis, with a special barb reserved for the religiously observant.

The types he claims (in an article on the BBC website) to have encountered aboard an EasyJet flight from Luton to Tel Aviv come straight from central casting, and can only serve to reinforce existing stereotypes held by readers, as well as to prejudice others.

"It is not just the election results that show that Israelis have different views about who should be running the country: a flight to Tel Aviv can provide a glimpse into some of the simmering tensions in the Middle East," he tells us.

"The conflict was awfully familiar.
The Israelis were arguing with the non-Israelis, and indeed with each other - over who was entitled to what territory.
Some were polite, but others more hostile. It was an ugly scene. At one point, I thought people might well come to blows.
And still they could not sort it out. Who was supposed to be in what seat? The plane had not even taken off yet, but already Flight 2085 ... had become a microcosm of the Middle East....
Some argued from a point of legal entitlement. They held up their boarding passes, the seat number clearly visible
"I have a right to be here," they protested. But others simply pointed out that they had got there first. I felt I had heard this before somewhere.'
Fasten your seat-belts; here comes more turbulence:
'Meanwhile, bolder passengers were simply shoving their luggage - and themselves - into the places they wanted. You might call it "establishing facts on the ground".
They ignored the would-be occupants towering above them, now waving boarding cards in their faces, like title-deeds to a house....
Tensions rose and so did voices in English, in Hebrew and in Russian. I only speak one of those languages but I am quite sure I was being treated to a crash course in their finest insults and for the first time I found myself awfully glad that metal implements are no longer permitted in carry-on luggage....'
After several paragraphs of facetious nonsense the article continues:
"A group of Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jews had been given space at the back of the plane to hold a prayer meeting. They bowed, and recited, but in the process they attracted more worshippers and, who knows, perhaps new worshippers converted to the faith by this stirring display of mid-air religiosity.
Eventually there were so many offering their thanks to God that they were blocking the aisle, and the non-observant passengers found they could not reach the toilet.
One unfortunate lady found herself stuck inside the lavatory, pushing on the door but meeting resistance from the mini-congregation now gathered outside.
Soon the secular bladders were causing real problems to their owners, who began to complain that the religious people were getting things all their own way...."
Can you imagine the BBC, even in jest, promoting stereotypes of stingy Scots or inebriated Irish, to say nothing of Arabs or people of colour?

Can you imagine the BBC mocking devout Muslims at prayer? No, neither can I.

I've no idea whether Moss is himself Jewish, but whether he is or is not he should be thoroughly ashamed of himself, and the BBC should be thoroughly ashamed too.

Alas, he would appear to have form.

For the details see  BBCWatch here.

4 comments:

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    Replies
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