BBC double standard

As the Robert Kilroy-Silk affair unfolds, the Telegraph and a British parliament member question the BBC’s double standard on the viciously anti-Israel Tom Paulin:


Tom Paulin

Tom Paulin, the poet and Oxford don, has continued to be a regular contributor to BBC2’s Newsnight Review arts programme, despite being quoted in an Egyptian newspaper as saying that Jews living in the Israeli-occupied territories were “Nazis” who should be “shot dead”.

Andrew Dismore, the Labour MP, said he found it hard to understand why the BBC had moved against Mr Kilroy-Silk but had not taken any action against Mr Paulin.

“I am not defending anything Mr Kilroy-Silk has said, but I was greatly upset by what Mr Paulin said, and I think the rules should apply to people equally,” said Mr Dismore. “Mr Paulin said awful things about Israel and Jewish people. He should have been kept off BBC screens while his own comments were investigated. I was surprised that that did not happen. It smacks of double standards on the part of the BBC.”

Mr Paulin made his comments in the Egyptian weekly newspaper Al-Ahram almost two years ago, saying that US-born settlers in the occupied territories should be shot dead. “I think they are Nazis, racists. I feel nothing but hatred for them,” he said, adding: “I never believed that Israel had the right to exist at all.”

Within days of the article appearing, a number of academic institutions, including Harvard, cancelled planned readings by the poet. The BBC, however, did not seek to remove him from Newsnight Review.

More on Tom Paulin:

- Here’s a poem of Paulin’s – ‘Killed in the Crossfire’:

To me the Zionists, who want to go back to the Jewish state of 70 AD (destruction of Jerusalem by Titus), are just as offensive as the Nazis. With their nosing after blood, their ancient ‘cultural roots’, their partly canting, partly obtuse winding back of the world, they are altogether a match for the National Socialists. – Victor Klemperer, 13 June 1934

We’re fed this inert
this lying phrase
like comfort food
as another little Palestinian boy
in trainers jeans and a white teeshirt
is gunned down by the Zionist SS
whose initials we should
- but we don’t – dumb goys -
clock in that weasel word crossfire

(Printed: February 18, 2001)

- In in the infamous al-Ahram interview, Paulin had this to say about Palestinian suicide bombers:

I can understand how suicide bombers feel…It is an expression of deep injustice and tragedy. I think — though — that it is better to resort to conventional guerrilla warfare.

- In Oct. 2001, Paulin attacked journalist Ian Baruma for not revealing his ‘Zionist credentials’ to readers.

- In November 2002, when Harvard first withdrew its invitation to Paulin, BBC News commented:

“Now his polemical, knockabout style has ruffled feathers in the US, where the Jewish question is notoriously sensitive.”

The ‘Jewish question’?

- In Jan. 2003, the ZOA encouraged Columbia University not to re-hire Paulin, due to his encouragement of murder of Israelis. Columbia did not re-hire Paulin.

- In May 2002, Jerusalem Post London correspondent Douglas Davis commented on Paulin and the BBC’s encouragement of anti-Semitism: “Wittingly or not, I am convinced the BBC has become the principal agent for reinfecting British society with the virus of anti-Semitism.”

See also this blog: Biased BBC, and leave comments at the site of the BBC’s official charter renewal.

(Hat tip: LGF)

UPDATE: Columnist Mark Steyn weighs in on the double standard.

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