South Africa’s SABC Newsroom is the main morning TV weekday news program on South Africa’s public broadcaster. On the morning of March 4, SABC gave a platform to two activists promoting Israel Apartheid Week.
A professional and balanced presenter would have qualified his statements by acknowledging that Israeli “apartheid” is a perception rather than a fact. But not SABC Newsroom’s Eben Jansen who opens by referring to Israel Apartheid Week as “a series of events that raise awareness of Israel’s apartheid policies against Palestinians.”
Jansen then interviews the two anti-Israel activists giving them several minutes of carte blanche to promote Israel Apartheid Week and their anti-Israel agenda. When one interviewee explains that Israel fits the definition of an “apartheid state,” there is no followup or counter-argument. Instead it is treated as an accepted fact in the same way that the earth is considered to be round.
While the activists are given a free ride in what is effectively a powder-puff interview, their language betrays their real agenda:
- Referring to the “Israeli regime and the indigenous Palestinian people” as if Israelis are illegitimate and colonialist.
- One of the activists lauds the involvement of “progressive” Jews in their campaign and claims that they make it clear that “Israel does not speak in the name of all Jews and that it’s only a group of Jewish people that recognize Israel as a state for them and them only.” While he may wish to hold up Jewish support to give his anti-Israel campaign the fig leaf of credibility, South African Jewry is renowned for its Zionism and, with statistics that some 80% of the community regard themselves as “orthodox,” it’s highly unlikely that Jewish involvement in Israel Apartheid Week is anything other than marginal.
- When asked for their solution to the conflict, the activists present what appears to be a reasonable and peaceful answer: “a country for all people whether you are Jewish, Muslim, Palestinian or any other can be created in the Middle East for all that reside in that area.” This is a thinly veiled reference to a one-state solution whereby Israel is no longer a Jewish sovereign state – a proposition promoted by extremists who wish to see the effective destruction of Israel.
Eben Jansen signs off by wishing the activists all the best for Apartheid Week. With that sort of soft interview, offering only one side of the story, SABC Newsroom has clearly done its best to assist Israel Apartheid Week.
In the interests of balance why did SABC Newsroom not invite someone with a pro-Israel counterpoint on the show? Or is the SABC acknowledging that professional journalism is secondary to promoting a biased and anti-Israel political agenda?
See HonestReporting’s Israel Apartheid State Libel page for more resources.
You can make your feelings known to SABC through its feedback form asking how such a one-sided and biased interview was allowed to be screened and demand that a guest be invited on air to state Israel’s case.
H/T: Uri Gobey aka Israel Muse