They Just Can’t Help Themselves

starttheweekThe BBC’s Start the Week with Andrew Marr started the week in bad form, interviewing novelist Eva Figes on her new book “Journey to Nowhere”. During the interview, Figes compared Israel to Nazi Germany, which even Andrew Marr, to his credit, described as extreme.

(Click on the image to download the programme.)

Figes readily admits that the reason she has decided to tell her story now is that she is “utterly appalled at Israeli behaviour. It seems to me they are like the Nazis. They don’t have gas chambers but that’s largely because they’d be found out.” (28 mins into the broadcast)

Figes, who is not a historian, claims that there is “evidence in papers” that Zionists “lied” about their intentions and “always intended to get the whole of Palestine, claiming that Israel was a creation of the United States as a means to prevent a mass flood of Holocaust survivors from entering US territory.

The Adloyada blog takes further issue with many of the glaring historical inaccuracies and hatred of Israel espoused by Figes during her radio appearance. A reader of commentator Tom Gross asks “why the BBC keep on asking people like this to appear on its most prominent programs. It can hardly be an accident they choose them.”

yasminalibhaibrownLike the BBC, The Independent’s regular commentator Yasmin Alibhai-Brown never misses an opportunity to denigrate Israel and the state’s Jewish supporters despite her constant defence that “some of her best friends are Jewish”. Commenting in The Independent on the situation in Zimbabwe, Alibhai-Brown attacks the apparent lack of concern on the part of Africans to criticise their own when atrocities are being committed. She then continues:

What a terrible thing this ancestral loyalty is, and yet so powerful and pervasive. So, vociferously anti-Zionist Muslims damn Israel but will not condemn murderous Arabs in Darfur. Kinship ties the tongues of too many Jewish people around the world who should be speaking up against the systematic brutalisation by Israel of Palestinians in Gaza.

Any comparison between the situation of Gazan Palestinians and Darfur or Zimbabwe is simply wrong. Alibhai-Brown may wish to consider that Jews and Israelis are free to criticise the policies of Israeli governments (and regularly do so) but may actually judge such policies on their merit. Expressing understanding for Israeli actions to defend her citizens from Gazan missiles and terror cannot be reduced to simple “kinship” as the race-obsessed Alibhai-Brown contends.

We do not wish to to distract attention on the letters page from the very real tragedy taking place in Zimbabwe. So please send your comments to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown directly – Please remember to address your comments in a civil and rational manner to avoid giving Alibhai-Brown a further excuse to denigrate supporters of Israel.


bbclogo2HonestReporting questioned BBC journalist Aleem Maqbool’s account of an incident in Ramallah a year ago where he says a Palestinian “militant” was dragged out of cafe and killed, execution-style, by IDF soldiers operating from armoured vehicles.

However, differing descriptions in various media outlets as well as the unreliability of Palestinian “eyewitnesses” raised a number of questions over Maqbool’s account. Was the BBC reporter motivated to collate various conflicting details into something purposely portraying Israel in the worst possible light?

The BBC responded to many of our subscribers complaints but left many questions unanswered. Read the BBC’s response at HonestReporting’s latest communique along with a guide on how to complain to the BBC on its Complaints website: Questions Remain Over BBC Response


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