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BBC bigotry fans the flames of Labour’s anti-Semitism


The pernicious and mutating narrative of anti-Semitism has now reached endemic proportions thanks to the BBC and the Labour Party. Social media has flushed out into the open what was once only whispered at dinner parties. At the centre is the mantra that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, chanted by those who, ironically, claim expert knowledge of our faith. Zionism is the movement for the self-determination of the Jewish people and therefore inseparable from Judaism. The words ‘next year in Jerusalem’, uttered at the end of every Passover, encapsulates our yearning to return to Israel.

Yet Momentum cultists persistently use this reductive narrative when denying their anti-Semitism, embellishing it with the fabrication that Israelis are evil Nazis and that Palestinians are innocent victims. Their new favourite, thanks to Ken Livingstone, is the myth that Hitler and Zionists collaborated. This venomous attempt at Holocaust revisionism deliberately diminishes the impact of the Shoah because Jews are perceived as complicit in their own destruction.

Labour’s disdain for Jews is glaringly obvious in its recent welcoming back into the fold a dire assortment of militants and Holocaust deniers, including an activist called Mike Sivier. This man is an ardent fan of Ken Livingstone and has written a book about him. Livingstone marked the recent Holocaust Memorial Day by discussing on Iran’s Press TV how Jews exploit the Holocaust. As a way to excuse his Holocaust denial, Sivier claims he has always ‘used the “high” figure of six million Jews’. If he cannot see how the use of quotation marks implies questioning of this number – an emblematic Holocaust revisionist manoeuvre – he must be delusional.

But it is not only obscure activists, guilty of anti-Semitism, who are embraced by Labour. Ken Loach, the film-maker adored by luvvies, quite despicably justifies Labour’s re-admittance of Moshe Machover, a Labour activist who distributed an article at the Labour conference referencing ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ – the hideously anti-Semitic Tsarist forgery – as if it was a historically correct textbook. Loach also preposterously insists he has never come across anti-Semitism at Labour gatherings. There is plenty of evidence to contradict his ludicrous claim – ask those Jews subjected to appalling attacks by Momentum.

But don’t ask Jewish Voice for Labour members for this proof. Their vicious and vocal anti-Israel agenda blinds them to any anti-Semitism and so they will deny it. And so will those Labour members who claim tenuous links to Judaism as a way to legitimise their hatred of Israel. But claiming Jewish credentials while indulging in anti-Semitism works only with their admirers and does not hide their animosity. Loach and his cronies should instead ask the majority of British Jews what they think of the antics of Momentum’s Brownshirts. But they won’t, for according to Labour’s narrative this majority are ‘bad Jews’ because they support Israel. The only Jewish voices Labour will listen to are the anti-Zionist ‘good Jews’.

Even Labour’s moderates, complicit in shushing away concerns, have fallen victim to the anti-Semitic virus. Wes Streeting claims to understand his Jewish constituents’ fears but recently attended a meeting run by the Islamist group Mend. He also chaired a meeting of Labour Friends of Palestine during which he did not challenge the usual lies repeated there about Israel.

Meetings such as these foment hatred of Israel, which should be obvious to anyone genuinely concerned about anti-Semitism. But Streeting is a perfect example of the cognitive dissonance practised by those spellbound by Labour’s narrative on Jews, Zionism and Israel.

The BBC is similarly guilty of perpetuating this poisonous anti-Semitic narrative. Jeremy Bowen’s recent paean to the Tamimi clan and their Islamist ideology typifies the BBC’s bigotry. His report is vile and complicit in helping jihadists accomplish their heinous goal of turning Israel into another Islamic theocracy.

Gravely interviewing the Tamimis about the arrest of Ahed, Bowen neglected a few important details. The notorious Tamimis have a duplicitous history of terrorism against Israel. They are jihadists, willing to sacrifice their children in the quest to murder and destroy.

Ahed’s father, Bassem, is no romantic freedom fighter, despite the disingenuous footage of him blowing kisses at Ahed. Bassem is guilty of child abuse, having systematically encouraged his children to hate Jews and participate in terrorism. He is fond of repeating the blood libel that Jews kidnap Palestinian children to steal their organs – an updated version of the medieval libel that Jews kidnap gentile children to drink their blood.

Ahed was arrested not for a slap but for inciting terrorism. She has attacked Israeli soldiers several times before, goaded by her parents filming her. To seek sympathy for this violent clan Bowen repeats the lie that Ahed is 16, yet she was cited as being 13 when she was honoured by Recep Erdoğan in 2012. This makes her 18, three years older than Malki Roth who was murdered, along with 14 other Israelis, by Ahed’s aunt and cousin when they bombed the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001. Half who died were children, and among the 130 injured were several babies. Bowen should be ashamed of himself for glorifying Ahed, a terrorist, but ignoring the deaths of innocent children such as Malki. The BBC should never have let this report pass their editorial checks, if they ran it at all.

Bowen pontificates mournfully on Israel’s failings yet he fails to mention that Israel’s enemies don’t want peace but the death of every Jew. When will he read out the Hamas Charter on air and draw public attention to the threats made by Iran and Hezbollah against Israel? Can the BBC not be aware that his biased hatchet-job conveniently hides the fact that the Tamimis worship at the same Islamist altar as those who massacred innocents in Manchester and London last year?

By not bothering to mention any of this, Bowen and the BBC have given up all pretence of impartiality. They are far more concerned with championing the Tamimi clan of jihadists than the Jews slaughtered by them. I can only conclude that the BBC want to carry on the tradition of demonising Jews in the style of Leni Riefenstahl, the Nazi propagandist film-maker.

Labour and the BBC’s anti-Semitic narrative on Jews, Israel and Zionism is never-ending. Those who parrot it are connected in a downward spiral of hate. We have to change the narrative otherwise the flames of anti-Semitism will engulf us all.

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Karen Harradine
Karen Harradine
Karen is an anthropologist and freelance journalist. She writes on anti-Semitism, Israel and spirituality. She is @KarenH777on Twitter.

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