AS I write this, as a secular British Jew, I fear for the safety of my co-religionists be they from the ultra orthodox or secular strains of Judaism. Thousands marched over the weekend in a hate fest against the only Jewish State in the world, Israel, over Israeli actions against the Palestinians. Those marching were filled with hatred and vile anti-Semitism; the demo morphed into a convoy of cars covered with Palestinian flags and carrying racists screaming ‘Death to Jews’ and ‘We will rape your daughters’ as they drove through a Jewish community in north London.
The mob needed no assistance to fuel their racist bile but days of one-sided reporting from our mainstream media has certainly given them further impetus. Such was the bias that the Campaign Against Antisemitism is petitioning to have the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen removed from his post.
BBC bias is nothing new in reporting this conflict. When the corporation’s Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston was released from a rogue gang of Palestinian kidnappers in 2007, both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas described him as a ‘friend of the Palestinians’. Anyone following his reports would confirm this bias. He was allowed to keep his job.
Sadiq Khan, Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer have been among the politicians offering limp support to the UK Jewish community after Sunday’s events. It must surely take both Houses of Parliament to affirm their total commitment in condemning this shameful attack on British Jewry and an acknowledgement by the media that their negative and biased coverage of the Israeli Palestinian situation has assisted in creating frightening conditions for the tiny minority of Jews within the UK.
Days earlier a bombing which killed 80 Muslim schoolgirls and injured hundreds more in Afghanistan went virtually unreported by our media. The genocides being inflicted on the Muslim populations within Yemen and Syria similarly make little or no news coverage. Only the Jewish State is treated with such animosity and double standards. The human tragedy that is Palestine is beamed into our living rooms with continuous stories of dead Palestinian children in a way that no other dead children in conflict are exposed.
Not even the fact that the moral decency of the Israel Defence Forces who warn residents to vacate targeted premises, which no other army has done or does, can distract our media from such bias.
We are constantly informed that one of the main reasons for the Palestinian riots is the supposed forced eviction of Palestinian families by the Israeli Government from a Jerusalem neighbourhood to allow Right-wing Jewish settlers to move in. No context or history is given to validate this false narrative, but it is sufficient to stir up anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic emotions among the mob. The reality is simply a civic dispute between landlord and tenant as described here. No news commentator has shown any commitment to exposing the simple truth but every intention of repeating a lie designed to antagonise the haters.
I believe I and my fellow Jews, irrespective of our differing political views and ideology, are at a level of threat similar to the pogroms so common in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and in Arab countries in the 1940s and 50s. I pray our Government and all morally decent people stand up to the perpetrators of these current racial attacks.
The media must also recognise that they have been knowingly or unknowingly facilitating anti-Semitism as a result of their saturation and biased coverage. I plead with them to ensure fair and balanced reporting, as they are obliged to.