SINCE mid-2020, the BBC has openly supported the goals of Black Lives Matter. It used Christmas comedy (The Vicar of Dibley) to promote BLM and, predictably, it broadcast a Christmas-season World Service programme titled Black Jesus.
The presenter was Robert Beckford, professor of ‘Black Theology’. Apparently Professor Beckford’s hero is Malcolm X of the Nation of Islam, who preached that white people are a race of ‘devils’ created millennia ago by an evil scientist called Yakub. Today Nation of Islam is headed by Louis Farrakhan, or Louis X, who is equally deluded and dangerous, and believes in the ‘Yakub’ theology.
I have no intention of listening to the BBC’s Black Jesus programme. But I do know that it refers to Jesus as ‘Palestinian’ because this has caused a storm in a teacup in the Anglophone world.
The BBC’s anti-Israelism is a serious problem. But we need to challenge the BBC’s long and sorry catalogue of serious libels against Israel, rather than minor anachronisms such as ‘Jesus was Palestinian’. We must also take seriously the overt antisemitism in the BLM movement: see the excellent recent TCW article by Karen Harradine, including her concerns about Farrakhan and Nation of Islam. As Farrakhan rides the crest of the BLM wave, his anti-Semitism remains blatant. Amongst his notorious speeches was one in Iran in 2016: ‘I call [Jews] the Synagogue of Satan . . . And they are working day and night to destroy any unity among Muslims.’ This echoes Jeremy Corbyn’s interview with Iran’s Press TV in 2012, blaming ‘the hand of Israel’ for Arab-nation internecine chaos.
Farrakhan is popular in the USA, and is courted by the Democratic Party, not least ‘the Squad’ of younger progressive members of the House of Representatives. This should worry us even more than the enabling of anti-Semitism under Corbyn’s rule of the Labour Party.
The most serious form of anti-Semitism today is Israel-exterminism, i.e. ideological extermination of the sole and tiny Jewish state that is home to half the world’s Jews. This is now the default ideology in much of the Middle East and Iran, and Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, etc. Islamic anti-Semitism is exported to the West, including successfully to the Corbyn cult and other ‘friends’ of Hamas and Hezbollah.
As the late Rabbi Lord Sacks warned in speeches in the House of Lords in 2018 and 2019 on British anti-Semitism and global anti-Semitism: when anti-Semitism moves from the political fringes to a mainstream party – and when anti-Semites don’t think they are anti-Semites – we are all in serious trouble.
Anti-Semitism starts with Jews, but it never ends with Jews. And I’m afraid to say the churches on the whole are returning to their anti-Semitic traditions, particularly those represented by the World Council of Churches. See this piece by Melanie Phillips on the anti-Semitism of the WCC, and the pusillanimity of the senior clergy of the Church of England – my own faith community – towards BLM. As I wrote in a piece for The Algemeiner, the Anglican Communion, in cahoots with the Jihadists, is now leading what it calls Palestinian ‘Liberation Theology’, a Marxist movement that Pope John Paul II had the good sense to proscribe when it first appeared in the Sandinista movement and Roman Catholics of Nicaragua. Communism/Socialism is not the Way.
In 2004, the BBC commissioned a formal report – the Balen Report – following persistent accusations of anti-Israel bias. To date the BBC has spent about £330,000 of public money in legal costs to hide the report from the public. This cover-up is itself scandalous. The reasons for the BBC’s anti-Israelism, like that of French state TV (France 2), are multifarious, but one reason is that Western institutions are easily duped by Islamist propagandists fluent in the old colonial languages, and expert in feeding the liberal egocentrism of the West. Hence the BBC and France 2 report what their Arab hosts tell them, but fail to report the commonplace preaching and incitement of genocidal antisemitism in Arabic and Persian by clerics, politicians and media. Similarly, Qatar state TV, Al Jazeera, broadcasts democracy in English, but gives a weekly perch to the intellectual head of the Muslim Brotherhood Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi to broadcast genocidal anti-Semitism in the form of fatwas against Israel, including advocating the use of Muslim children as suicide bombs.
I recently wrote a joint essay with the historian and Jerusalemite Dr Richard Landes partly on the dangers of this ‘lethal journalism’. Islamists are winning the cognitive war, and this results in an existential threat to us all, especially if the anticipated Farrakhan-loving Biden administration is lenient with Islamism and the nuclear ambitions of the Ayatollah. As it is, through its political proxy Hezbollah, Iran already has about 150,000 rockets hidden within the civilian populations in south Lebanon, all pointing at Israel to bring on the Shiite Apocalypse.
Richard Landes and I are frustrated that thesereally serious problems – the ticking time bombs – are being ignored by Western intellectuals and legacy media alike. Even many who claim to be battling anti-Semitism – including some Jewish leadership – get bogged down in pedantry and political correctness.
In sum, anachronisms and the colour of Jesus’s skin are not worth worrying about, rather we have some profoundly serious battles against anti-Israelism that we must take to BBC and the wider world. We must win, and we will.