Having flagged up the 71 signatories story below I might continue with the other ‘letter to the press’.
The original letter to the Guardian is pure BDS, based on rubbish propaganda and signed by a whole bunch of anti-Israel campaigners and luvvies of little importance.
“we are announcing today that we will not engage in business-as-usual cultural relations with Israel. We will accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to its government. “
Great loss, I’m sure.
The other letter, also to the Guardian, simply says cultural boycotts are unacceptable and open dialogue is the way forward. You’d hardly think that was contentious in any way shape or form, other than being naive and delusional in its implied belief that the Palestinians are open to reason.
In fact the BBC has always been keen to promote the idea that “talking to Hamas” is the way forward. Sarah Montague is famous for it.
So this is odd:
“The BBC has criticised former director of television Danny Cohen for signing a letter opposing a cultural boycott of Israel.
The corporation said that it regretted the “impression” created by Mr Cohen’s name appearing on the letter but that it “had no bearing on his ability to do his day job”.
The letter, published in the Guardian in October, was signed by more than 150 writers, artists, musicians and media personalities including J K Rowling and Melvyn Bragg. It was a response to an earlier announcement by media personalities calling for a cultural boycott of Israel and described boycotting Israel as ‘a barrier to peace’.
Following a complaint to the BBC about Mr Cohen’s involvement, the BBC responded in a December email describing Mr Cohen’s actions as ‘inadvisable’. The email went on to say that senior employees “should avoid making their views known on issues of current political controversy”.
According to the Guardian, a follow-up email sent this month from BBC chief complaints adviser Dominic Groves said: “The BBC agrees that it was inadvisable for him (Cohen) to add his signature given his then seniority within the BBC as director of television but in practice it had no bearing on his ability to do his day to day job; a role which does not involve direct control over BBC news.”
Sara Apps, interim director of the PSC (I hear Sarah Colborne has had to resign / been forced out / due to some of the more rabid antisemites in the dis-organisation taking exception to what they call her attempts to “kosherize” the group) said the letter opposing the boycott expresses the views of the Israeli state, and that BBC staff should be impartial and seen to be impartial, in their work at the BBC, unlike me and my fellow antisemites who can be as mad as a box of frogs if it takes our fancy.
It beggars belief that the BBC thinks ‘being seen to be impartial’ involves tiptoeing round the hysterical sensibilities of a bunch of nutters and Islamist supporters but Ms Apps seems confident that they’ll play ball and take action against Cohen.
Too late. He left the BBC already; so tough. Perhaps they could sack him retrospectively for kosherizing the BBC.