Sunday 5 May 2013

Digging Dirt

Most people who haven’t seen the film, “Exile - a Myth Unearthed” assume it’s a ‘one-sided diatribe’. Biased-BBC accuses the BBC of pulling the film from the schedule as it was aimed at the delegitimisation of Israel and its right to exist, therefore too controversial.

However, in accord with the BBC’s inherent bias against Israel, that particular controversy doesn’t seem a very logical reason for the BBC’s  abrupt change of schedule. Past performance intimates that the BBC happily airs any number of one-sided diatribes against Israel while grimly insisting that they are not politically motivated.
 Although Ilan Ziv looks like a fairly typical leftie, he takes pains to distance himself from Shlomo Sands and insists he was not attempting to push a theory which challenges the whole concept of the Jewish people.
 “Sands did something that I refuse to do,” he said. 

So if his film isn’t out to delegitimise Israel, why has someone gone to so much trouble to imply that it has game-changing (might as well use the current jargon) or revelatory significance?  
Before they ditched the film someone at the BBC decided to rebrand the title, replacing the somewhat  emotive “Exile etc etc” with the non committal  “Jerusalem - an archeological mystery story”, perhaps because the BBC very well knew the film was a one-sided diatribe which sought to undermine Israel’s legitimacy, and felt the need to disguise it as an impartial documentary concerning academic archeological research, for fear of the all powerful ‘Jewish Lobby’. 
If so, it seems paradoxical that the Guardian strove to intrigue the viewer with the promise that it will “ruffle some feathers”, but this might simply have been their way of beefing up a boring, inconclusive piece of work. 

Ilan Ziv wouldn’t be the first lefty Israeli to shit the nest.  They go round moaning about their country without fully understanding that other people couldn’t care less whether Israel stands or falls.  Israel’s non home-grown detractors sit around waiting for morsels from people like Ziv, and the BBC is normally ready, willing and able to facilitate the dissemination of their destructive criticisms, far and wide. 
There has been speculation that the film will upset fundamental historical beliefs, and - oh the shame! - that the present day Palestinians are the descendants of Jews.  
Reminds me of Jeremy Hardy and Sandy Toksvig jesting tediously about U-kippers on the hilarious News Quiz - Hoho. How they laughed at the concept of the racist Farage waking up to discover that he was +foreign+. 

Still, none of Ziv’s protests ring true when the comments on Ziv’s strange blog are taken into account. He is undoubtedly sympathetic to the Electronic Intifada types who’ve posted several enthusiastic comments explicitly assuming the film contains evidence which suits their Israel- delegitimising agenda, none of which he refutes, rebuts or repudiates. One cites Shlomo Sand’s book and accuses the BBC’s new head honchos of being in the Zionists’ pocket. This excerpt neatly encapsulates the upside down worldview that they espouse: (!s added)

“The BBC last week showed another programme about Israel and the Arab Spring, that contained all the Zionist tropes of a beleaguered state surrounding by Islamist Arab states, ready to wipe it out,” (!)

“and again failing to emphasise the illegality of the Occupation.” (!!)
“The BBC has failed to report accurately on what is really going on, has totally ignored the story of the Palestinian prisoners and hunger strikers, and hardly allows the best critical voices of activists and NGOs to be heard.” 

So indignant at the idea of the BBC portraying Israel as “a beleaguered state surrounded by Islamist Arab states ‘ready to wipe it out’”, that he doesn’t feel the need to explain, if it isn’t any of that, what really IS going on.

Ilan seems to encourage the film’s  many would-be viewers who voice similarly delusional outlooks. Perhaps he is so self-obsessed, (he does seem to be) that all he can comprehend is the BBC’s discourteousness, which was quite staggering.

 Or, his film did set out to ruffle Zionist feathers, and someone thought better of adding to the BBC’s anti-Israel credentials on top of all the other moral failings that have recently come to light.

1 comment:

  1. Neatly put Sue.

    The speculation over this has been pretty feverish, hasn't it?

    If the BBC knowingly commissioned someone from the wilder shores of the Israeli Left and then panicked when his documentary turned out to be even more anti-Israel in its implications than even the BBC felt comfortable with broadcasting, then it's to their credit that they feared for their reputation (re impartiality) and had second thoughts.

    One-sided documentaries are fine in my book - IF they are fairly swiftly balanced with one-sided documentaries from the other side.

    Would the BBC ever commission something from the other side to balance Ilan? It doesn't seem likely.


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