Antisemitism on campus is rife. It turns out that student unions are charities so the Charity Commission is looking into the matter.
A report about this only went out on the Victoria Derbyshire programme this morning and BBCWatch has covered it already. (!)
I came in halfway through Jon Ironmonger’s report. I missed the intro as well as the footage from the incident at King’s College London earlier this year. But I’ve caught up with it since.
As BBC Watch points out, Jon Ironmonger’s narration includes:
“The Jewish state of Israel is deeply controversial; accused of wide-ranging human rights abuses against the Palestinian people and provoking anger around the world.”
That’s all very well, apart from the fact that the ‘controversy’ and the ‘accusations’ come from the anti-Israel lobby. It’s a bit like me citing one of my own articles to prove that something I said has also been said by ….’me’.
His explanation of the “global BDS movement” contained this little gem:
“BDS pressures Israel to end the occupation of Arab lands by calling for the boycott of Israeli companies and institutions.”
That is so loaded a statement that it’s a wonder it was able to float. It both reveals and conceals the aim of the BDS movement all in one go.
Palestinian activists take care to disguise their wish to dismantle Israel and to replace it with yet another Islamic state. But the 5 emboldened words accidentally reveal the truth; they want to end “the occupation” but as they consider Israel itself to be ‘occupying Arab lands’ (What are Arab lands?) their true aim is more than clear.
The problem with superficial reports like this is that they take place against a background of disinformation. BDSers justify their anger at “what Israel is doing to the Palestinians” by citing myths and memes based on falsehoods, anti-Israel propaganda and sheer ignorance of history. I doubt that Jon Ironmonger is any better informed than the anti-Israel activists he’s talking to.
We are told that the NUS did not want to comment, and there was no mention of Malia “Zio” Bouattia’s recent defeat in a new election for the NUS presidency.
At the same time as the enquiry into antisemitism on campus is taking place, a letter signed by a huge number of anti-Israel activists is doing the rounds. The signatories are ‘artists, musicians and people in the arts’, all of whom want to stop Radiohead performing in Israel.
Some of the signatories are prominent figures and well known Israel-haters such as Roger Waters and Ken Loach; others are more obscure. The most interesting name on the list is is that of Peter Kosminsky, the Bafta winning director of Wolf Hall.
In 2011, when “The Promise”, Kosminsky’s Channel 4 drama series was aired Channel 4 gave it the full treatment.
The publicity surrounding the production promoted it as a drama-cum-history lesson. Channel 4’s International Editor Lindsay Hilsum's Middle East ‘expertise’ was brought in to enlighten viewers who wanted to know what it was all about and there was a ‘livechat’ in the form of a Q & A session, where curious viewers were ‘educated’ by Kosminsky himself. He claimed to be both an impartial observer and a great authority on the conflict.
After a respectable period of silence the mask slipped and Kosminsky started appearing on the panels of virulent anti-Israel / pro-Palestinian events alongside several other well-known haters.
It’s hard to see how this state of affairs can ever change while antisemitic / anti-Israel myths and memes continue to thrive and the BBC and Channel 4 does nothing to counteract them.