Thursday 9 December 2021


Don’t let’s get this out of proportion. Okay, so a few foreign youths did their thing, prancing, spitting, and gesticulating at Jews in a bus. As they do. But don’t let’s describe these mincing girlie-boys with their skinny jeans and immaculate white trainers, as ……thugs! They’re not thugs! They’re just a particular kind of naughty, mincing, girlie-boys who have a thing about Jews.

Seriously, this is in danger of sliding perilously into farce. So Arabs hate Jews! Who knew?

Please don’t elevate this ugly but relatively minor incident till it turns into Tahrir Square-style mob violence. Nobody died. (This time) Don’t let the Jewish press exaggerate the gravity of the actual incident. It makes us look over-the-top sensitive, bonkers and hair-triggered triggered! and will probably bounce back to bite us on the bum. 

No one likes to hear: ”it’s part and parcel of living in a multicultural society” but that’s what many people do say, and sadly, it seems to be the grim truth.

The genuine outrage, and much more a matter of concern, is that an unidentified BBC personage thought he heard two words uttered by one of the beleaguered passengers, and then decided to add them into the (already filed) report. 

It turns out that the “Racial Slur” he, she/they detected - and ramped up from singular to plural for good measure - was a call for assistance, albeit in an unfamiliar language - Hebrew. 

The BBC’s truth was that a passenger had uttered: “Dirty Muslims!” What a discovery! One can almost sense the glee! Unfortunately for the BBC, this threadbare fragment of moral equivalency seems to have been conjured up by wishful thinking.  Did the BBC assume that those two little words would signal that  ‘the Jews brought it on themselves. 

“Dirty Muslims” indeed! Oh, the horror! But not an actual racist slur, is it? It might even occur to some of us that in the circumstances ‘Dirty Muslims’ would have been an understatement. And it’s not a bit like “Dirty Jews”!  That was a genuine slur, and an insult casually bandied about on the streets of Britain in the 1900s. As a schoolboy, my father found this profoundly wounding and hurtful.

Following on from that, I must admit that I rarely watch the BBC any more. I prefer to get most of the stories that interest me from reading and watching what’s currently known as ‘right-wing media. (Not that I think that’s a fair or accurate description) I suppose that makes me a kind of bubble-dweller.  

However, I do sense a mood-swing of late - an undercurrent perhaps, something in the air other than the snowman. A slight whiff of a gradually shifting zeitgeist. Do you have to be very right-wing to be less favourably disposed towards Islam? And what ‘wing’ must you be from to be somewhat less hostile to Jews than is absolutely necessary?

It might have nothing at all to do with concerns over mass immigration, but I think the BBC has even begun mentioning Israel dispassionately - without having to actually hold its nose - if only in its reporting of the global pandemic journey. Covid, the great leveller.

However, I think it would be sad if the Jewish media squandered any advantage that sympathetic coverage of recent events may have given it by over-egging the egregiousness of ‘slur-gate’ itself. I feel like I’m behaving  like someone trying to restrain his companion from getting into a fight - “leave it mate, it ain’t worth it”

Instead, please concentrate on the BBC’s curious compulsion to add or invent stuff, probably “for the sake of cohesion.” It wasn’t nice and it wasn’t clever, and just as the BBC itself has been 'stressing' so much recently over a different matter, the ‘cover-up’ compounds the wrongdoing, bigly.

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