The BBC Sex Scandal and the Battle to Establish Israel

January 22, 2013 2:20 am 2 comments

A british policeman during the British Mandate of Palestine, 1947

A shocking BBC sex scandal has caused Britain’s political elite and journalists to examine how allegations of abuse should be dealt with. The latest revelations are from a report published on January 11 and coauthored by police and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The late BBC TV host and former cultural icon, Jimmy Savile is now believed to have raped over 30 individuals, committed over 200 attacks on 40 victims and abused children as young as eight years old.

The BBC case brings to mind the horrific persecution of young Zionists who battled the U.K. in the 1930s and 1940s during the British Mandate era in Israel. The abuse against young Jews included murder and sexual torture and went largely unreported in Britain. It is worth noting that in the 1940s the BBC consistently portrayed the Zionist struggle to end British rule as a terrorist and criminal movement and continues to be highly critical of Israeli policy. The BBC also largely ignored reports of Nazi death camps throughout World War Two.

Two stories that do much to shed light on the true nature of the British Mandate and the crimes committed against young Zionists are the cases of 16 year old Alexander Rubowitz, who was believed to have been murdered by Major Roy Farran, and Yaacov Eliav, who was attacked sexually by Inspector Ralph Cairns while in British police custody.

Yaacov Eliav was a young underground fighter in the Irgun when he was assaulted. In Eliav’s memoir Wanted (translated from the Hebrew and published in 1984 in the U.S. by Shengold) he graphically detailed the attacks by the Palestine Police CID he endured in early August 1939.

“I was stripped naked…” Eliav wrote. “(M)y underpants stuffed into my mouth… Cairns put a rubber glove on his right hand, and began to squeeze my testicles, one at a time…keeps squeezing, lifts me by my genitals, drops me and continues to squeeze.”

On a subsequent day Cairns showed Eliav a photo of his young girlfriend and threatened to kidnap and rape her. “We will… strip her naked and do to her what we did to you.” Eliav described another attack when Cairns asked him “You want us to rape your sisters right here? …in front of your eyes? …he spits on me, kicks me, puts a burning cigarette against my skin…”

Eliav was just over 20 when the attacks occurred. He was tortured for four days. Cairns was assassinated in Jerusalem by the Irgun on August 26, 1939. His death came days after a news poster appeared accusing him by name of attacking “two Jewish girls by pushing fingers into their eyes and pinching their nipples.”

The book Major Farran’s Hat: The Untold Story of the Struggle to Establish the Jewish State by Professor David Cesarani was published in 2009. Cesarani detailed the story of Alexander Rubowitz, a sixteen-year-old Stern Group member who was abducted on a crowded Jerusalem street in the middle of the day in May 1947. Rubowitz’s body has never been recovered.

Rubowitz was hanging news posters for the Sternists when he was kidnapped. Evidence left at the scene linked Farran to the abduction and he was court-martialed on charges he murdered Rubowitz. Farran was acquitted by the British court. He was freed despite having confessed about the murder to his commanding officer. Requests by Rubowitz family to re-open the investigation were ignored.

A Jerusalem street in the East Talpiot neighborhood was named after Rubowitz as a memorial and a historical marker was placed at the site of his abduction.

When Menachem Begin, the former Irgun commander, was elected prime minister of Israel in 1977 he launched a campaign to memorialize Irgun and Stern Group martyrs. Not just streets were named after them but everything from settlements to postage stamps were used to honor them.

Over 35 years after Begin started his efforts the question of whether today’s young Jews can comprehend the depths of the sacrifices made to free Israel from British rule remains. One thing remains certain: the BBC’s biased news coverage of Israel endures.

2 Comments

  • Reminds one of the things in movies like Braveheart and Michael Collins. In those films the Brits were abusing Scots and Irish. Maybe the Jews were just another in a long line…

    • Or maybe, just like Braveheart, it’s essentially a work of mythologizing fiction designed to portray murderers and terrorists as heroes. Strange how we pick and choose the killers to idolise, isn’t it…?

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Commentary ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    Kosher Lust, by Shmuley Boteach (Gefen Publishing House, 2014). You really do want to find something positive to say about Shmuley Boteach. He is a phenomenon; very bright, an articulate bundle of energy and self-promotion. Anyone who has the chutzpah to describe himself as “America’s Rabbi” deserves ten out of ten for effort. I believe that along with most Chabad alumni, official and unofficial, he does a lot of good and is a sort of national treasure. In this world [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    JNS.org – In a throwback to the golden age of cinema, Hollywood has declared 2014 the “Year of the Bible.” From Ridley Scott’s Exodus starring Christian Bale as Moses, to Russell Crowe playing Noah, Hollywood is gambling on new innovations in technology and star power to revisit some of the most popular stories ever told. “It’s definitely a throwback to the 1950s and early ’60s,” Dr. Stephen J. Whitfield, an American Studies professor at Brandeis University, told JNS.org. Starting with The [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    A Passover themed cover of hit songs Let It Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? from Disney’s Frozen has attracted tons of media buzz and a cool 65,ooo views on YouTube within days of going online. The work of Jewish a capella group Six13, the track is aptly named Chozen. We are celebrating “our freedom, our favorite festival, our fabulous fans, and aspiring Disney princesses everywhere” the group said. The Chozen music video tells the story of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    JNS.org – Many young Jewish artists struggle to define who they are personally, artistically, and religiously. Against the backdrop of that struggle, the recent Asylum Arts International Jewish Artists Retreat provided a space for some 70 young Jewish artists to explore Jewish ideas, to build community and a culture of reciprocity, and to learn skills to assist their career development. “We are trying to encourage and excite people to engage in Jewish themes,” says Rebecca Guber, director of Asylum Arts. [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    JNS.org – Has the era of large-scale biblical epics returned? Not since “The Ten Commandments” has there been so much torrential water on the big screen (not counting weather-related disaster films such as “The Impossible”) than in “Noah,” the latest blockbuster from writer and director Darren Aronofsky. “Noah” takes the traditional tale and splices it in an eco-friendly and psychologically driven plot. After Adam and Eve got booted out of the Garden of Eden and after Cain killed Abel, mankind [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Israel Israeli Arab Microbiologist Wins on Israel’s ‘MasterChef’ Reality Show

    Israeli Arab Microbiologist Wins on Israel’s ‘MasterChef’ Reality Show

    JNS.org – An Israeli-Arab microbiologist and mother of three won the fourth season of Israel’s most popular reality TV show, “MasterChef.” Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, 32, who holds a PhD in microbiology and is from the Israeli-Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, described winning as the “the most exciting moment in her life.” She said she plans to use the prize money to open up an Arab-Jewish cooking school. MasterChef is a popular reality TV show that originated in the U.K. It is [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Theater Play About Muslim Man Who Discovers His Parents Are Jewish Seeking Funds

    Play About Muslim Man Who Discovers His Parents Are Jewish Seeking Funds

    Jewish comedian and writer David Baddiel is seeking public support to help produce a musical based on his film about a British Muslim man who discovers his parents are Jewish. London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East is in development to premiere The Infidel in October, London’s Evening Standard reported on Wednesday. However, the theater needs another £55,000 on top of around £200,000 already raised in order to produce the show. Baddiel, 49, retained the stage rights to the story when he wrote the [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.