Rabbi, Outnumbered on BBC Program About Israel, Fires Back (VIDEO)

February 5, 2013 4:31 pm 0 comments

Screen shot of Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet on the BBC. Photo: BBC.

The UK hasn’t been kind to Israel lately. A cartoon in the Sunday Times depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a bloodthirsty killer, and was printed on Holocaust Memorial Day. MP David Ward compared Israelis to Nazis and Respect party member Lee Jaspers referred to Israel as a “racist oppressor.”

This prompted the BBC to make Israel a main feature on their Sunday Morning program. They called Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet to argue on the side of Israel. However, it appears he was the only one they called. Everyone else seemed to be against him.

Responding to the question posed by the program, “Is Criticism of Israel Anti Semitic?” Rabbi Schochet replied: “It would be absurd to suggest that criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic. It would also be absurd to suggest that Anti Semites don’t use Israel as the whip with which to lash out against Israel. Somewhere in between the lines unquestionably get blurred.”

Opposing him aggressively was Tony Greenstein, a Jew who heads the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. He claimed that Israel is behaving like Nazis and therefore the comparison is legitimate.

In a subsequent interview with a Jewish blog Rabbi Schochet said, “I’ve been up against him before. He gets hysterical. I just let him talk and discredit himself with his own ramblings.”

Other members of the audience also attacked the rabbi, who was ready with a response. “Let me give you a lesson in Anti-Semitism,” Schochet told a Muslim audience member: “When something is universal and one person is singled out, that’s bigotry. Even if you believe that Israel is guilty of whatever violations, to single them out when there are far worse violations all over the Middle-East, is blatant prejudice against Israel which is unequivocally underpinned by Anti- Semitic sentiment.”

Writing about his appearance on the show for the Mill Hill Shul website, the rabbi further outlined the absurdity of global anti-Israel sentiment :

“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle-East. Contrast the spectacle of the recent elections and the current coalition building process underway in Israel with the way Egyptians are still rioting violently on the streets because of their constitution. But let’s condemn Israel. Contrast the way Israel will convict soldiers proven guilty for human rights abuses – such as Lt. Col. Omri Burberg who was responsible for firing an unprovoked rubber bullet into the leg of a 27-year-old Palestinian Ashraf Abu Rahme – and the way many Palestinians hail their soldiers heroes when they fire fatal bullets at Israeli soldiers. But let’s condemn Israel. It now emerges that women are systematically raped in parts of India, and stoned to death for the ‘crime’ of being raped in Somalia, but let’s condemn Israel. There’s civil war raging in Syria with thousands of women and children being killed with only limited and occasional criticism emerging from world leaders. But if Israel supposedly puts a foot wrong, the condemnation is loud and robust. The current President of Egypt refers to Jews as apes and pigs and still gets courted around Europe. If Netanyahu dared to use similar language against Muslims, do you think he would be tolerated in the same way?”

He further added: “Does all this mean that Israel always does things right? By no means! Does this suggest that there is a systematic approach to delegitimizing Israel? Absolutely!”

Watch the video of Schochet below:

Leave a Reply

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


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Sports US & Canada Israeli-American Group Congratulates Cavaliers’ Blatt on Reaching NBA Finals

    Israeli-American Group Congratulates Cavaliers’ Blatt on Reaching NBA Finals

    JNS.org – An organization whose work focuses on the estimated population of 500,000-800,000 Israeli Americans congratulated David Blatt, the Jewish head coach of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Cleveland Cavaliers and a longtime Israel-based coach, for clinching an appearance in the NBA Finals. The Israeli-American Council (IAC), whose stated mission is “to build an active and giving Israeli-American community throughout the United States in order to strengthen the State of Israel, our next generation, and to provide a bridge to [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Bacon Ben and Jerry’s Not Going to Happen Because It’s Not Kosher

    Bacon Ben and Jerry’s Not Going to Happen Because It’s Not Kosher

    Ben & Jerry’s Marketing Director Alison Gilbert told AOL’s morning show Rise that the ice cream brand will not add bacon to any of its products because that would not be kosher. “It’s kind of funny, a lot of people look for bacon in our ice cream, which is probably not gonna happen because all of our ice cream is kosher,” she said, referring to Jewish dietary restrictions that proscribe the consumption of pig meat. Almost all Ben & Jerry’s [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports Israeli Judo Team Faces Antisemitic Harassment in Morocco: ‘We Will Murder You’

    Israeli Judo Team Faces Antisemitic Harassment in Morocco: ‘We Will Murder You’

    Israeli athletes at a world Judo championship in Morocco reportedly faced antisemitic slurs during the competition, news site WorldNetDaily reported on Monday. “We will murder you,” and “you’re not wanted here, go home,” were among the vituperative attacks directed at the Israeli Judo Association team, which was in Morocco last week for the World Masters Judo Tournament. According to Haaretz, each Israeli teammate was met with boos and jeers upon entering a fight. Additionally, no Israeli flags were present at [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Pop superstar Lady Gaga on Thursday accepted an award from Jewish human rights group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on behalf of her Born This Way Foundation, which strives to combat bullying among young people. “Your philosophies are so in line with ours,” she said of the ADL upon accepting the Making a Difference Award in a videotaped message, which was shown at a ceremony in New York City. “We want to help young people know that their feelings and who they are on [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities At 80, Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Roots ‘Very Much Intact’

    At 80, Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Roots ‘Very Much Intact’

    JNS.org – Eighty years young, Leonard Cohen fits many descriptions—singer, songwriter, poet, novelist, monk. From his Jewish upbringing in Canada to the present day, Cohen has always explored his spiritual side. This month, the singer-songwriter released the CD (May 12) and iTunes (on May 8 of this year) formats of his latest album, Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, which features live recordings from his world tours in 2012 and 2013. Last year, Cohen’s Popular Problems was voted by Rolling Stone [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association

    FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association

    JNS.org – Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) head Sepp Blatter said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that contrary to Palestinian complaints, Israel has not violated any FIFA statutes and should not be suspended from international soccer’s governing body. “We should not come to one federation saying we will exclude them,” said Blatter, the Jerusalem Post reported. “If the national association is fulfilling its obligations then there is no need to intervene,” he said. “I’m on a [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Middle East Sports Jewish Rights Group Slams Palestinian Attempts to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    Jewish Rights Group Slams Palestinian Attempts to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) said on Tuesday it was “appalled” by a Palestinian Football Association initiative to suspend Israel from FIFA, calling it another “front waged in the context of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign.” “We are appalled at the temerity of the Palestinan Football Association (PFA) demand that FIFA suspend Israel at your forthcoming Congress in Zurich,” wrote the group’s international relations director, Dr. Shimon Samuels, in a letter to FIFA President Joseph [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Star of Auschwitz Thriller Says ‘God Was Holding the Hand of Every Jew in the Gas Chamber’ (VIDEO)

    Star of Auschwitz Thriller Says ‘God Was Holding the Hand of Every Jew in the Gas Chamber’ (VIDEO)

    The lead actor in Son of Saul, an Auschwitz thriller featured at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, told the UK’s The Guardian that he believes God was “holding the hand” of each Jew who died in the Nazi gas chambers during the Holocaust. “I do not for one nanosecond like to pretend that God is off the hook. He could and should have stopped it at a much earlier stage,” Géza Röhrig, 48, said. ”But I would not be able to get [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.