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November 11, 2014 3:29 pm

BBC Panel Discussion of Wealthy Jews Ripped Over Anti-Semitic Stereotypes

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A panel discussion about this newspaper headline collapsed into an exchange of anti-Semitic stereotypes on a BBC News program. Image: Screenshot

A late-night BBC television news broadcast about the disillusionment among Jewish donors with Britain’s Labour Party leader Ed Miliband quickly degenerated into an exchange of anti-Semitic tropes, as the program host and a panelist speculated about the impact “prominent Jewish faces” would have on party policy both at home and in the Middle East.

The panel had been discussing the headline on the November 8 edition of The Independent newspaper, which read: “Jewish donors drop ‘toxic’ Miliband.” As The Algemeiner reported last week, Miliband, who is Jewish, has been facing growing criticism from within the Jewish community since Maureen Lipman, a leading British Jewish actress, declared she was abandoning the party after the Labour leader gave his backing to British recognition of a Palestinian state independently of any negotiations with Israel.

Panelist Jo Phillips, billed as a “BBC political adviser,” began with a forthright, if inarticulate, defense of Miliband, saying: “You’re not supposed, apparently, to say anything anti-Israeli, um, and if you attack Israeli political, um, policies or the government policies, then you know, this is what you get. Um, you know it seems to me that it is totally hypocritical that on the one hand they are now going to have to look perhaps to the unions to get some funding, but will be accused of being in the unions’ pockets, and when he’s being brave and principled and standing up and saying, you know, ‘this time Israel has gone too far’ um, people take their money away, so he can’t win, can he?”

Phillips was speculating that Miliband would be forced to turn to labor unions for financial support if rich donors were to withdraw backing from the party. But presenter Tim Wilcox then decided to take the conversation in a different direction. “A lot of these prominent Jewish faces will be very much against the mansion tax,” Wilcox said, singling out Maureen Lipman as an example – the tax refers to a Labour proposal for an additional tax on properties worth $3.5 million or more.

“The idea that a wealthy Jewish lobby seeks to use money to manipulate political policy is a centuries-old antisemitic trope,” Jonathan Sacerdoti of the UK’s Campaign Against Antisemitism, which has complained to the BBC about the broadcast, told The Algemeiner. “The BBC’s unchallenged promotion of this slur is shocking and causes many Jews to feel threatened and persecuted by the broadcaster.”

Sacerdoti added: “The BBC claimed that the ‘Jewish lobby’ is thwarting a ‘principled’ foreign policy position, but there is no factual basis for this accusation. Also, with no evidence at all, the BBC claimed that wealthy Jews are challenging taxation proposals to hang onto their mansions.”

The broadcast was also heavily criticized by the Community Security Trust (CST,) the official security body of the UK Jewish community.

“The BBC host Tim Wilcox then went a bit further, suggesting that ‘a lot of these prominent Jewish faces will be very much against the mansion tax,'” wrote the CST’s Mark Gardner on the organization’s blog. “His two guests responded that non-Jews oppose the mansion tax also: but, as with the original article, the stench of toxic assumptions about Jews and money / influence for Israel was now out there.”

Gardner concluded: “There is no widespread revulsion at this, because such slurs are seldom directed at Jewish individuals, made at Jews qua Jews: simply for being Jewish. So, they lack the ugly obvious racism spewed by neo-Nazis…It is still, however, a very slippery slope, liberally oiled with deep seated antisemitic toxins about Jews acting in concert with other Jews: whether that is in Glasgow, Westminster or Washington.”

Watch a  video of the panel discussion below:

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  • THese Stereo types need to come to an end… With all this going on in todays world its sad to see all this hate. We all like making money and living great lives.

  • B.Abrahams

    I loved the East-End of London, and regularly visited my Indian-Jewish aunty-in law who hailed from Bombay where the Jewish community was not only well-remembered, but proudly was acclaimed as the only Jewish community who throughout history, though living in India for thousands of years, was never discriminated against and always well respected, where many Jews were well esteemed for their philanthropic, political, entrepreneurial, business and martial acumen. After Indian independence some economical restrictions made many Jews leave for England, where the not well-off started to live in the poorer parts of London, which for a long time had been the allotted home for the penniless Jews, but which they had made into a cultural area of the highest standing, which even was acknowledged by British royalty when they granted a memorial statue on White Chapel Road with inscription, thanking Jewish citizens for their aid to British life. But when just a few minutes walk from that memorial, on the open side of the Tower-Hamlets town-hall on Cable-street a beautiful mural depicting the march of the British Nazi’s threatening the Jewish citizens is displayed, it leaves a nasty taste of the lack of magnanimity Britain displays towards her Jewish citizens, or to the Jews, who did so much for the world in general. And now. after my Aunty-in-law, owing to Alzheimer does not recognize me, I hate going to the East-End where the old Jewish quarter, especially around Brick-lane and Hackney and Stepney, has been taken over by Bangladeshi Muslims whose amelioration to progress to the worlds life, can not be derived from the anti-Jewish hate-mail they’re producing. So, fare-well, once glorious East-End, let it not be the beginning of the “End of Jewish Britain.”

  • My advice…stop watching BBC altogether…try France 24 or Fox News They give a much broader and fairer take on world affairs.
    In any case, why the sudden surprise? Britain’s Foreign Office and policy has been pro Arab/Muslim for ages and don’t forget, even Churchill refused to bomb the train-line to Auschwitz, thereby consigning thousands of Jews to the Gas Ovens and then after the war Britain prevented all but a paltry few thousand survivors to seek a new home in the State of Israel
    PS I am now free of paying the licence fee so Hallelujah! G-d is Great!!!

  • Janette Kay

    It would appear that the BBC and the ABC in Australia have much in common.

  • Yale

    The more they protest, the clearer it becomes that people in Britain, especially the at the BBC know that their position is intellectually untenable.

    The way to deal with this is NOT to spout off about anti-Semitism but to shove in their faces that their behavior demonstrates that they know they’re wrong.

    Anyone who has any intellectual integrity would be forced by this assertion to look at the facts, and that’s where the BBC is weak. The shame of knowing that they have been caught on the wrong side of the truth barrier may have an effect.

  • James Cheetham

    This is quite normal behaviour for the BBC. It is ‘institutionalised anti-semitism’. Within the organisation there is no room for anyone with an opposing voice, so the ‘status quo’ is never questioned. Very pleased to see that Mr Sacerdoti and the CST have voiced their disquiet.

    However, it will be ignored by the BBC who, as is well known, have never published the outcome of the Balen Report into their institutionalised anti-semitism.

    I leave you all to draw your own conclusions.

    They appear to have similar institutionalised positions, where no opposing views are permitted without adverse comment, on subjects such as their promotion of uncontrolled immigration, man made climate change and cultural relativism.

  • Myron Robinson

    The BBC are notoriously anti-Semitic & completely one sided when presenting news on The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict. Throughout history party contributors have withheld their funds or alt. changed parties if their nominated party does not support their profile. But yet again it is only the “Jews” who are picked out for exercising their constitutional rights. Most of the world especially the two faced Brits hate Jews.

  • P Kipnis

    The BBC has been vuiruently anti semetic for decades and is only getting worse. The put on scandalous debates about Israel with only pro Arab guests who then scourge Israel’s every move as if it were national socialism. They are so afraid of the Arabs burning down BBC House that they have become the spokesperson for the Arab mob. Dispicable behavior for a publicly funded organization. They could go dark and it would be a positive step in Jewish Arab relations.

  • Robert Weintraub

    Wealthy Jewish support for the left is also widely practiced in the US. A century ago when most American Jews worked “by the sweat of their brows” this made some sense. Now the majority of American Jews are middle class. Not long ago a survey showed that American Jews supplied 50% of donated money to the Democratic National Committee. Yet the Democratic public support for Israel is much lower than that of the Republican base: 85% Republican 50% Democratic. What tangibles have American Jews received from the Democrats in return for our generosity?

  • it is sadly unsurprising that not a single one of these people would be fazed by any criticism here. Israel is the new vent for nihilistic expressions of hate and in Britain only a good Jew is not included in the definition of Zionist enemy. Good Jews are Jewish Uncle Toms who embrace the hate. Antisemitic hypocrites are incapable of not attaching Jews and money into the same sentence when discussing an issue of international importance. In fact Maureen Lipmans’ excellent article in Standpoint magazine is all that this was about: see the link below:

  • Adele Winston

    Has Maureen Lipman said anything about a mansion tax? I don’t believe so. I remember her saying she refused to recycle, so I tend to dismiss her opinions wholesale anyway.

  • pierre mamou

    against the nazis, british people gave a wonderful example of rightness and courage. Pity they don’t act the same with terrorism. Anyhow, after his anti-israel declarations, Miliband can get money from islamic forces. What? he’s jewish. The slight problem can be resolved at once: Labour Party will kick him out and choose a gentile

  • Jeff

    This is Europe’s face for centuries, the blame the Jews game. Libel them, beat them down, blame them and when they are successful also libel them. Anti- Israelism is antisemitism because it takes the focus off of corrupt Islamic leaders that continue to try to wipe the Jewish people out. It gives millions of Euros into hands that they know will not use the money for good but to try to destroy Israel. It is Antisemitic to the core where leaders can keep their hands clean while paying the thugs to do what they want. It is sad and sick. And what is worse they know it.

  • Michael Garfinkel

    In world war II the British were known as “Limey B*st*rds.”

    Not for nothing, apparently.

  • Dr.M.Otero

    When do we start talking about the 1948 expulsion from the Arab world of 865,000 Jews who are now more than half the Jews of Israel? All their lands and other assets were stolen.

  • nelson marans

    Nothing new. The BBC and the general media in Great Britain, including the newspapers, have always been not only anti-Israel but anti-Semitic.
    When my wife and I were in London almost twenty years ago, we met a number of British Jews who informed us that anti-Semitism was always there and in many cases blatant. Certainly the growing Muslim population has not helped.

  • Floyd Russak MD

    At times, there is not much difference between what one hears on BBC and what you could have heard on historic German radio broadcasts in 1933.

  • Marshall E. Schwartz

    The simple fact that presenter Tim Wilcox could state that “a lot of these prominent Jewish faces will be very much against the mansion tax” makes a prima facia case against him as an antisemite — albeit one who doesn’t even know he is, and will deny it to his dying breath. ANY wealthy individual in Great Britain with an expensive home would naturally oppose this tax. The fact that his remark focused SOLELY on Jews indicates his true feelings about us.

  • Allen Suss

    As citizens of the UK, I believe that any citizen is entitled to have input into foreign policy. Or is the suggestion that some citizens should know their place. So much for British democracy.

  • Efram

    The (B)British (B)Bigotry (C)Corporation has long since shed any pretense of being unbiased. It is run by vicious bigots, populated with vicious bigots, and is 100% one sided in its undying hatred of Israel and Jews. It is a shame that a so-called reputable agency has aligned itself so unequivocally with hate. It is also a crime that the government underwrites such an egregious policy.

  • Fred

    The BBC is in good company with the NAZI broadcasting.

  • Noellsq

    Every group brings their money out for their agenda,gay rights,legal suicide,destruction of the Jewish state,and many more examples. Lately anti-Semitic statements have risen to the surface by the press which is controlled by Arab money. Muslims rioting in the streets and destroying Jewish and non Jewish Property. Brutal murders of soldiers that are unarmed and unaware. Blocking streets to pray. Huge drain on the welfare system. Tell food chains that they cannot give wipes to clean yourself because they have alcohol in them.Complain when a food stand serves port.

  • Eric R.

    Was Herr Clovelly involved with this program then?