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November 13, 2014 5:47 pm

BBC Defense of ‘Anti-Semitic’ Exchange Draws Fire From UK Jewish Community

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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

Despite receiving 33 complaints from viewers about a panel discussion that openly promoted anti-Semitic stereotypes, the BBC, Britain’s publicly-funded broadcaster, has defended the exchange, leading to criticism from the main UK Jewish communal security body that the corporation’s reaction was “obviously wrong.”

As The Algemeiner reported on Tuesday, the panel had been discussing the headline on the November 8 edition of The Independent newspaper, which read: “Jewish donors drop ‘toxic’ Miliband.” 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.

As London’s Jewish Chronicle noted, BBC panelist Jo Phillips said: “What you get is a lot of unnamed people, from the sort of Jewish lobby, and obviously, you know, they’ve been very supportive of the Labour party, and they are abandoning ‘toxic’ Labour.

“But they are not abandoning it because of Ed Miliband’s personal ratings, according to this, it’s because of what Ed Miliband actually said in the summer, his aggressive condemnation of Israel’s disproportionate attacks and incursion into Gaza.”

Those comments were followed by presenter Tim Willcox asking: “A lot of these prominent Jewish faces will be very much against the political mansion tax presumably?”

Significantly, The Independent‘s article made no mention of the mansion tax, a controversial proposal to levy extra charges on properties in Britain worth over $3.5 million, resulting in widespread concern that the BBC was stoking anti-Semitic themes in speculating about the motives of Jewish donors.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the BBC said: “The comments were made about the Independent story which claimed that unnamed Jewish donors were withdrawing financial support from Ed Miliband over Israel.

“Tim named Maureen Lipman in this context, and as part of a wider discussion, asked if Labour’s ‘mansion tax’ policy was one of the factors that might put off some of the Jewish donors cited by the paper from contributing to Labour’s election coffers.

“It was clear that he was not suggesting that Jewish people in particular are against the mansion tax.”

But Mark Gardner, Director of Communications for the Community Security Trust (CST,) which manages security for the UK’s Jewish community, expressed disappointment with the BBC’s statement.

“The BBC’s reply is obviously wrong,” Gardner told The Algemeiner. “The program guests were quick to say that it was not only Jews who opposed the tax: and they said this precisely because it was the presenter who had implied otherwise.”

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA,) a UK organization which encouraged viewers to protest to the BBC over the broadcast, noted that “the BBC has felt the need to take the unusual step of having to defend a broadcast before an investigation has taken place.”

“The BBC insists that Willcox’s mention of  ‘Jewish faces’ presumed to be objecting to the proposed mansion tax was not antisemitic,” the CAA observed in its analysis of the broadcast. “While Willcox does bring up the mansion tax as a reason for some Jewish opposition to Labour (with no evidence at all, and it was not even mentioned in the article being discussed), when it is suggested to him that non-Jews might also oppose this proposed tax, he says that he didn’t mean to suggest otherwise ‘but Maureen Lipman for example is pictured here isn’t she?’ His use of the words ‘but’ and ‘for example’ make it clear he is still trying to assert that Jews oppose the mansion tax, using Lipman as an illustrative ‘example.’ The BBC’s denial runs counter to the clear facts of the broadcast.”

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  • I know it is a dream and fantasy, If this story can be conveyed to the masses with a message and an inspiration to leave the distorted past behind. Go forward with an open mind, leave your prejudices and pursue peace, tranquility and life with an economic future. Life without hope is no life at all. Life is too precious to live in animosity towards others.
    Many souls who survived the Holocaust against all odds had the courage and determination to go beyond hate and revenge. They started life anew when they lost a whole generation and family.
    I know it is not easy, you carry the scar all your life.
    I have a mother in law who was put in the gas chamber by the Nazis 3 times and was able to live through it and survive while losing her parents, grandparents and other siblings.
    YJ Draiman

  • Dan

    The BBC was always run by antisemites. They are educated in those universities in the UK where all the Russian spies studied. Shows what UK universities produce: spies and antisemites.

  • barney rubble

    I imagine TimWillcox meant wealthy people would be against the tax

  • steven L

    BBC, Guardian and NYT at the vanguard of antisemitism.

  • Bruce W.

    Quote – “Useful Idiots” – Iosif Vissarionavich Dzugasvili – Joe Stalin to you – a noted anti-semite.

    • Mark Z

      That’s a Lenin quote, just to set the record straight. He was referring to liberals from around the world who closed their eyes to the true violent and ruthless nature of Bolshevik rule. Lenin was a great admirer of Mussolini and early Italian fascism.

  • judithg

    Churchill was only here for a moment in the history of england. and, they could not wait to get rid of him post ww2. mendacious pasty-faced evildoers and now joined by oily-faced anti-semites. scum.

  • Ron

    The BBC, supposedly an impartial news agency, has not been impartial for many years. There is a left wing political bias within it, clearly demonstrated in it’s reporting on Gaza, and the only objective programmes it now broadcasts are wildlife and natural history programmes.

    Teresa May banned Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller from entering the UK, not because they report the truth about Islamic terror and Islamic supremacist aims, but because they support Israel.

  • sidney sands

    Once again we have the BBC defending its anti-Semitic staff, how much longer will we have to wait, until this hotbed of left wing graduates who have never done a days work in their lives, are allowed to be the so called voice of this country. Its long overdue for its wings to be clipped, and a return to being a news broadcaster of the truth, instead of the views of the anti Israel brigade.

  • Dan

    In an attempt to be as politically correct as possible, the BBC bends over backwards to make sure they are not perceived as anti-Islam. They don’t, however, even consider that they might have a bit of a “Jewish” problem.

    • pierre mamou

      no attempt to be politically correct: the judeophobes spring out when they feel strong, like in this situation, today

  • Lauren Goldman

    This is the last straw, for me. After observing the anti-Jewish, anti-Israel rhetoric consistently increase, I have removed the BBC site from my computer. It is just the homegrown anti-Semitism, which has been fairly dormant since WWII, resurfacing. America is seeing a similar resurgence, though not at this level, yet. I am planning to move to Israel, our only true home.

  • Yes, well, to be expected since we lost any semblance of belief in the God of Israel, why wouldn’t we call it Anti Sematism, we reject Him. He rejects us and turns us over to unbelief.

  • David Goshen

    Ed Miliband condemnation of Israel on disproportion and incursions into Gaza shows that he could never be prime minister of the UK because if his country was shelled over a many years as Hamas of Gaza has done to Israel civilian population he would be limited in his response as he would have to accept the attack on the UK and possibly make a very weak response which would result in his removal from office if he was PM.
    Miliband does not understand the following:
    1A large part of the damage to buildings in Gaza relates to previous wars which was never repaired because donor money was used to build tunells and large underground military protected air raid shelters.
    2The Hammas Malitias with complete lack of humanitarian feelings refused to let local residents take refuge in tunnels and large underground military areas adjecent to their homes after they received personal telepone calls from Israeli Security Forces that bombing was to take place .Civilian casualties could have been reduced to the proportionate numbers that Miliband is seeking.He should look to Hamas of Gaza for the war crimes they commited by their inhumane actions.
    3Every Malitia Man killed in the fighting was immediately redressed in civilian clothing and brought to the hospital as a civilian to inflate civilian deaths.
    4Fatah supporters in Gaza were confined to their homes.Executions of Fatah supporters were executed alledgedly for spying for Israel .They are among the 40000 Fata Supporters who have been stuck in Gaza since the bloody coup waged by Hamas against Fatah .The numbers executed were added to civilian deaths .The Fatah supporters were civil servants and security forces who have been unemployed since 2007 coup but continue to draw their salaries paid by the PA.The Fattah supporters are persecuted by the Hamas Malitias and are treated as a fifth column .
    5The civilian population men women & children were forced by the Malitias to be human sheilds and sadly loss of lives from this action is a serious war crime by Hamas.
    6The civilian population of Gaza suffer from severe persecution
    are not allowed to criticize the government for fear of death .Their horrific treatment can be heard on clandistine radio broadcasts which reveil the catistrophic human rights abuses inflicted on the civilian population .
    7Hamas has restarted bulding more tunnels and acquiring armements for what they declare will be the restart of hostilities against Israel by them.
    8Humanitarian supplies continued to flow into Gaza from Israel during the war as they do today.
    8Residents of Gaza (Hamas Supporters)receive full medical treatment in Israel.
    9Hamas continues to state that their main aim is the destruction of Israel by force.
    10 Hamas despite the Unity Government with Fatah continue to initiate terror in Israel with an object of bringing about the downfall of Abu Mazem and Fatah.
    If Milibind knew all the facts he should direct his efforts against Hamas who by their actions are making Peace Negotiations impossible.

  • DocReality

    The BBC has never been pro-Israel/pro-Jewish.
    Just like most of the rest of Europe.

  • Howie Subnick

    Simplicity to a world wide problem. Israel is a democratic, quiet place near the sea. If left alone you would never know they are there, but the vermin from around the world want Israel gone. IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN FOLKS!! One of these days the VERMIN LEADERS are going to wind up missing.
    How? Who knows, it will just happen until they are ALL GONE! They are not thinkers, they are terrorist, nonthinking PIGS! We will read about them missing to the point that no one will want to speak about removing the people of Israel. In a split second the IDF, with no warning can make the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor look like a luau. God Bless The People of Israel, a home for all jews! Shalom

  • It is not the anti-Semitic remark of Wilcox that is worrying as much as the BBC’s refusal to recognize it that is. It amounts to nothing less than racial incitement. In this context , it is interesting why the BBC has never been held accountable, at least in part, for the “radicalization” of the UK’s Muslim communities. They hardly need banned extremist websites on the Internet to stoke their hateful views, when the BBC is doing such a good job of it themselves, publically, and “legitimately “

  • Max

    What a difference 74 years make! Between 1940 and 1945, I remember sitting by the radio and listening proudly to news of Allied advances on the Western front against the Nazis. Today, I am observing with consternation the BBC’ odious turn against Jews in general and the British Jewish minority in particular. Shame on you BBC.

    As to Mr. Milliband, he is probably one of those Jews who wish they were born into some other religion. To that I say, as a Jew, go ahead and convert and get rid of your unbearable burden. Let us also remember that many years ago, British Foreign Secretary Bevin, of the Labour Party was vehemently anti-Israel, so Labour’s position on the issue is really nothing new.

  • Emily f. Korzenik

    The BBC has a long anti-Semitic and anti-Israel record which is now becoming more fashionable in general. It follows the path of the worrisome explosion of anti- Israel/semitism in much of Europe. Since the end of World War 2 and the murder of 6,000,000 Jews we have had something of a respite. But looking back at history 65 years is of relative quiet is about all the peace the Jewish people can expect before the oldest hatred starts bubbling up to the surface again.

    • DocReality


  • E Pluribus Wombat

    The BBC is a racist antisemitic organization. Period. End of story.

    • RiverKing

      End of story? Perhaps. But the beginning of the story is that the BBC is liberal to the point of being a left-wing mouthpiece; a true British cousin of America’s NPR. Both know better than you what’s best for you and feed at the government trough; using your money to finance your oppression. Wake up!

  • Eric R.

    Since the degenerate Jew-haters of the BBC will not listen to British Jews, Israel should simply lay down the law, declare the BBC a hate organization, and throw their propagandists out of the country.

    If they are caught in Israel after being expelled, they go to jail for illegal entry.