The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood attacks a straw man in contextualising antisemitism

UK Media Watch

Addressing the antisemitism scandal which continues to engulf the British Labour Party, the Guardian published an article today by Harriet Sherwood on the row titled ‘Corbyn’s Labour must be more decisive on antisemitism claims’.

Sherwood, the Guardian’s religion correspondent (and their former Jerusalem correspondent), was critical of the “party leadership’s failure to act immediately and emphatically in response to a string of incidents over the past few weeks”.

She then added:

The problem is defining antisemitism; any expression of Jew-hatred or Nazi sympathy is straightforward but the difficulty lies where opposition to or criticism of official Israeli policies becomes entangled with its citizens, or Jewish people around the world.

Some argue that any criticism of Israel is de facto antisemitism because of the state’s uniquely Jewish character. Others say opposition to the present Israeli government’s policies is entirely legitimate, and has nothing to do with antisemitism.

Of course, next to…

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BBC’s Yolande Knell reports from Gush Etzion – part one

BBC Watch

On April 23rd the BBC World News television channel aired a half-hour long filmed report by the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Yolande Knell on its ‘Our World’ programme. Titled ‘Death at the Junction’ (available for a limited period of time on iPlayer here and also here), the report was broadcast four times on that particular day, with a further eleven repeats scheduled. Its synopsis reads as follows:Knell Our World TV

“Over the past year, a new wave of violence has brought terror to the streets of Israel and the West Bank. Palestinians have attacked Israelis in apparently random acts. In some cases the attackers have been young teenagers, armed with kitchen knives. The Gush Etzion junction is one site of many attacks. It’s on the main road between Jerusalem and Hebron and is used by thousands of Jewish settlers. The junction used to be a place where Palestinians would also shop and…

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On Channel 4 News, Malia Bouattia again justifies Palestinian terrorism (Video)

UK Media Watch

h/tSussex Friends of Israel

Recently elected NUS President Malia Bouattia was asked by Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman last night to clarify her views on Zionism, boycotts and Palestinian terrorism – stances which have ignited a firestorm of criticism.

As we’ve noted in previousposts, statements by Bouattia prior to the interview clearly indicated that she opposed boycotting ISIS (yet supports BDS against Israel), supports Palestinian terrorism and is hostile to the right of the Jewish state to exist.

Here are the answers she gave on Channel 4 News:

(You can see the entire Channel 4 News segment here)

To recap:

  • Her position on BDS against Israel and ISIS: Bouattia was unable to defend her astonishing double standards.
  • Her position on Palestinian terrorism targeting Israeli men, women and children: She considers such acts of violence legally justified acts of self-defense.
  • Her position on Zionism: Bouattia was…

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3 questions for Malia Bouattia in response to her Guardian op-ed

UK Media Watch

Student groups across the UK have launched efforts to disaffiliate from the NUS following the election of Malia Bouattia as president, due to her support for terrorism and use of antisemitic tropes, and her Guardian op-ed seems unlikely to stem the tide of criticism.

First, here’s a brief summary of her controversial views:

  • Bouattia supports BDS against Israel, but opposed an NUS resolution condemning and boycotting ISIS, partly due to fears of stoking Islamophobia.
  • Bouattia ‘accused’ the University of Birmingham of being “a Zionist outpost in British higher education”, citing her concerns about their “large Jewish Society”.
  • Bouattia condemned “Zionist-led media outlets”.
  • Bouattia (beginning at 1:10 of this video) seemed to characterize Zionism as a form of “white supremacy”.
  • Bouattia expressed support for Palestinian terrorism and was critical of those who support ‘merely’ non-violent forms…

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BBC News changes headline on Hamas bus bomber claim

BBC Watch

Two days after the April 18thterror attack on a bus in Jerusalem, the Sha’are Zedek Medical Center announced that one of the casualties evacuated to that hospital had died. Shortly after that announcement on the evening April 20th, Hamas issued a communication naming the dead man as the bomber and stating that he was one of its members.Abualouf tweet Jlem bus bomber

The BBC Gaza office’s Rushdi Abualouf noted the appearance of the Hamas announcement on Twitter and the next morning an article titled “Jerusalem bus blast: Hamas says member behind bombing” appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page.

“The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas says one of its members was behind Monday’s bus bombing in Jerusalem.

Hamas issued a statement on Wednesday night following the death of a young Palestinian man who succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the attack.

Hamas and Palestinian officials named him as…

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BBC News’ double standards on terror surface again

BBC Watch

Just two days after it managed to produce coverage of a terror attack on a Jerusalem bus without making use of the word terror, the BBC News website did find a use for that word.

An article appearing on the website’s Middle East page on April 20th was headlined “Israel arrests six members of ‘Jewish terror cell” and the same terminology was employed in the report’s opening lines.Shin Bet arrests art

“Israel’s security agency says it has arrested six West Bank settlers who were members of a “Jewish terror cell”.”

Later on readers were told that:

“The suspects were connected to members of another ring of Jewish extremists who had recently been apprehended and accused of a series of attacks on Palestinian and Christian targets, according to the security agency.” [emphasis added]

This is of course not the first example of the BBC’s use of terms such as…

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Happy Pesach from UK Media Watch!

UK Media Watch

Pesach is the oldest and most transformative story of hope ever told. It tells of how an otherwise undistinguished group of slaves found their way to freedom from the greatest and longest-lived empire of their time, indeed of any time. It tells the revolutionary story of how the supreme Power intervened in history to liberate the supremely powerless. It is a story of the defeat of probability by the force of possibility. It defines what it is to be a Jew: a living symbol of hope. – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

We’d like to wish all of our readers a happy Pesach! Chag Sameach!

first matza First Matzah in Israel, 1949 (Courtesy of the Jewish Agency)

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