Channel 4 is an increasingly strange network. Its main news anchor, Jon Snow, showed shocking disdain for Israeli lives when he claimed “nobody gets injured” by the Kassam rockets that murdered, maimed and terrorised the people of southern Israel.
I discussed this with Snow recently but he only dug his heels in. At first he explained that he was unable to check what he said on the broadcast. When I provided a link to a video of his statement and also gave him references to show the many Israeli civilians who were injured and killed by the rockets, his response was: “Stop wasting my time”.
Jewish people have often seen the crimes committed against them denied. It is a tradition that continues to this day. Amazingly, Channel 4 asked the first-Holocaust-denying, second-Holocaust-preparing tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to deliver its Christmas message last year. The official remit for Channel 4 states that it should “exhibit a distinctive character” and “appeal to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society”. Snow’s denial of Hamas’s crimes and Ahmadinejad’s Christmas message appeal to the tastes and interests of only the worst bigots of our society.
Peter Oborne’s Dispatches program this evening, Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby, could only have appealed to the same people. The deliberate conflation of bloody bodies and Jews eating dinner was an early low. Full of familiar innuendos and stereotypes, it was an agenda-driven and unprofessional piece of work from its inception, as the numerous Jewish organisations it has targetted have discovered in recent weeks. Oborne was unable to prop up his prejudices, so he resorted to desperate nudge-nudge wink-wink tactics to try and create an impression of sinister secretiveness where there is none. The overall implication he made was that his failure to find anything genuinely scandalous was because of a fear, rather than because there’s nothing there.
Because where is this all-powerful Israeli lobby? Why did it not manage to convince the UK to veto the Goldstone report at the UN? How did it fail to stop the UK from starting an arms embargo on Israel? How did it allow our Foreign Minister to attack Operation Cast Lead as ‘disproportionate’, or the UK to finance the Breaking The Silence organisation? As for media activism, if the Israeli lobby had the power it is ascribed, it would have stopped the widespread and routine distortions years ago. Oborne couldn’t find an all-powerful lobby, so he tried to create a false impression of one. It’s the same make-believe world Snow inhabits with his “pretty pathetic” Hamas rockets.
Back in the real world, Israel faces hostility and distortion throughout much of British politics and the media. As statistics show, antisemitism is on the rise in Britain and brutal. By any clear-eyed assessment, there are few more powerless causes in Britain than that of Israel, and probably no more embattled group than our Jewish community.
That’s the real scandal – how about a documentary about that?