April 21 was Holocaust Day in Israel. I have to admit to a degree of schadenfreude as a result of a ruling in that same week by the BBC Trust that its chief Middle East correspondent, Jeremy Bowen, showed bias in a piece about the Six-Day War. I have felt for years that Bowen has a disturbing, almost hissing hatred of Israel when he reports on the region. He always waxes into a cooing adoration when in Palestinian hands. To this day Bowen has not responded to my letter about his BBC documentary on the IDF’s ground invasion of Gaza: I asked him how he managed to find graffiti in house after house, always conveniently written in English by Israeli soldiers!
Of course, the Israel-bashing Independent correspondent Robert Fisk went into a paroxysm of rage as soon as the BBC Trust report was issued and the ensuing blog contained so much Jew-hatred that I was minded to report it to the Community Security Trust. What was so interesting was Fisk’s hysterical accusation that the “Zionist lobby” had bullied the BBC. He concluded that the British nation could now no longer trust the BBC because even the impartial Auntie Beeb is now in the bloody grips of the Zionist shark’s jaw.
To quote Fisk, “The BBC Trust is now a mouthpiece for the Israeli lobby which abused Bowen.” He goes on: “Anyone who has read the history of Zionism will be aware that its aim was to dispossess the Arabs and take over Palestine. Why else are Zionists continuing to steal Arab land for Jews, and Jews only, against all international law?” He adds this gem: “The fact that the BBC Trust uses the Hebrew name for Har Homa — not the original Arab name, Jebel Abu Ghoneim — shows just how far it is now a mouthpiece for the Israeli lobby.” Whenever I read about the huge, vociferous Israel lobby in the UK I do laugh: the pitifully small Anglo-Jewish community is one of the least “loud” in the world. It is important that this article names the “Zionist-driven” Trust members. They are Rotha Johnston, Chitra Bharucha, Janet Lewis-Jones, Diane Coyle, David Liddiment, Anthony Fry, Mehmuda Mian, Alison Hastings, Jeremy Peat, Patricia Hodgson, Richard Tait, and Sir Michael Lyons.
I have done some research before mouthing off about “no Zionist connections,” but despite the usual accusations in the press it is tough to find any sinister motives amongst this distinguished and diverse board of trustees.
What makes Fisk so angry is that he feels Bowen wrote a truthful piece about the Six-Day War for the BBC website and that he is a “lion led by BBC donkeys.” In his report Bowen alluded to “Zionism’s innate instinct to push out the frontier” and opined that Israel showed a “defiance of everyone’s interpretation of international law except its own.”