Channel 4 is not ‘Promising’ for British Jews.

The character of Len in The Promise (

The character of Len in The Promise (

Many British Jews woke up this morning feeling a little less welcome living in the UK. The overall feeling of watching the four episodes of The Promise is one of inciting racial hatred.

And it says a lot about the current UK environment that anti-Jewish propaganda is now so freely available on British tv and not just British university campuses.

Peter Kosminsky spent seven years writing The Promise but consulted avowedly anti-Israel groups like Breaking the Silence, Combatants for Peace and ISM and also British soldiers who had come under fire from Jewish military groups.

His facile conclusion is:

“The most striking thing I’m left with is a question: how did we get from there to here? Like most British soldiers we interviewed, arriving in Palestine from the war in Europe, Len Matthews felt only sympathy for the Jewish plight. Having seen the ovens of Bergen-Belsen, his heart tells him that Jews deserve a place of safety, almost at any price. In 1945, that view was shared by most of the world. In the era inhabited by Erin, his granddaughter, just 60 years later, Israel is isolated, loathed and feared in equal measure by its neighbours, finding little sympathy outside America for its uncompromising view of how to defend its borders and secure its future. How did Israel squander the compassion of the world within a lifetime?” (See a response to this here).

There was no attempt at balance or context. Jews and Israelis were portrayed as evil and the Arabs were portrayed as the good guys.

And these are the words that Len, the main British Mandate character in The Promise, writes in his diary as he departs British Mandate Palestine:

“We’ve left the Arabs in the shit. But what about the Jews and their bloody state for which they fought so hard? Three years ago I would have said give them whatever they want, they deserve it after all they have been through. Now I’m not so sure. This precious state of theirs has been born in violence and in cruelty to its neighbours. I’m not sure how it can thrive.”

Channel Four also recently showed War Child, a documentary on the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead in which “the Jews” were portrayed as going on a killing spree against Palestinian children.

And a few years ago it allowed mass murderer of his own people and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to broadcast a Chistmas speech. Then there is the anti-Israel Jon Snow who seems to split his career between reading Channel 4’s nightly news and chairing anti-Israel events.

Last night we finally found out what “the promise” of the title was all about. In 1948 Len, the British soldier, had promised, but failed, to return the key of the house owned by an Arab family he had befriended and who he ordered to flee to avoid being massacred by the oncoming Jews. 62 years later this promise was fulfilled by his grand-daughter, Erin. When she told him in his hospital bed back in the UK that she had finally returned the key he just lightly squeezed her hand before passing away without speaking.

To arrive at that point we witnessed some six hours of unmitigated demonisation of Jews; both those in British Mandate Palestine and those living in Israel today.

We watched as Erin gradually turned into a hardcore anti-Semite due to her experiences in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. She was an epileptic who suffered three seizures during the series. But the only time she fitted was when she was with Jews, never with Arabs.

The first time was in an Israeli nightclub when she collapsed on to the floor shaking uncontrollably and instead of anyone coming to help the Israelis just laughed at her.

The second time was when she was being reprimanded by the wealthy Jewish family she was staying with in Israel for bringing an Arab back to the house.

The third time was when she was confronted by three aggressive Israeli soldiers while she was trying to comfort a sick Palestinian woman who had been removed from her house just before it was about to be blown up because her family helped to shield a suicide bomber.

Meanwhile, Jews during the British Mandate Palestine era were all portrayed as brutal cold-blooded murderers with Kosminsky concentrating solely on the Irgun.

British soldiers and Arabs were constantly seen being shot by Jews, while we only see one Jew killed. Len shot a Jew dead while defending his beloved adopted Arab family.

No one would be able to comprehend from this series that almost 6,000 Jews died fighting the Arabs between 1947 and 1949, equivalent to 1% of the Jewish population of British Mandate Palestine at the time.

Nor was there any context to the Irgun’s actions. British government policy had become so anti-Jewish that the Jews were fighting for their lives.

In 1939 the British had reversed their own 1917 promise to the Jews to create a Jewish homeland. Instead only 75,000 Jews were now to be allowed to immigrate in to British Mandate Palestine over the next five years, after which the immigration numbers would be up to the Arab majority to decide. By 1949 British Mandate Palestine would effectively become another Arab state.

The Irgun put off any fighting until this five year period had expired. When there was no change in this British policy they starting fighting, which consisted of attacking buildings, not people (It was the Stern Gang, a small group of extremist Jews, who had no compunction about attacking civilians, soldiers and diplomatic figures).

The Irgun attacked the King David Hotel, as shown in The Promise, but not before, according to Menachem Begin, phoning through ignored warnings to evacuate.

In The Promise we were also shown Jews massacring unarmed Arabs in the village of Deir Yassin.

Begin claims that a warning was given to the inhabitants of Deir Yassin, so throwing away the element of surprise. He claims heavy fighting ensued and the Irgun suffered casualties of four dead and forty wounded, not as portrayed in The Promise.

Benny Morris claims that Arab radio broadcasts inflated what took place at Deir Yassin, and it was this that helped instigate the flight of the Arabs from all around the country.

But in The Promise the Arabs flee as a direct response to this “massacre” and fear of what the Jews might do to them. Again, there is no mention that up to 400,000 Palestinians did not flee.

The Promise also failed to mention La Saison when the Haganah (the main Jewish military force in British Mandate Palestine) caught members of the Irgun and handed them over to the British.

Instead, we were treated to one scene where British soldiers were shot through their heads as they sat in a military jeep outside a restaurant while rich Jewish diners just carried on eating, drinking and laughing.

Of course Kosminsky tried to promote what he thought was the Jewish/Israeli narrative.

The Promise occasionally flashed back to real scenes from The Holocaust, but there was no explanation of the Jews’ historic connection to Israel. The implication was that the Jews had stolen a country belonging to another people.

Second, Kosminsky showed two suicide bombings. The first one was just after an Israeli left-wing character had explained how the Security Wall has Arabs on both sides of it; some inside Israel proper and some inside the West Bank. The implication of the suicide bomb taking place straight after this was that the Security Wall was ineffective to stop suicide bombings and was merely a political tool used to grab more Palestinian land.

And after the second suicide bombing Erin, quite incredibly, befriends the family of the suicide bomber and even tried to stop their home being blown up by the IDF. This despite Erin not knowing the extent of the knowledge that the Palestinian family had about the intentions of their terrorist daughter.

Kosminsky also had Jewish children in the West Bank attacking Arab families with rocks while the IDF looked on and the IDF using a child as a human shield. We also saw a bulldozer almost run down Erin, recalling the death of Rachel Corrie in the same way. This is all straight out of an ISM handbook.

The Promise had everything for the Jew hater and Israel hater, but what you won’t see is a series about the Arab uprising in British Mandate Palestine between 1936-1939, which was brutally put down by the British and in which some 5,000 Arabs, 300 Jews and 260 Britons were killed and during which the Peel Commission offered the Arabs 80% of British Mandate Palestine, which the greedy Arab leadership duly rejected.

It was this that sowed the seeds for what followed and for the Arab defeat in 1948, but, as ever, why let facts get in the way of demonising Jews and Israel.

162 responses to “Channel 4 is not ‘Promising’ for British Jews.

  1. A good summery Richard.
    I remember watching the BBCs “50 year war ” on the conflict in which two Arab residents of Deir Yassin were interviewed. They said that Arab radio broadcast that Jews had raped the woman …untrue. This they described as a mistake.The idea had been to get Arabs fighting but it had the effect of them fleeing. Of course you wouldn’t have seen this in The Promise.

  2. and what about the fact that Arabs blew up the Jewish agency in Palestine killing 7 and wounding over 100

  3. Jonathan Hoffman

    This is a tour de force, Richard

  4. Excellent rundown there Richard and painful to read. I’m glad I don’t live in the UK anymore and glad I don’t watch TV.
    I have not seen this vile tripe and it sounds like a nightmare to watch, unmitigated soul torture. The makers of The Promise clearly share with the Arabs the same love of mendacity and moral inversion. From what you describe, there is no doubt in my mind that these people are Jew haters through and through…..another characteristic they share with the Arabs. And Israel did not come about because of the Holocaust. It was already on the cards. So throwing that in to the mix was another nasty lie on the part of these scoundrels. Furthermore, Len says the Arabs fear Israel. What rubbish! The Arabs don’t fear. They instil it in others. And the scene you describe of this chump Len popping his clogs peacefully as Erin tells him the key has been returned is just the kind of maudlin sentimental drivel that the Brits….and suckers everywhere…. enjoy being manipulated by. Julius Streicher is relishing all this propaganda from the flames of hell. And the rate things are going, many more will be joining him there.

  5. thank you Richard and I mean it, I am truely grateful – I assume that stuff shown on our TV is in the same vein and so you spare me the trouble of wading through that muck

    As to Combatants for Peace they get funds from German Heinrich Boell Foundation which is affiliated to our Green Party and government financed. That is the one and only successful investigation I can claim to have contributed to.

    As to the relations between Brits and Jews before 1948 I have never read up on them but I remember that they had Jews fighting on their side against some kind of Arab revolt and as it is the habits of Jews as best I know they fought with valour. Is there a reason why you haven’t mentioned it or did I overread something?

    thanks again


    It was under George VI that Jews–including at least a ship of them trying to escape the Holocaust and being sent back to their certain deaths in Nazi Europe–were kept out of Palestine, while the Arab Muslims were allowed in and were heavily favored by the Brits. And even after the full horrors of the Holocaust and the death camps were known, the Brits under this King had no problem brutally and consistently turning away Jews trying to avoid this and, later, trying to move on from overcrowded displaced persons camps in Europe. That included the ship, Exodus, whose Holocaust survivor passengers were sent back to Germany via France.

    One person wrote:

    F— “The King’s Speech.” Let’s just say the King never stuttered when it came to keeping Jews out of Palestine.

    Abba Eban, who was then the Jewish liaison to a special UN committee—called Special Committee On Palestine or UNSCOP—persuaded four UN representatives to go to Haifa to witness the brutality of the British against the Jews.

    Historian Martin Gilbert includes Eban’s account of what happened there in Israel: A History (p. 145):

    [In Haifa] the four members watched a “gruesome operation.” The Jewish refugees had decided not to accept banishment with docility. If anyone had wanted to know what Churchill meant by a “squalid war,” he would have found out by watching British soldier using rifle butts, hose pipes and tear gas against the survivors of the death camps. Men, women and children were forcibly taken off to prison ships, locked in cages below decks and set out of Palestine waters.

    When the four members of UNSCOP came back to Jerusalem, Eban recalled, “they were pale with shock. I could see that they were pre-occupied with one point alone: if this was the only way that the British Mandate could continue, it would be better not to continue it at all.’”

    To add insult to injury regarding the British actions toward the Jews in pre-Israel Palestine, Colin Firth’s latest project, “The Promised Land,” is a “thriller” which paints the Brits as heroes and the Jews as terrorists. It focuses on the “Stern Gang” freedom fighters, who put an end to British brutality against the Jews. But that’s not the way leftist revisionists see it or the way this movie does. Because, hey, why not do films portraying Jews as terrorists, since the real modern terrorists–Arab Muslims–are off-limits due to the rules of political correctness, right?
    Here’s the synopsis of the film:

    A police-thriller set in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem during the British Mandate era in Palestine. It tells the gripping true story of two British police officers Thomas Wilkin, and Geoffrey Morton and their battle to bring to an end the campaign of bombings and assassinations by the extreme right-wing Jewish underground led by the charismatic poet, Avraham Stern. The film culminates when the two policemen track Stern down to his apartment hide-out in Tel Aviv on Mizrachi Street in 1942.

    Yes, the “gripping true story,” which is Hollywood code for: our propaganda and lies distorting the true story. By starring in this, Colin Firth is part of those lies and distortions.

    • walt kovacs

      this is another reason why i cant stand debbie.

      by the time bertie became king, the king had very little to do with policy, either foreign or domestic.

      wanna rip bertie on something? rip him on supporting chamberlain appeasing hitler

      shoot, the film also leaves out that edward was buddies with hitler…so what

      and firth should not win an award for acting because of the roles he chooses? please

      the man has to eat

      and the stern gang was a bit extreme to say the least

    • In response to:
      “while the Arab Muslims were allowed in “,
      I might be wrong, however, I firmly believe that Palestine, before the UN allowed the occupation, was the home to a predominant Muslim culture and society. It’s all very well having, and quite rightly so, a great deal of empathy for the atrocities exposed and forced upon the Jewish people, by the Nazi’s. Nevertheless, it doesn’t excuse the similar atrocities being endured by Muslim communities, by the Jews, in Palestine since 1948, and beyond! This entire thread, in my opinion, smacks of contradictory opinion.

      • similar atrocities

        Similar atrocities, SIMILAR ATROCITIES ????????

        you have no idea what you are talking about

        read up on the history before you come back and in the meantime wash your mouth with soap.

      • Washed my mouth out, as requested! Still, it would appear that I stand by my current comment. No need to review said history books. Perhaps the person who felt the need to comment might need to re-read the history books themselves. A person killed in combat is just that, however a person killed in cold blood is murdered, which is what happened to the Jewish people of Nazi Europe and what is happening to the Palestinian people in the Gaza strip today.

      • And as we know, Gaza is worse than the Warsaw ghetto.

  7. Well done to Richard for writing such an accurate report of all the problems with ” The Promise ” .

    I really wanted to give the programme a fair viewing over all 4 episodes
    but the historical distortions just got worse & worse as each week passed – ultimately the lack of balance & resulting lack of sympathy with the Jewish characters will I fear lead to Anti-Israel prejudice & Anti-Semitism .

    Channel 4 aired a brilliant series about Israel’s history called
    ” Pillar Of Fire : A Television History Of Israel’s Rebirth ” in 1986
    which I vividly remember watching as a child – it is a great shame that Todays young people will grow up watching programmes like
    ” The Promise ” .

  8. Perhaps subconsciously one of the ” worse messages ” deliberately perpetrated by Komminsky was the scene where Mohammed asks Len to shoot Hassan’s gorgeous puppy ” a bullet would be kinder than my knife across his throat ” & we have pitful film of the little vulnerable puppy & then the sound of a shot. Yes, the only implication being that it is a better fate for an innocent puppy to be shot than left to the “mercy” of the Jews.
    Komminsky may be able to state this & this is based on the experiences of his 80 interviews with troops, but its rather like the sentence that indeed makes sense ” The soldier looked at the dog ” but without the absolutely significant context ” The soldier looked at the dog & shot it in the head “.
    Kominsky’s “drama” is a travesty – a tour de force of anti Jewish & anti- Israel sentiment, economy with the truth , an understatement. Where did he nurture all that hate from ?

    • He’s a Jew and therefore needs an exit strategy of one kind or another. Some choose the Torah, some choose Israel, some choose Torah+Israel, some choose being a kapo.

    • richardmillett

      Yes, Jude. So true about the puppy. That was an unbelievable scene. Best to kill the dog than leave the poor thing to the Jews.

      • What good Muslim keeps a dog? Even during a time when Muslims were less fussed about their religion, I don’t think it would have been a popular pursuit?
        And why does the attitude towards the dog sound so 20th century, western European?

  9. I haven’t seen this series of course – probably a good thing.
    However, maybe a little reality can help dispel the darkness brought on by this propaganda drama.
    I have a great uncle who served here with the British Mandate and was even at the King David hotel on the day of the bombing. Unlike Kominsky’s characters, he is very fond Israel and when he came to visit again 32 years after the mandate was terminated, was very impressed indeed with all that Israelis had managed to achieve in such a short time.
    Whenever I used to visit the UK, my uncle would ask me to bring ‘red cow’ chocolate and other Israeli goodies which he came to enjoy during his time spent here as a young man.
    I have been living here for 34 years, my children were born Israeli and this coming summer will see the birth of our first grandchild – who will also be the first third generation child to be born to our kibbutz.
    So whilst Kominsky and others of his ilk invent stories which they try to pass off as history, others of us are actually creating and building that history with our own hands and no amount of facile ‘drama’ can reverse that.

  10. thanks aparatchik for finding that film on YouTube – I hope I’ll find the time soon it sure looks like a must-see.

    Right now I saw only the beginning of part 2 and it looks very much as if in the spirit of what I was fed in the fifties in German newsreels cinemas (yes there were cinemas where only news and short documentaries were shown)

    Since you are Germanically unchallenged 😉ätenkino

  11. Peter Kosminsky’s drama was so, so biased and distorted. Almost every Jewish character in The Promise is portrayed as dishonest. Almost every Arab character in The Promise is portrayed as honest.

    Many of the things that The Promise portrays did happen, unpleasant as that is for us to accept. However, over seven or so hours of drama, while he manages to find space for any number of extreme, unrepresentative moments that damn the Jews/Israel, he almost completely avoided showing their context, or any of many brutalities of both the British Mandate, and the Arabs.

    True, this was a drama, not a documentary. But over the past few months Kosminsky has regulary given puffed-up boasts about his level of meticulous, fair research, accuracy and balance. If he truly believes any of those boasts, then I recommend he seeks medical attention asap.

    What is most surprising is that such a distorted, hate-mongering piece of work could be shown by a mainstream broadcaster. Every village has its idiot, but they are not usually given a proper platform. But what should we expect of a channel that courted the antisemite tyrant Ahmadinejad for its Christmas message? What should we expect of a channel whose news anchor Jon Snow claimed that “nobody gets injured” by Qassam rockets?

    The fact that Kosminsky could sell such a hatemongering pack of distortions to Channel 4, and that Channel 4 would invest so much time and resources into a mammoth promotion of the series, speaks volumes.

    Anyway, good post Richard. I’ve been very active rebutting the show on Twitter over the past four Sundays, using the official hashtag for the series #c4thepromise. I will Tweet this out under that hashtag, and I urge others to. We can make a difference.

  12. Thanks for that Richard . I just attempted to post a lengthy critique on the Channel 4 comments page but surprise surprise it never made it past moderation .
    This production was a tour de force in anti Israel polemic . No doubt to the average Joe Public ,The Promise was well made and a gripping drama . However Kominsky has not set out just to produce a nuanced drama depicting the conflict in a fair and balanced way. Rather he has used numerous devices with which to create a near subliminal effect in order to lay the foundation stone and then to reinforce a negative image of Israel and its birth.

    These devices come thick and fast . Erins Israeli family live in a sumptuous villa on the beach replete with designer pool which plays into almost every shot . Erin starts her first day of army life driving her smart little Mercedes Sports as if she was going to her country club . Later on in episode 2 ,she is taken to the home of a high ranking Israeli soldier who also just happens to live in a luxury villa with yet another pool. Contrast this with the first impression of Israeli Arabs who live in something approaching squalor and of course the ubiquitous focus on the security fence .Amazing how it just happens to be within metres of every Palestinian on both sides .
    No mention of course that the fence was a final act of desperation by a people tormented by the regular incursion of murderous homicidal maniacs brain washed into immolating themselves and Israeli citizens in shopping malls ,buses ,discos restaurants etc. Instead the fence is used as means to reinforce the idea of seperation and so called apartheid . Never mind the fact that true apartheid is implemented within the Arab World which has succeeded in making their lands Judenfrei. As for terrorist outrages ,we are left with a sanitised cafe bombing in which Erins Israeli friend emerges with several minor cuts and a limp which disappears by episode 4 .

    Another device constantly used by Kominsky is to show Israelis as hate filled people with nothing but contempt for the ” down trodden Palestinians ” .Thus when Erin brings her new Palestinian friend back to her Israeli home ,her hosts on meeting him are stunned into silence, shock and what is evidently a quite seething anger which as good Liberals they are unable to voice. However the look says it all .

    No matter the fact that any normal person would feel uncomfortable if confronted by an unexpected stranger in their home . One wonders what would have happened to an Israeli invited back to a Palestinian home on the West Bank,but heh this is Mr Kominskys world .
    Settlers are depicted in a similar vein in Hebron and no doubt they give as well as they receive .Its what happens when two people live in a constant state of war and aggression for 62 years but all we see is a line of angelic Palestinian children withstanding the curses of the settler children and indifference of the soldiers. Perhaps Mr Kominsky did not see fit to juxtapose the regular occurences of Israelis being murdered in their vehicles on the West Bank and of soldiers murdered for straying into Palestinian areas by mistake. Better to be cursed and spat at .
    However the most important trope is Kominskys readiness to align Jewish nationalism with the Holocaust and its inception from 1945 . He effectively airbrushes out any Jewish connection to the land from before Roman times and to omit the first wave of Olim in the late c19 ,Theodore Hezel ,the Balfour Declaration etc. Deir Yassin is shown in graphic detail without context and without reciprocal mention of the massacres of Hebron in 1929 ,Kfar Etzion ,Mount Scopus and an endless litany of contemporary atrocities .
    This appalling diatribe of propaganda masquerading as factual drama will provide a future textbook example of how to demonise and delegitimise Israel using mass media as a powerful tool.
    We are simply light years behind.
    And they say the Jews control the world . They certainly dont have much say on Channel4 .

    • mmm – my comment also didn’t make it past moderation – perhaps they are ensuring the right ratio of positive to negative comments and only letting through the rather weedy negatives.

      this is what I tried to post (three times!)
      Brilliantly presented drama which is seriously flawed by significant sins of omission, emotional imbalance and event imbalance.
      There was no mention of the Arab attacks on Jews throughout the time of the British Mandate, their collaboration with the Nazis or the siege of Jews in Jerusalem at the time of the Deir Yassin attack. Nor did the mainstream Jewish authorities severe criticism of the attack on Deir Yassin get a mention.
      Our sympathies were evoked through depiction of the emotional impact on the British and Palestinians then and now but there was no depiction of the emotional impact on Jews and Israelis then and now. The fatal actions of the British turning away boatloads of desperate Jews fleeing the Nazis or modern day Israelis losing a loved one to suicide bombers was sidelined into minimal impact scenes either shown from the British perspective as Jews were herded into camps or giving the perspective of a relatively minor injury from the suicide bombs.
      All the key Jewish terrorist attacks on the British are shown with no indication as to whether they are representative of a much larger picture or the reality that they are most of what there is whereas the attacks by the British and Palestinians are not shown – who would have thought from the Promise that just prior to Deir Yassin between December 1947 and March 1948 more than 2,000 Jews were killed and 4,000 injured by the Arabs?

  13. Richard – what can we do? I have complained to Channel 4 and received a perfunctory reply. More needs to be done – C4 needs to know how much upset this has caused. We shouldn’t just complain to each other. There should be an outcry about this – it constitutes race hatred.

    Can we act as a group? Is there any legal avenue?

    • richardmillett

      Adam, people are starting to complain but the feedback we are getting it that Channel 4 are claiming that this “is not a factual programme and instead is a scripted drama based on the personal experiences of the main character”. So Kosminsky’s research was all factual but now he is claiming it was just a drama. Channel 4 is trying to have it both ways. There is a huge misrepresentation going on. It cannot be an opinion drama (which Ch 4 are claiming) while being written from true events. It is a con.

      • Yup, okay! Your’e so right – HUGE misrepresentation! Must reconsider my opinion on human rights……….(note the hint of sarcasm!)

  14. In the meantime, we could write to the Radio Times. They notice if a lot of letters complain about something, and they might just print something.

  15. Thanks Richard as ever for your coverage of this.

  16. Sharon Klaff

    Fantastic job Richard. I could not bring myself to watch the last episode. I have had annonymous hate mail from one of those old soldiers. I gathered all the evidence but the police closed the file refusing to analyse the DNA against that of the suspect. So even today they carry on in their same Jew hating way. It’s sad that a Jew aids them in this way.

  17. Harvey,
    Living here in Israel I have not had the opportunity to view this much talked about documentary.

    However, I understand from your articulate posting that “Israelis” appear to be depicted as having their own swimming pool in their back gardens.

    To set the record straight, I do not have a swimming pool in my garden although I have built a small fish pond with a number of Koi, Goldfish and Gambusia (mosquito fish). I do not wish to blow my own trumpet but it has often been commented upon favorably.

    Daniel Marks has a small back garden of which he takes particular pride, especially in his astro-turf and his passion-fruit climber. He does not have a pool.

    Michael Goldman has just carried out extensive refurbishments to his flat but I do not think they include a swimming pool.

    My neighbour Shay has a Chinese made inflatable pool about 2m X 2m which he puts in the middle of his car space during the summer months. I admit to having had a dip in it on two separate occasions.

    I also have to concede that I recently attended a friend’s 50th which was held in a home In Herzlia that did have a swimming pool.

    I hope that clears up the status of privately owned swimming pools in the State of Israel as of 1 March 2011.

  18. The first episode was watched by 1.7 million people. That’s 1.7 million who might want to find out a bit more and find there is something more than just the Israeli narrative.

    Thank you Peter Kosminsky.

    • No chance of a factual rebuttal from you of the points made here about the blatant lies in this programme, then.

  19. Richard, your critique is outstanding. I missed the actual bulldozer but had spotted the Rachel Corrie cloning.

    There could be a good outcome from all this antisemitism. People with facts might now be stirred to present them in some equally dramatic way. When one sees the legs lies can have the outrage felt might be productive.

    It certainly has been for you. You express your outrage beautifully.

  20. Excellent post, Richard! One wonders what exactly Kosminsky is trying to achieve with this hatchet job on Israel. If he describes himself as a ‘critical friend’, one shudders to see what an enemy would be like! The main problem is, with the exception of the suicide bombing, all the attacks by Arabs on Jews (and BTW before 1948 the word ‘Palestinians’ was never used to describe Arabs, only Jews) are mentioned as asides or see on a TV as a subliminal background clip, whereas every attack by Jews on Arabs is dwelt on in gory detail. And how come Erin and Paul seemed so lightly injured in the blast – he’d recovered enough by the end to lift her heavy rucksack into the car boot one-handed! A more accurate picture of a woman suffering suicide-bomb aftermath was shown in an episode of ‘Nip/Tuck’. No resistance is shown at Deir Yassin, which seems equated with Oradour and Lidice. The actors playing Israelis seem to have been instructed to be stone-faced and heartless, while the Arabs’ faces overflow with pathetic empathy. A telling note: the headgear worn by the Jewish fighters in the War of Independence looks like that worn by the original 1870s Ku Klux Klan. I did have one laugh: when Erin showed Omar her grandfather’s key, I thought, when he showed her his, he was going to say, a la Crocodile Dundee: “You call that a key? Now THIS is a key!”

  21. Robin Stamler

    I’ve not seen the program but did they mention that British soldiers blew up Ben Yehuda Street in Feb 48, killing over 50 people? Or was that not part of the story?

  22. What now? As much as I respect your anaalysis, Richard, the damage has been done. The Promise will go on to win prizes for excellence. Historical inaccuracy and blatant manipulation not withstanding. What can be done to stop that and limit the damage?

    BTW Muslims hate dogs and consider them unclean. it is the British who love their dogs.

  23. Andy Pandy and Teddy (via Leonie)

    A message for British Jewry from an unexpected source – Andy Pandy (and Teddy) and that nice lady’s voice: It starts at 15.05 and lasts just a few seconds:

  24. I haven’t seen any reviews in the main stream media following the concluding episode…has anyone else?

  25. David, I noted the longeur concerning the dog. Apparently a Muslim who touches a dog has to wash seven times. I wonder if the police dog handlers have special instructions when sniff-searches have to be carried out on Muslims’ property.

    Also this is a country where a BBC presenter is given an award for bullying a truthful Jewish party leader and an antisemitic cartoonist is given an award for demonising Ariel Sharon. Why not Kosminsky in this corrupt arena?

  26. One Jew was shot in the street close to Len whose friends did it. They also mistreated Mohamed. Otherwise? Nothing I remember.

  27. The Promise was fiction. Undercover Mosque was fact.

    That is the message that needs to be driven home time and again.

  28. I’m glad you have covered this so thoroughly. The blog I contribute to concerns only the BBC, but when Mark Thompson said the BBC’s job is to confront people with “the other” he provided me with a chance to bring up a programme shown on Channel Four. Now I’m waiting, but not holding my breath, for the BBC’s “other”.

    It’s unfortunate that Kosminsky pretends the film is a history lesson as well as a love story.

    The Tweets and the pre and post-programme interactive sessions on the website made matters even worse. People heaped lavish praise upon Kosminsky, and expressed profuse gratitude for teaching them everything they needed to know about the Middle East. All compliments were accepted graciously and without irony; even with a creepy kind of modesty.

    The agenda driven imagery and dialogue were no accident. No (living) Jew was portrayed sympathetically, whereas the Arabs behaved like English gentlemen in nighties.

    Holocaust victims are too often used as a mawkish figleaf to cover antisemitism. This film did that with a vengeance. Exploiting that footage gratuitously, as Kosminsky did, deserves utter condemnation.

    A typical device used by Israel-haters is turning things on their heads. One example was the Israeli ‘mother’ saying, at the dining table: “These people are like animals.” A clunkingly deliberate ploy to replace the Arabs’ innate antisemitic hatred of ‘the descendants of Apes and Pigs’ with ‘Jewish hatred of their son’s attempted murderers.’ Inversion and equivalence in one fell swoop.

    Palestinian children are notorious for rock-throwing, so Kosminsky inverts reality by depicting the rock-throwers as Jews.

    As soon as I saw that cartoon key in the endless trails they showed on Channel Four, I knew this was heading to stolen land, stolen houses.

    By showing the heroine’s ludicrous attempt to chain herself, plus little girl, to a pillar inside the house with a handy padlock that happened to by lying around next to the chain, and the shot of her facing down a bulldozer that appeared to be bulldozing an already blown-up house, Kosminsky managed to allude to Demolishing houses, Rachel Corrie, Brave Human Shield activities and some frantic scrambling through rubble; not to mention miraculously finding the very thing she was looking for.

    Fancy the bedridden old lady from ‘Allo ‘Allo (Will nobody ‘ear the cries of a poor old woman?) being the very same young girl that grandad nearly married!
    Did such coincidences affect the credibility of this story?
    It seems not. None of the newly enlightened experts on the Middle East were bothered by implausibility of the plot.

    Just for a moment, politics aside, ignore the way all the Jews were depicted as monsters and the Arabs as angels, forget the historical inaccuracies which gullible people might be forgiven for accepting unquestioningly, but surely, surely, the daft storyline, the coincidences, would have diluted their adulation for Kosminsky? Just a tiny dent?

    Peter Kosminsky spent years researching this rubbish, and now he puts himself forward as both honest broker and expert filmmaker.

    I’d admit that the first two episodes were seductive in a glossy Saachi and Saachi way, but the final two episodes degenerated into farce.

    Basing an entire reputation on a sliver of a first impression which you haven’t even followed through, is something The Promise shares with the BBC.
    It’s a crying shame so many people are hoodwinked.
    Sorry for long post.

  29. la cumparsita

    I could not bring myself to watch this film.
    If Deir Yassin was referred to, here are some facts which Kosminsky would not have included:
    Deir Yassin, a strategically located town was an Arab military outpost (that included foreign Arab soldiers from Iraq) from which Arabs fired on Jews in nearby villages and along the vital road to Jerusalem. The Jewish military effort to neutralize the threat posed by Deir Yassin began with forewarnings to civilian residents through a loudspeaker prompting some to evacuate. Jewish soldiers encountered intense gunfire from Arab soldiers sheltering in the town, and in the context of house-to-house combat, civilians were killed. The loss of lives occurred not as a calculated effort to terrorize but as part of a defensive action.
    Arab survivors confirm the military nature of the attack and the absence of any massacre. According to survivor Ayish Zeidan:
    The Arab radio talked of women being killed and raped, but this is not true…I believe that most of those who were killed were among the fighters and the women and children who helped the fighters. The Arab leaders committed a big mistake. By exaggerating the atrocities they thought they would encourage people to fight back harder. Instead, they created panic and people ran away. (The Daily Telegraph, April 8, 1998)
    Hazem Nusseibeh, an editor of the Palestine Broadcasting Service’s Arabic news in 1948, admits that he and Hussein Khalidi, the secretary of the Arab Higher Committee (the representative body of the Arabs of British Palestine), fabricated atrocities in reporting about the battle at Deir Yassin “so the Arab armies will come to liberate Palestine from the Jews.” Nusseibeh said in a BBC television series Israel and the Arabs: the 50 Year’s War that, “This was our biggest mistake. We did not realize how our people would react. As soon as they heard that women had been raped [a fabrication] at Deir Yassin, Palestinians fled in terror.”

  30. I see that we are all on the same page here in this excellent blog, but please check the comments on this review. There are many trying to get accross and illustrate the inaccuracy, but on the other side there is a complete inability to acknowledge the series inaccuracies. Some comments are revolting, so I could not bring myself to read them. Is there anything to do? I would really like to have my say at channel 4, but I couldn’t bring myself to watch the series, I would follow a collective response. Isn’t it time Jews and Israel really enter the world of propaganda? It seems to work for the Jew-haters, why wouldn’t it work for us? And they accuse us of it already (there are a few comments on the link that say so), so what’s the harm?
    Link to the review below:

  31. What an echo chamber this is. Why on earth would British Jews feel any less welcome? You insinuate as if they have been invited into Britain. They are British, they need no invite off you or any one else. And why should the actions of other Jews 60 odd years ago on the other side of the globe have anything to do Roth British Jews in this day and age? Only a muppet would attempt to make that leap of assumption. I know it’s hard for you guys to grasp, but there was a gross wrong inflicted upon the Palestinians in 1948. For you to seek to deny this puts you in the same bracket as other kinds of deniers. And we all know how they make our skin crawl. I suggest a little reflection, instead of throwing about the old ‘anti-Semitic’ canard at anything shock dares show Israrl in a critical light. Grow up !

    • I know it’s hard for you to grasp but there were no ‘palestinians’ in 1948. Well actually, there were….the Jews. The Jewish run newspaper in jerusalem at the time was called The Palestinian Post. The ‘paletstinians’ you’re referring to were invented by Arafat and his thugs after the 6-day war. There is no distinct Palestinian cultural or national identity and the Palestinian nationhood argument is the real strategic deception – one geared to set up the destruction of Israel.
      Palestine has never existed as a nation. The region known as Palestine was ruled alternately by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire and, briefly, by the British after World War I. The British agreed to restore at least part of the land to the Jewish people as their ancestral homeland. It was never ruled by Arabs as a separate nation.

      As Golda Meier said: ‘There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War, and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.’

      Only a muppet wouldn’t grasp this. And deniers make my skin crawl too.

    • walt kovacs

      why, after the king david hotel attack, did britains attack jews and jewish owned businesses in britain?

      the jews in britain had nothing to do with the attack

      maybe you should grow up and take off the blinders

    • if you see the link in my comment above, you can find people that think British Jews have more loyalty for Israel than for Britain. I think this is the point. You can feel unwelcome in your own home.
      Also, there are many other “gross wrongs” that had been inflicted upon many other peoples yet, alas!, the one that gets more of the attention and animosity from everybody is the Arab-Israel conflict. Such disproportionality evidences a sublying antisemitism… Please tell us if you find a better explanation.

    • ‘I know it’s hard for you guys to grasp, but there was a gross wrong inflicted upon the Palestinians in 1948. For you to seek to deny this puts you in the same bracket as other kinds of deniers. And we all know how they make our skin crawl. ‘

      The kinds of people who deny Jews have been regarded as a people exiled and dispossessed, in most of Christendom and Islam, including Palestine, for most of (Palestinian) Christian and Islamic history?

      i.e. people like you, Rep?

      I don’t deny a ‘wrong’, in the sense of ‘bad things’ were inflicted on Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians. But they and their allies threatened a ‘wrong’ i.e. ‘bad things’ no less bad on Palestinian Jews.

  32. Sergio, I was just about to post that. The vapid review is well answered by the commenters on the thread who know what they are talking about. They are anti-all that trash. A very pertinent question by one commenter was, after watching The Promise why do you feel all that hate?

  33. Nick K
    So sorry to hear you don’t have a swimming pool. It must be like soooo embarrassing for you. At least tell me you have a hot little Merc Sports to take you to your army base .

  34. Will the Board of Deputies complain about the programme? I understand that the Zionist Federation is complaining to both C$ and Ofcom.

    We need as many complaints as possible. Is there any legal avenue? The programme is nothing short of incitement to hatred.

  35. The actors themselves, as well as Kosminsky, should be ashamed for contributing to race hatred.

  36. No mention also of the Hadassah medical convoy massacre in April 1948 when Seventy-nine people were killed (mostly doctors and nurses) by Arab forces whilst the British stood by.

  37. Daniel Marks

    Ye Adam, get that Board of Deputies to complain about the program; that ought to scare those anti-Semites silly. They’ll wake up during the night in a cold sweat dreading the thought of someone writing a nasty letter to the JC.

  38. Israelinurse – I had a next-door neighbour who had also served in British Mandate Palestine. He was about 20yrs old at the time and, as a result of his experiences, came to admire and support both the Jewish people and their new state – an admiration he never lost.

  39. Daniel Marks – what’s your suggestion then? Do nothing?

  40. Great post Richard. Well done…and thank you to all the other contributors too, who have taught me more about Deir Yassin and other aspects.

  41. Sharon Klaff

    I am being forced to sit through the final episode of this rubbish and it is turning my stomach. Kosminsky must have gone out of his way to embrace replacement history. Perhaps he is now a Muslim too? Where did they find the woman who plays the role of Erin? She ought to return to her day job!

  42. Sharon Klaff

    And now I am hysterical!! Watching Erin’s chain moment. How convenient that every home in Gaza has a convenient length of chain, a padlock with key and a handy pillar for a British woman to find whilst she meandered round the house unhindered by the explosive laying Israeli soldiers. All this followed by a fit. Too much excitement for one day I expect. OMG!! At the end he asks her as she leaves for the airport “will you be back?” I just made the back door in time!! TG for my family.

  43. Marks? Any better ideas? Or do you just like being silly and pompous for the sake of it?

  44. Did the series show the executions of Jews in Acre prison by the British (Jews who had fought in the British army in WW2)? How about the flogging of Jewish prisoners? No?

    Kosminsky is a propagandist.

  45. do not blame claire foy for her portrayal of erin.

    she was directed to act as wooden and as naive as possible…she is supposed to represent the british public….a blank slate, when it comes to the events of British colonialism and british mandate palestine

    • Sharon Klaff

      Sorry Walt, I forgot! What about blaming the BBC for wasting our money on such – oops – rubbish!! Now even if one doesn’t know the real history and how Israel is today, the actual production and script is so untalented rendering less than mediocre on a par with the defunct soap El Dorado that lasted all of two minutes.

      • not the bbc, but channel 4

        channel 4 wants to be as highly respected as the bbc…so it made this drama…which cost a pretty pound

        ive seen some bloggers state that they would love it if an american company would pick up the show for american audiences….will never happen

        not because of the anti israel tone….but because the show is just not very good

        dramas that use coincidence over and over again as plot points, get regularly panned in the states….and that is how kominsky, lazily pushed his narrative

        who knows…maybe hbo or showtime will buy the show, or bbc america will air it….dont know

        but i dont think it will sell

      • Sharon Klaff

        Oops sorry Channel 4!

      • Clearly a very cultured individual, that your only comparison is that of a soap from the early 90s. I shrink when I imagine the tripe you actually proclaim as being talent!!!

      • Sharon Klaff

        Jumpsuit – if you could read English I am actually saying that The Promise is so bad that it rates amongst the flopped soap El Dorado. I note that your knowledge of Mandated Palestine is also on a par with that soap – limited and ill informed.

  46. Richard, excellent post and dissection of a sloppy, facile and dishonest piece of propaganda. I look forward to Simon Schama’s five-part History of the Jews for the BBC (things can only get better) but regrettably we will have to wait till 2012

  47. Walt, I blame her for taking part in anti-Jewish propaganda.

    • i dont blame actors for taking gigs

      for years, before he became a star in comedies, leslie nielson was relegated to b movies, some of which are very distasteful…..actors gotta eat

      im a techie….i do jobs for people whose politics i dont like….but i dont care….they pay me

      unlike debbie schlissel, i dont connect the actor with the role

      the writer and director is a different story, as he/she has total control of the product.

      im waiting for his next project on the birth of the united states, where he paints the brits as being benign occupiers, and the nascent americans as being animals…he can say that he needed to provide balance to gibson’s the patriot

  48. Walt it wouldn’t suprise me if HBO do pick it up

  49. walt kovacs

    has anyone asked kominsky why it took him 7 years to make the show?

    the research was not extensive, the script couldnt have taken more than a few months, and his representation of israel circa 2005 was pulled from youtube vids posted during 2007

  50. walt, I’m not sure Kosminsky is nationalistic. I believe an earlier production of his was rather on the “British” jihadi side. Unless he is an Arab nationalist, of course.

    • walt kovacs

      you mean his thing about bosnia? didnt see it

      im taking his nationalism from his words

      how he was homesick during his sojourn in israel…how he want the brit soldiers to have a memorial, because they were heroes

      the brit occupation of palestine was not nam….

  51. Bataween, good about Shama. Just in time for the Zionist Olympic Games!

  52. Daniel Marks

    “Marks? Any better ideas? Or do you just like being silly and pompous for the sake of it?” – Adam.

    Hi Adam,

    Why would anyone be silly for the sake of it? I do hope you’re not taking this matter personally.

    Now, you want my ideas. First, let me say that I have not seen the program in question, but I have no reason to doubt what Richard has written, namely that those making it do not share our understanding of Israeli history and present day reality.

    I guess I would begin by asking myself as to what the specific harm that such a show causes is. According to one poster, 1.7 million saw the show. I’m guessing that they’re divided into Israel haters who hated me both before and after. Israel lovers like Richard or yourself whose attitude towards Israel were unaltered, those who had no opinion, but have since become anti-Israel and those who had no opinion either before or after. The first two groups are of no interest to us, and while I suspect that the last group may form an overwhelming majority, only the third group is really important.

    Now we must focus on those who have become anti-Israel, or more so as a result of the show. Our next question must be as to what harm they can do. Clearly, Britannia no longer rules the waves and the UK’s influence on Israel or its policies is marginal. I’m also skeptical as to how many Westminster decision makers watch a show on channel 4 and then decide the next day to withdraw their British ambassador from Tel Aviv. Rightly so, UK foreign policy is determined on the basis of perceived British interests, not as a result of TV shows and this policy has long been pro-Arab, at least since the 1920s. I watch old episodes of Spooks every night before going to bed and more often than not the bad guys are Moslems or Arabs, as they are in many other TV shows and movies. Do these really have any effect on UK policy towards Arab countries?

    I suggest that there are times when action for action’s sake, or to relieve frustration, can do more harm than good. The show has already been aired and no silly letters to newspapers will turn the clock back or stop it from being aired again if its ratings were high.

    Such actions, or destined-to-fail legal threats, will on the one hand give the show more publicity and on the other make it appear that we have something to hide; that “The Promise” has given away our dirty little secret. If a few well meaning Englishmen refrained from buying Israeli cherry tomatoes yesterday because they saw the show, every day they are reminded of it will be another day that those lovely litle tomatoes stay on the shelf. There are times when we have to exercise perspicacity and just role with the punches.

    However, if you still want ideas, I would suggest that the Board of Deputies encourage the production of an alternative program, to present the Israeli side (if such a thing exists). Then again, I am convinced that they have neither the resources nor the vision required to do so.

    I would discreetly approach any Jewish or pro-Israel businessmen advertising on Channel 4 and ask them as a group to make their displeasure clear and for them to unambiguously state that they would not tolerate a re-airing of the show.

    I would offer to send charismatic lecturers to any school, youth movement or community center that wished to have a Zionist speaker and an anti-Zionist speaker debate the accuracy of the show in particular or the Arab-Israeli conflict in general. I would talk to like-minded pro-Israel directors in the US and encourage them not to consider the actors who took part in the show for future movies.

    I would contact Israel’s friends around the world, especially the US Evangelist Church and the European Right, that they might make clear ahead of time their wish not to see the show on their screens.

    Being realistic, nobody is going to adopt any of my suggestions, because they require both time and resources. Writing a nasty letter to the paper will always be the prefered option.

    The Board of Deputies is and has always been a group of decent well-meaning chaps, with busy lives and careers and to whom their support of Israel is another hobby like golf, fishing or rugby. I am not knocking anyone, because each one of them does a thousand times more than most of his fellow Anglo-Jews, but threatening to get the BOD lads on the job, really isn’t going to scare anyone.

    “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. “

  53. You write: “the Stern Gang, a small group of extremist Jews, who had no compunction about attacking civilians”. If you mean British civilians, you are in error. Unlike the case in Cyprus, when a British housewife, Catherine Cutliffe, was murdered, shot in the market, in the back, even the “extremist Stern group” never adopted such measures.
    A better Deir Yassin source, besides the BBC’s program on the 50 Years’ War, is Uri Millstein’s book:

    • richardmillett

      No, I meant the Arab civilians in British Mandate Palestine.

      • Glad you corrected yourself otherwise one might think poorly of your knowledge of the subject at hand. Lechi as well as the Irgun also fought Arabs who attacked solely, only and exclusively Jewish civilians. During the retaliation campaign of the Irgun 1937-1939 and then after the Arabs attacked after the Partition resolution from December 1947, the conflict evolved into an intra-communal one. Hundreds of Jews died from Arab snipings in south Tel Aviv, from the minaret of the mosque, for example. The 1936 riots broke out when a convoy was attacked and two Jews killed. Hebron in 1929 was only Jewish civilians. Jaffa 1921, only Jewish civilians were murdered. Same for Jerusalem 1920. So, the enemy was a faceless Arab. Even Order Wingate engaged in the same: “after learning of the murder of his close friend, Ein Harod leader Haim Sturmann (“A great Jew,” Wingate eulogized him, “a friend of the Arabs, who was killed by the Arabs”18), the commander of the SNS led his men in a rampage in the Arab section of Beit Shean, the rebels’ suspected base. During the raid, Wingate’s forces damaged property and wounded several people—a number of them mortally, according to some accounts.” And: “In reprisal for the killing of fifteen Jews in Tiberias, Wingate and his troops marched into a village called Hitin. Ten men were arbitrarily selected and executed. One of Wingate’s officers, Humphrey Edgar Nicholson Bredin, once ordered all the men in a village to line up. Every fifteenth man was shot dead.”.

  54. Just for the record the Palestinians never lost their keys. The whole symbolism is that they took their keys, retain ownership of the property and will be back to reclaim it.

  55. And as for Daniel Marks’ ideas, does any one have or can make up – 6 short video clip extracts – outtakes – from The Promise so that people can then prepare them for presentation before audiences showing what are false in them and what the real story was?

  56. Daniel Marks

    Regarding the rape of Arab women by Israeli soldiers, reported cases have been so rare that it led Israeli Left wingers to theorize that this refusal to conform with the long entrenched Middle Eastern custom of having your way with your defeated enemy’s wives and daughters may in point of fact be a form of racism and that ” Arab women in Judea and Samaria are not raped by IDF soldiers because the women are de-humanized in the soldiers’ eyes.”

    Well, I hope that no gentlemen of Eastern origin will be saddened by what I have to say, but there are apparently limits even to my humanity. If pillaging Arab ladies, of varying shapes and sizes, is the price that we are to be called upon to pay in order to prove that we do not show prejudice; I for one shall forever remain a bigot!

    I believe that in this matter I speak for many.

  57. Yisrael Medad: I don’t have outtakes but have transcribed almost verbatim this passage which I think is just about the most egregious in the series. Paul is the Israeli peace activist, brother of Erin’s friend.

    Erin complains that Paul’s soldier friends did nothing to protect the Palestinian girls she saw being stoned by settler children.
    Paul: The army is not here to keep the peace, they are here to protect the settlers no matter how disgusting they are, end of story. The settlers know it so they treat them like shit.
    Erin: Does that include standing by while they commit murder?
    Paul: It’s a a grey area. You can do literally anything you want to the Palestinians, you can steal from them, sleep in their houses, take their cars, beat them to death with bare hands in broad daylight, shoot their kids for throwing stones: anything.”

  58. Didn’t Kosminsky note the treachery of British troops?

    Try this:

  59. walt kovacs


    kosminsky created a piece of propaganda masquerading as fact based drama…

    he has created the wikipedia version of the british mandate and 2005 israel

    do this

    go to google, type in irgun….a wiki page will be close to the top listing the acts of violence committed by the irgun….with no context

    so you never see that every one of these incidents was in response to arab or british acts

    this is the drama that kosminsky fashioned

    so we never see brit troops committing war crimes

    we dont see brit warders flogging jewish prisoners in acre

    we never see arabs attacking jewish civilians or british troops

    we never see the hagganah, have no clue that there was a stern gang, never hear the protestations coming from america regarding the way the brits were handling the occupation.

    mention is made of the anti semitic reprisals that happened in england after the bombing of the king david….no mention of the wanton murder and destruction carried out by brit forces in tel aviv….in fact, he shows a brit officer instructing his troops not to commit reprisal attacks

    his entire presentation of 2005 israel, is taken from breaking the silence and the ism….right down to using their youtube vids

  60. Kovacs, your view that it’s Ok to do anything to get the work is very disturbing.

    Have you really thought about it?

  61. walt kovacs


    are you trying to allude that i am saying the ends justify the means?

    if those means are about protecting your people….then yes

    if those means are about lying about history in order to turn jews into monsters…then no

    btw….i can point you to many archival records that show jews condemning the murder of the two sargents and the bombing of the king david

    can you point to me the archival records of arabs condemning the massacres of jews by arabs in jaffa, acre and hebron?

  62. Daniel Marks

    “I don’t blame actors for taking gigs”-Kovacs

    “Kovacs, your view that it’s okay to do anything to get the work is very disturbing.” – Adam

    Well, I’m undisturbed and fully agree with Kovacs. Maybe because I have lower expectations from Mankind than Adam has, I consider it quite implausible to require actors to only assume roles in theater productions, TV shows and movies that are historically accurate and morally nutritious. An actor is a professional who plays the part he is given. Similarly, I would neither blame a bookbinder for binding anti-Semitic books nor a caterer for catering neo-Nazi functions. In short, it is naïve and wholly unrealistic to insist that the whole world would boycott our enemies.

    Most people act (pun intended) on the basis of their own perceived self interest and, consequently, for Jewish or pro-Israel Hollywood producers to make their displeasure clear would be a good deal more effective than trying to cause actors to be guilt-ridden about their chosen occupation. Needless to say, there will forever be scores of other actors ready to take any part vacated as a result of such endeavors.

  63. walt kovacs

    oh….thats what he meant

    then i apologize for my rant

    shall we go through the list of actors who played wholesome roles in family friendly films….yet, in real life, were pure degenerates?

    an actor is not the role that they play

    they read lines

    for 7 years, not one of the actors on the tv show lost, had a single clue what was going on….all they knew was…they showed up, they read lines…they got a check

    the only people responsible for this program are the people who financed it, and the guy who wrote and directed it.

    • Accepting a role in a film that lies and incites hatred is morally degenerate. Supporting someone in that decision exhibits the same moral bankruptcy.

      • Well said, Roger.

      • PS. Daniel Marks is suggesting below that your position is ridiculous, and that it’s the same as demanding that actors not play Nazi roles in films. This is a false analogy, surely. It is, instead, the same as demanding that actors not play Nazi roles in films that present the third reich as an innocent victim of Jewish aggression.

  64. Can anyone find the outtakenear the end, for Yisrael Medad, where Len warns his Muslim friend to flee. Mahomed says he will not leave as the Arab armies are coming to the rescue. Len says something to the effect that the Jews are poised to attack the moment the British leave, and the Arab armies will not arrive in time to rescue you and the Jews intend not only to take the area allotted to them, but the whole of Palestine.
    So instead of a picture of the fledgling state being threatened with extinction at birth by 5 Arab armies, we have a marauding army of Jews ready to attack defenceless villagers at the mercy of of their expansionist plan.

    • More than that: Arabs from outside were already in the territory attacking Jews, i.e., +
      The Arab Liberation Army led by Fawzi El Qaukji had been allowed into the country in connivance with the British and was attempting to reach Haifa and remove the Galilee from Jewish control. Throughout the first period of the war, Jewish forces had been outgunned and outmanned, and had steadily lost ground to the Arabs. The ALA had been outfitted in Syria by the the Arab League, who appointed an official commander, replaced eventually by another commander who was more politically reliable. In practice, the real commander was Qaukji…The Arab Liberation Army numbered about 6,000 troops, and had, at least initially, Druze allies in the Galilee The first forces crossed over into Mandatory Palestine in January 1948. The British may have let them in as part of an intentional plan to foil the creation of a Jewish state and to implement instead a greater Syrian state that would be ruled from Iraq, as revealed in recently declassified documents.1 Mishmar Ha’emek was located on the main road from Jenin to Haifa and controlled other crossroads as well. It was therefore a prime strategic objective. In a meeting at the beginning of April, Qaukji had told Yehoshua Palmon of the Palmach that he would be launching a big attack in the valley of Jezreel, following a failed attack at Tirat Tzvi.
      Qaukji concentrated over a thousand men including the Kadisia battalion and parts of the 1st Yarmuk Battalion under Muhamad Safa and the Hittin Battalion under Madlul Abas. The Syrians supplied artillery – the first in the war, consisting of seven 75 mm cannon and three 105s.
      Qaukji’s artillery pounded Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek for many hours beginning on the eve of April 4. At the end of the following day (April 5), British Colonel Gordon Macmillan intervened however, and was able to impose a truce to evacuate wounded. The defenders had managed to stand with little reinforcement against a vastly superior enemy.

      The 4 Gush Etzion kibbutzim fell to Arab irregulars and the Jordanians before the state was created.

      If there are so many factual errors, his ideologically-colored prejudices will also fall away.

  65. Jenni Frazer on The Promise in the JC:

    ‘Channel 4’s The Promise. I have no doubt that my colleague Simon Round will eviscerate Peter Kosminsky’s four-part programme both skilfully and delicately, but I have a few observations. Apart from the suggestion that all Israeli Jews live in palatial surroundings with swimming pools and four-star views, the generally hateful depiction of anyone on the Israeli or Jewish side compared with the near-angelic rendering of anyone on the Arab or Palestinian side, the fact that an 18-year-old with no discernable income can apparently fly business class with impunity… what about the other ludicrous nonsense? The wandering of a monoglot English teenager through Gaza City and no-one lifts an eyebrow? The coincidence stretched beyond belief as the teenager searches Hebron and Gaza for the descendants of a man called Mohammed? I mean, why shouldn’t we have a programme where someone is searching for a grandson of a man called George, in Birmingham? Equally ridiculous. By the end, as the Israeli bulldozer approached, a la Rachel Corre, I was positively willing the Israelis to get rid of the wide-eyed Erin, and hang the consequences.

    More troubling is that those who should know better are applauding this pile of old poo as groundbreaking drama which should win awards. As I said, a weekend for the duvet.’

  66. OT- almost couldn’t believe my ears in the few moments before the close of the Today programme just before 9am: Justin Webb was discussing with someone from the music industry the practice of top music stars performing for dictators for millions of dollars. (Beyonce’s being the latest to announce she will be giving her fee for performing before sons of Gadaffi to charity). Webb asked rhetorically if it was not hypocritical for all these stars who would not perform in Israel, but will perform happily for Arab dictators.

    I heard this on the BBC!


    the above is the link to part 4

    you can fast forward megavideo…to the part where len warns his arab bro to flee

    its shortly after deir yassin….which is the biggest joke in film history

  68. roger

    actors do not get final cut

    scenes are cut…lines are cut

    i would like to know how the actors now feel about the program….but you cannot say that any knew how kosminsky would present the final cut

    and again i ask….why did this take 7 years to make

    in part 4, kosminksy again presented a scene, taken from a b’tselem vid

    that isnt research…thats viral video….and any retard with a cam can do that

  69. thanks walter kovacs

  70. Daniel Marks

    “Accepting a role in a film that lies and incites hatred is morally degenerate. Supporting someone in that decision exhibits the same moral bankruptcy.” – Roger

    I still haven’t seen the show in question, I’m not an actor and have no axe to grind with all due respect this is becoming absurd.

    Would we expect actors not to appear in Western movies in which the Native Americans are portrayed as the bad guys? Should they refuse any roles that might encourage drug usage? Must actors turn down parts involving unprotected sex? Should they only agree to violent scenes if it is stipulated in their contracts that the good guys win? Are actors to categorically decline to ever play the part of a Nazi? Or should they accept but demand that their characters suffer a horrible death in the final scene?

    You are demanding wholly unrealistic moral standards from unfortunates who spend most of their days fighting for toothpaste advert auditions. With the exception of a handful of superstars, who might be able to dictate their terms, the laws of supply and demand mean that actors and actresses take what they’re given and say, “Thank you”.

    It would be nice if arms dealers only sold their guns to goodies, if actors refused anti-Semitic roles and if all the baddies were fat, bald and ugly – sadly that’s not the world we live in.

  71. Leah at 6:50 pm

    and how is an actor to know that before he/she signs on?

    Lemme give you a reverse example: Everybody seems to object to the Merchant of Venice i.e. Shylock. BUT I saw Shylock at the age of 11 or 12 or 13 on TV so performed that it was sympathy for Shylock the maligned which got me into tears and made me side with him.

    No I don’t think they altered the text they just performed it so that Shylock became the mistreated party, the unjustly treated victim.

    Do you think a director is obliged to tell an actor beforehand ?

    I can’t imagine a play getting staged like a Soviet 5 year plan.

    • Actors are supposed to read the script before they take the part, and so are their agents. This is certainly the case for major roles, and where the topic is known to be highly sensitive.

      We seem to be talking in this thread about different things, and not making the distinction. I didn’t say that Genghis Khan cannot be portrayed sympathetically, but that historical facts should not be grossly distorted so as to portray the aggressor as the victim: the third reich as the victim of Jewish aggression, Genghis Khan as defending his country valiantly with a handful of knights of the round table against vast marauding hordes of invading, pillaging Lebanese.

      • and all that is the responsibility of the actor, who most of the time is desperate for a job, any job? Even the big ones utter drivel which would make me feel ashamed of myself when they go on the stump and have themselves interviewed for the glossies about their latest.

        Unless one is amongst the lucky few or many? of independent means, working for money in a dependant relationship is never far away from prostitution.

        There is a famous German case, the actor of Jud Süß in the film of that name. As far as I can tell the debate of who is accountably responsible for that piece of apparently brillant (the film is forbidden in Germany) propaganda is going on and on. Lately I heard that Ferdinand Marian the actor wasn’t even an especially good one and a Nazi neither and that his career never took off after the war. Given what we did certainly rightfully so, nobody wanted to feed or to be fed reminders of those days for quite a while, but if, lets say, only a “bit” of enhanced “Anti-Zionism” would have been in the offing, still rightfully so? And who is the one to get the blame? the actor?

        Is the actor “to blame” or responsible for the version of the Merchant of Venice I was fed in my teens? and which made me side with Shylock to this day? or is it the director? If an actor knows so perfectly well, how he/she comes across with what he/she does, how come a director is needed at all?

      • Silke,
        Two people can share blame for the same action. And nobody is saying that all blame is of the same degree. This is a straw argument.

  72. Daniel Marks

    “…It is, instead, the same as demanding that actors not play Nazi roles in films that present the third reich as an innocent victim of Jewish aggression.” – Leah

    Hi Leah,

    Though the conflict between us and the Palestinian people is hardly as black and white as Nazism against Jews, you are fundamentally right. However, that was not the point of my analogy. I do not expect actors to refuse roles that are historically or factually inaccurate or that endorse immorality. It’s as simple as that.

    I’m tired of giving examples, but would you expect an actor to turn down a role that portrayed Genghis Kahn, King Herod or Mao Tse-tung in a sympathetic light? Would you expect him to not accept a critical portrayal of Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Martin Luther King or anyone else?

    Should every actor be required to study history and to refuse parts that are based on lies or immorality, or do we only demand this from them when they deal with Israel or the Jewish People?

    I believe myself to be reasonably loyal Jew and Zionist, but I try to live in the real world too. Anyway, I’ve said what I have to say on this point and am beginning to feel that I’m repeating myself.

    Shabbat shalom

  73. Just two points. 1. There were very few developed Arab Palestinian characters – they were marginalised, leading to the programme being criticised for an ‘orientalist’ viewpoint (Arabs portrayed as ‘other’ in a program set in Israel and looking out). 2. The British treatment of the Jews in Palestine was compared directly to Nazi concentration camps.

  74. C4 has produced what can only be called racist shite:Simples!

  75. Leah and Roger – agreed! I would indeed hold actors responsible for what they do – actors who worked during the Third Reich in productions vetted by the Nazis, with a Nazi message, are indeed responsible. So was Leni Riefenstahl in making her propaganda.

    And so are these actors, for taking part in racist, antisemitic tripe.

    • Adam
      by what you say you advocate for measuring Leni Riefenstahl and Ferdinand Marian by the same yardstick and that is wrong. By that same reasoning courts would have to give up any attempt at distinguishing between murder and Totschlag which I think in English is called manslaughter

  76. Daniel Marks

    “I would indeed hold actors responsible for what they do..” – Adam

    Adam, please Please be more specific. Would you hold all actors who play anti-Semitic, anti-Arab, anti-Catholic, anti-gay roles responsible or just the former?

    Would all actors who play ant-Semitic roles be held responsible or just the ones in which the anti-Semite wins, or is the goodie?

    What would you do these actors? Under which law would you do it?

    There are numerous Israeli movies, some state subsidized, in which the army and settlers are portrayed as monsters. Would you seek to arrest these actors on their entering the UK or perhaps to extradite them for crimes against humanity?

    Something is wrong here. I’m supposed to be the barmy extremist settler with the messianic unrealizable dreams, not you guys!

  77. Kathy Olsson

    I happen to know that many out of work actors and especially actresses have taken part in the most terrible types of films, “blue movies” and so on, just to feed themselves and their children. Walt, we should all be very careful before judging other people.

  78. Michael Goldman

    I don’t know why you’re all attacking the actors.
    What about the camera men, the stunt men, the makeup people and the little old lady who makes the tea not forgetting the delivery people the caterers the manufaturer of the sets they use.
    I could go on but I’m too lazy.
    And yes Adam I just like being silly and pompous for the sake of it.
    By the way Yisrael Medad is an imposter whose real name is Winky.

  79. Kathy Olsson

    My Lionel says that we should also expect Marks and Spencer to refuse to sell underwear to the cast of any anti-Israel film.

  80. Daniel Marks

    “By the way Yisrael Medad is an imposter whose real name is Winky.”

    His name is Stanton Winkleman, and he’s a trouble maker!

    • Poor Daniel. His British accent notwithstanding, he cannot, dear me, spell. It is “Winkie” as a dimunitive for my family name, Winkelman. Stanton, by the way, was the name of a British diplomat to the United States in the year I was born, I am told. But, I legally changed it in 1973 to Medad and since Daniel is an honourable man, we all know he will, from now on, pay attention to the matter at had: how to adequately respond to the pernicious influence this docu-drama series may have and the best way, I maintain, is to have snippets extracted and analyzed for showing as that is the most powerful fashion in that it jolts the viewer, destroying the content that can be shown to be false and unverifiable.

      • walt kovacs

        nobody cares what your diaspora name was

      • Daniel Marks

        I would make several points in response to Medad’s reprimand regarding the spelling of his name.

        1. I was quoting Goldman and thus cut and pasted his words as they were typed. Likewise, were I to quote Medad’s, ” attention to the matter at had…” I would leave the sloppy “had” uncorrected.

        2. To the best of my knowledge there is no universally accepted spelling of the name Winky/Winkie. The excellent offers both spellings as being equally correct. I will not repeat the definitions given but provide a link for inquisitive readers:

        3. Y is an English suffix used to create adjectives, while ie was originally a Scottish suffix, whose function is to add the meaning of “diminutive”.

        We might say:

        “Goldman read girly magazines until his wife caught him. I saw her punching him and she was no helpless girlie.”

        Bearing in mind the unflattering definitions that the noun seems to have, I might recommend adopting the Goldman spelling.

      • Daniel, I absolve you from that ‘cut-and-paste’ error. We are all fallable. As for Winkie, it’s bellow-the-belt usage is only a British development, indicating the inability of the Brits to rise to the proper intellectual demands needed. But you’ll always be on my mind, laddie.

  81. Tea ladies,camera men,stunt men,make up people, etc do not read and accept the script in advance and attend script conferences. Their involvement in the message and meaning of the movie is zero and does not compare. So that’s silly.
    Daniel is being melodramatic. No one is suggesting that a law should be passed, or that actors should be arrested. More silliness. All that this amounts to for me is that if an actor participates in a project that attacks truth, justice and historical veracity with the intention of demonising a whole group, race or nation that I support and love, then I will treat them with extreme prejudice and no longer take them seriously as artists and boycott their films.
    Playing a Nazi sympathetically, or Mao, Genghis Khan or any historical character is not the same as delegitimising a whole existing nation. There are nuances, ambiguities, complexities in such characters and it is not morally reprehensible for an actor to take up the challenge of portraying them. If the film validates in any way what these monsters did, then sure, the actor has sinned. What we are talking about here with The Promise is not artistic subtlety and sophistication that explores moral ambiguity but straight down the line crude antisemitic propaganda. This element is evident in the script and at the conference. Letting these people off the hook is reckless. They have a political agenda. And Colin Firth choosing to play a role in the forthcoming The Promised Land is a political act and clearly indicates that he is antagonistic towards Israel. And it is not because ‘he’s gotta eat’. Even more silliness. It’s because he wants to buy another Ferrari and bash Israel.

    • richardmillett

      Someone from the production team has been blogging that The Promise earned Israel hundreds of thousands of shekels as it was filmed entirely on location and provided work for actors, who currently aren’t working, plus money for hotels, restaurants etc.

    • Very well put indeed, Roger. Ignore the silly sniping from the likes of Kathy.

      If it’s true that Pete Seeger (whom I’ve always regarded as vastly overhyped anyway) has now joined the smelly ranks of the BDS (anybody know if that’s the case?), that’s another LP I’ll be taking to a charity shop.

      • I lost my respect for Pete Seeger when he slammed Dylan for going electric in the 60s and calling him Judas alongside all the other folk reactionaries and puritans who couldn’t take the shock of the new. They were all hooked on ‘protest’ songs. I would guess that the very same so-called ‘liberal/left’ people who couldn’t follow Dylan into the future then, now harbour animosity towards Israel. The two correlate in some way. If you’re an anti-capitalist, anti-nationalist cultural Marxist with a heavily politicised consciousness like Pete Seeger ,who is a foot soldier of the Kulturkampf against Judeo-Christian values and civilisation, then you are almost certainly anti-Israel.

      • roger
        what about the ex-Marxist converts to free marketeering fundamentalism? I once dug around after them while reading Nick Cohen’s “What’s Left?”. Got any label for those?

      • Healthy Natural Guilt-Free Ideology-Free Pleasure Loving Life Embracing Opportunists?

      • I wonder why nobody is “anti-Pakistan”.

  82. Daniel Marks

    I saw part of episode four and can attestify to the fact that the Hebrew speakers were Israelis.

    Maybe we should just all agree that everyone is free to pursue his/her chosen profession, in any way he/she sees fit, as long as it is legal.

    • I am in accord with that. But that doesn’t stop many actors going down in my estimation because of the roles they choose. They lose my respect as artists because of their moral flabbiness and obvious bigotry.

      A thought. I can’t think of a single film since ‘Exodus’ and ‘Cast a Giant Shadow’ in the early 60s, that has been similarly favourable towards Israel.

  83. Kathy Olsson

    Eminently fair, Daniel.

    Roger, you be careful of the green eyed monster and stop worrying about which cars other people drive.

  84. attestify to the fact that the Hebrew speakers were Israelis. This was never in doubt. Kosminsky spoke in interviews about how this was an uncomfortable experience for many of the actors. I think he said one actor pulled out of portraying an Israeli soldier perpetrating some brutality because he found it too painful. Another self declared left wing liberal actress apparently confessed this was the first time she had worked with Palestinians and that she had never met one before. We just don’t work like that, she said.

    • walt kovacs

      i first visited israel in 77

      i met so-called palestinians and israeli arabs

      how does someone live there and never meet a palestinian?

      and as arabs are basically unseen until the final epi….when did she work with arabs on this program?

    • Excellent and informative description of the British betrayal of the Jews in Palestine.

    • walt kovacs

      yes….very good post by rabbi rosen

      just more evidence that the research used to make this production was shoddy

      when is the jpost going to contact kosminsky to do an interview?

      channel 4 programs are carried in israel….is there any word on whether this show will run?

    • The first comment is the best (if still there by the time you read this – it is CiNF, after all).

      Some commenters seem to live in a galaxy far away, certainly far away from much-needed history books or objective papers – or even the Guardian (!):

      “Let this be a warning to any would be TV drama makers, journalists, and politicians – anything critical of Israel will not be tolerated.
      On the other hand, criticisms of Islam remain fair game until further notice.”

  85. Jumpsuit

    if ever you should come in conflict with the law even for the most innocent reason on earth, I sincerely hope you’ll be judged by people who adhere to the same sick world view you do.

    To the others:

    currently I am reading slowly carefully pencil in hand this excellent piece on “Purificationism” It was recommended to me by Yaacov Lozowick’s blog and it is worth every minute I spend with it, but alas I think it is beyond the reading ability of the likes of Jumpsuit who obviously have caught the virus of Holy-ganism hook, line and sinker.

    Yes I believe that again the world is afflicted with a crowd of self-righteous creators of the new man which of course unfortunately demands the “elimination” of the mere mortal.

  86. roger, there is a film called “The Impossible Spy” about Eli Cohen – with Eli Wallach – dating from the late 80’s or early 90’s. Worth checking out.

    • Thanks. I’ll check that out. I wish someone would film one of Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon thrillers, especially A Death in Vienna, which would make a great movie in the right hands.
      And also, the true story of Wolfgang Lötz, Mossad’s master spy in Egypt prior to the 6-Day war.

  87. Daniel Marks, you completely miss the point. This isn’t a legal argument . But I do hold people taking part in anti-Semitic dramas responsible for what they do, in the same way that an individual is responsible for all their life choices.

  88. Kathy Ollson, ot’s not judging other people – it is though judging their actions.

  89. Michael Goldman

    I love you like a brother but I don’t think actors going down in your estiamtion will make a whole lot of difference to the future of mankind.
    By the way perhaps you should change your name from roger to Roger

    Winkie you’re getting old.
    It was me who misspelt your name and I don’t care if you legally changed you will will always be a Winkie to me.

    Shavua Tov to one and all

  90. Daniel Marks

    “Can we act as a group? Is there any legal avenue?” – Adam (Feb 28th)

    “Daniel Marks, you completely miss the point. This isn’t a legal argument.” – Adam (March 5th)

    Yes, Adam. I must have missed the point.

    Look mate. You seem to be a great guy who cares deeply about the State of Israel – I applaud you for that. We’re on the same side, we really are. It’s okay to admit you were wrong sometimes.

  91. Marks – you don’t seem like a great guy, you are someone who enjoys being contrary for the sake of one’s own ego. There is something more important at stake here than you.

    I was not advocating taking actors to court – but I do hold them accountable for their actions, just as all people are responsible fopr the choices they make. Understand? I was however asking whether there was a way of stopping race hatred being broadcast on C4 through legal means.

    I’m sorry you find this difficult to understand.

  92. Daniel Marks

    Hi Adam,

    I’ll respectfully ignore your attempt to personalize this discussion.

    I had a French teacher once who quipped that every time he opened his mouth he “put his foot in it”. Like I said, there are times when it’s better to just admit you were wrong and move on.

    Either way – have a great week,


  93. No Marks – I would readily admit a mistake, but I can’t apologise for your lack of understanding.