Now BBC’s Nicky Campbell compares Israel to Azerbaijan.

Hero Steven Sugar who fought the BBC to produce the Balen Report but lost (

Hero Steven Sugar who fought the BBC to produce the Balen Report but lost (

I used to enjoy waking up to BBC Radio 5 Live’s breakfast show with Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden, but not anymore.

In a discussion about whether countries should be boycotting this year’s Eurovision Song Contest being held in Azerbaijan due to Azerbaijan’s human rights abuses you’d think it a safe bet that Israel would go unmentioned for once.

Not so on the BBC.

On this Monday’s breakfast show Campbell interviewed John Dalhuisen, of Amnesty International. Campbell first asked Dalhuisen what’s the problem with Azerbaijan and Dalhuisen spoke of the large scale corruption, of at least 15 prisoners of conscience and of Azerbaijan being “tightly controlled”.

Campbell then asked whether Dalhuisen had raised the same objections about Russia’s hosting of Eurovision in 2009.

Dalhuisen said that they didn’t call for a boycott of Russia and neither are they calling for one of Azerbaijan, but just for the participants to be free to speak their minds about what is taking place in Azerbaijan.

Campbell then said:

“And of course some would say Israel in 1999.”

Campbell then went on to describe Azerbaijan as a “society of fear and hatred”.

Had Campbell’s researcher bothered to look up the Freedom House index for 2012 they would have found Israel designated a “Free” country with a score of 1 for political rights and 2 for civil liberties (1 being the best, 7 being the worst).

It seems that the 2 for civil liberties is down to the passage of the so-called boycott bill which is considered undemocratic because it forbids calls for the boycotting of businesses within Israel and the West Bank.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan and Russia are both considered “Not Free” and both have scores of 6 and 5.

And by 1999 Israel had taken huge risks for peace with the Palestinians. It was the decade of the Oslo Peace process but also the start of Islamist suicide bombings inside Israel which would eventually claim the lives of many hundreds of Israeli civilians.

Campbell should have picked Turkey, who staged the contest in 2004, from the list of past hosts of Eurovision to criticise for its human rights record. Turkey currently has in prison more journalists than China and Iran combined.

The one hero in all this is Steven Sugar (Z”L) who, before he died last year, tried to force the BBC to publish the Balen Report into potentially biased reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The fight was taken over after his death by his brave wife.

But the BBC spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court so as not to reveal the report and won.

With totally gratuitous and inaccurate remarks like that from Campbell and others at the BBC about Israel (also see here for Michael Portillo and Andrew Neil implying that America’s 2.1% Jewish population virtually controls America’s foreign policy) one can see why the BBC is trying to hide the report.

Audio of Interview:

BBC’s Nicky Campbell compares Israel to Azerbaijan – 12th March.

26 responses to “Now BBC’s Nicky Campbell compares Israel to Azerbaijan.

  1. and Turkey’s record on arresting journalists is “improving”

    One hundred and four journalists and 30 distributors/members of the media were imprisoned as we entered the year 2012. In 2010, there were a total of 30 journalists in prison.

  2. Michael Cohen

    Richard Like you I also like to listen and Watch Nicky Campbell. I hope his stupid statement about israel is a one off throwaway comment on live radio

  3. Empress Trudy

    AI takes money from the Saudi Royal Family. I haven’t decided whether that’s funny or arch.

  4. It would not surprise me at all if the BBC decided to round on Azerbaijan simply beause they have diplomatic relations with Israel. Hence the comparison with Israel. Many Azeris practice a moderate form of Islam and the country is staunchly secular. It is rich in oil deposits and enjoy excellent trade relations with Israel.

    The Azerbaijan security police have just arrested 22 suspected terrorists in the pay of Iran, planning attacks on the Israeli and American embassies.

    What’s more, Sasha Baron-Cohen has put that country on the map with his politically IN-correct portrayals, and we cannot have that, can we Auntie?

  5. Sharon Klaff

    Richard, Isn’t Nicky Campbell the same guy who made some inane remark about the bible that showed him to be ill-educated and ignorant – I can’t recall exactly what he said, but when we discussed it we had a giggle about it? Now Michael Cohen is hoping this one is a one off throw away remark.

    My 6 year old grandson plays in a friendly football league on a Sunday morning. All the coaches and referees are fathers of the children. Last Sunday morning the coach of the other team was portraying the usual halucinagenic fantasies fathers have in these situations in which they fancy they are real coaches and their children professional footballers. This man was yelling at a child from my grandson’s team because he skidded into his son and they fell over. The kid from our team is of Greek origin. The match was a draw so the Greek father made some inane gesture to the coach who saw fit to yell back “at least I have a foreskin”! What was deep in his mind simply slipped onto his tongue in a flash. This in front of the children. There was some chatting back and forth, then this man stuck his hand out to my husband by way of apology. The apology was rightlyb refused.

    Now why do I tell you this?
    This comment was not a throw away remark, a slip of the tongue, but a manifestation of what is in the mind of that man. Likewise Ken Livingstone’s comment comparing the Jewish journalist to a Nazi concentration camp guard was also not a slip of the tongue, any more so than was Nicky Campbell’s comment about Israel. They are all deep seated sentiments, emotions and hatreds. These people cannot help themselves as it is intrinsic to their very being. So an apology is hypocritical as what are they apologising for – saying out loud what they truly believe/think/feel/are? That apology won’t change anything as their tongues are linked to their pea brains.

    I don’t actually care what these people think or say. Such semtiments are their own and they need to look into themselves to resolve their twisted innards that undoubtedly cause them harm, pain, anger. My only expectation is that in a civilised society they are not allowed to harm me in any way by preventing me from enjoying the full rights of civil society. However, public figures are held to a different standard. They aren’t allowed to express such throw away remarks in their professional capacity. Nicky Campbell has a wide audience and his idiocy informs his public who don’t have the statistics Richard provides in his blog. So this little piece of misinformation is added to their databank of “knowledge” that also has in place the comment by Livingstone, the forskin jibe, the Hague “disproportionate” phrase, all coupled with words like “settlements”, “occupation”, “F16’s”, “Palestine”, “Israeli aggression”, and so on. This is how a public perception is built, not in libraries where source material can be checked, but from fools and bigots who have a public platform. It’s called subliminal indoctrination.

    So we either ignore these matters as one off’s or if we decidwent to we can write blogs, lobby those in authority, become activists or the like. In all this we need to have a single point of focus drawing attention always back to the main issue. That in today’s climate is GENOCIDE of all Jews as extolled by Hamas as proxy of Iran and as disseminated by people like Campbell albeit unwittingly as at the least they don’t think things through, but at its grossest level it is deliberate for some political, economic or religious purpose.

    Am I going overboard? I don’t think so. Rubin can tell us all something about the last time the world thought people like Churchill and Jabotinsky were going overboard (I am not likening my little self to them, but they spring to mind as people who said it as it was). Let’s not let that happen again. And before you say it Daniel, the answer is not that all Jews have to live in Israel to resolve this issue. That is hiding away from the fact that the Jew is the obstacle to the worldwide Umma and will be sought out whereever he is. This is what we have to stop Nicky Campbell in his naïveté and his ignorant stupidity from disseminating. he doesn’t know that the Jew is targeted as once that obstacle is eradicated the free ride to achieving the Umma is easy.

  6. It’s was a throwaway, devil’s advocate comment by Campbell – as are made during radio discussions all the time on all topics. I know Israel-friendly people who have worked with him and are very impressed with his views on Israel.

    Lord knows there’s enough genuine anti-Israel stuff going on in the media – this post comes across as a bit desperate and risks alienating one of the BBC’s better voices on Israel.

    • Sharon Klaff

      OyVaGoy – As a bit of a writer and media person yourself perhaps you are aware of the difference between “devil’s advocate” in which the opposite view is given in a discussion to encourage debate, and “a spanner in the works”, a circumstance in which a remark is thrown in to a discussion in order to create chaos, divergence or the wrong impression. A “throw away remark” is usually delivered by a coward afraid to say what’s in mind. So however you label Campbell’s comment, it was out of order and served only to create an impression on people who really know nothing about the subject other than what they learn in the media via people like Campbell. For sure nobody ran to Google to check what he said – off they went with an impression of Israel at least as bad as the media tell us Azerbaijan is. If Campbell is as “Israel-friendly” as you say, he would not have made that comment. There are many atrocities perpetrated across the world he could have drawn on for comparison, but he didn’t, so one can only conclude that Israel really doesn’t need friends like that. In fact this whole idea of being “Israel friendly” is condescending. How would you steel if people defined themselves as “English-friendly”? You’d probably say so what if you didn’t first throw up!

      • Sharon Klaff

        Error correction:
        How would you steel if people defined themselves as “English-friendly”? You’d probably say so what if you didn’t first throw up!

        I meant to ask how you would feel…..

      • I’d feel fine. There’s enough real bad things going on without trying to imagine any new ones.

        I see your point, though.

      • Sharon Klaff

        I’m pleased you see my point. Yesterday there was ride by shoot at a Jewish school in Toulous – no doubt you heard about it. This is what Campbell ought to be talking about, that school children are open targets for terrorists that Israel has to battle against 24/7, not some manufactured off the cuff idiotic remark that fill people’s heads with rubbish.

      • richardmillett

        Do you mean Cameron?

      • Sharon Klaff

        No I mean Campbell. Cameron of course can also pay attention – our local school where my grandchildren go to school is on high alerts – it doesn’t feel very good. I wonder if any of these non Jewish people would like to live like that!

    • Sharon Klaff

      This is propaganda the Campbell’s of this world fall for and spread via the devil’s advocate/slip of the tongue techniques:

  7. Empress Trudy

    In the same way that Eleanor Roosevelt was known to casually adopt an open antisemitism while at the same time writing a letter resigning from the Daughters of the American Revolution because they refused to allow Marion Anderson to perform. When people say there is a current of PC antisemitism now they are wrong. It has always been thus.

  8. Brian Goldfarb

    If you want to avoid high blood pressure first thing in the morning, Richard, you should wake up to radio 3. The only thing likely to annoy you is either the choice of early morning classical music or the excessively dulcet tones of Petrach Trelawny (two weeks on/two weeks off – time your listening!).

    I gave up on Radio 4 on the basis that ulcers and heart attacks can wait until later in the day.

  9. mostly harmless

    Hi Richard, I thought by now you would have updated us on your action outside the tribute to Hanna Braun. As you hold your head in shame I suggest you read her book.

  10. Hello Richard.

    Don’t bother with the book, to read the review is more than enough – yet another classic example of a bleeding heart, always for their enemies, never her own people.

    Had she been trapped in Germany, and really suffered, and was one of the few to survive, she would not have thought the way she did. She would have realised why Jews will never be safe anywhere, except in their own homeland. The vile murders this week amply proves this point. Ersatz Jews like her, if she were still alive, recommend other Jews to go and live in dhimmitude, in a culture that produces monsters who coolly blow the brains out of little girls, then blame it on everyone else, never on their own failings and creed.

  11. I’m not sure the reason behind this question. If you explain that your motive is not that of a spoiler, only then will you warrant a response.

  12. My post should have read Islamo-fascists and their far-left backers…!

  13. Ups, sorry. The above belongs to another blog!