Last night Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow was at the London School of Economics to chair a panel of hardcore anti-Israel polemicists but as I was questioning him face to face about his own use of the term “the Jewish lobby” (Clip 1 below) he violently grabbed my mobile phone attempting to dislodge it from my hand accusing me of trying to secretly record our conversation. He then repeatedly called me “a creep” and claimed a breach of his human rights.
He had been explaining to me that “the Jewish lobby” is a common term in America. I asked him if he would use the term “the Muslim lobby” to which he replied that he would.
This was how the event itself was described:
On this panel discussion, chaired by Jon Snow of Channel 4 News, the speakers will discuss aspects of the current situation in Palestine, including: Palestinian domestic politics, Israel’s position, the international dimension of the impasse and the insights into the conflict provided by film-making.
I went mainly to hear Peter Kosminsky, director of Channel 4’s drama series The Promise which portrayed Jews in British Mandate Palestine and contemporary Israel by using anti-Semitic stereotypes. For example, Israeli Jews were shown to be stunningly wealthy, and there were lines like these spoken by a British soldier:
“The Jews and Arabs have been living here in relative harmony for years. But our victory over the Germans has turned the trickle of Jews coming to this land into a flood. You must understand, the Jews see it as their holy land. But the Arabs, who have been here for over a thousand years, see them as stealing their land. Our job is to keep the two sides apart…..”
“After Bergen Belsen, I thought that the Jews deserved a state, but now I’m not so sure…. Their precious state has been born in violence and cruelty to its neighbours, and I’m not sure I want it to prosper….”
Last night Kosminsky said that after the series had aired:
“Nothing prepared me for the level of vitriol that was going to drop on me from the Zionist lobby…personal, vicious stuff came my way….If I choose to criticise my country, and I often do, nobody calls me ‘a racist’. They accept that it’s a legitimate thing in a free society to criticise the political and diplomatic behaviour, the domestic and foreign policies of a sovereign state. It just means that you disagree with its political behaviour. But if you’re Jewish, as I am, and you criticise the domestic and/or foreign policy of the sovereign state of Israel you are immediately called an anti-Semite. Very clever isn’t it.” (Clip 2)
No it’s not clever actually because Kosminsky doesn’t just “disagree with its political behaviour”. He disagrees with Israel’s existence and calls for Jews in Israel to be boycotted (presumably he doesn’t wish those of other religions in Israel to be boycotted). He said:
“the boycott creates so much anger in Israelis. They really hate the idea, particularly the academic boycott, which suggests to me it would probably be quite effective. So I think, yes, we should do it.” (Clip 3)
I hear the Nazis also boycotted Jews. In the 1930s it was considered anti-Semitic but apparently in 2013 it isn’t.
On America’s support for Israel and the similarity of the creation of both countries he said:
“this is why America finds it so hard to take a stand against the illegality and the disgusting behaviour of the state of Israel, because that’s how they (the Americans) came into existence, guys!” (clip 4)
There was also a lengthy discussion on how much Jews were hated by America and Britain, this being the main driver by these countries to create Israel in order to get Jews to go there instead.
Kosminsky put it like this:
“America was very keen to strong arm Britain into accepting a Jewish-controlled state in what had been Palestine because…they really didn’t want any more Jews in New York, please.” (clip 4 also)
As for Rosemary Hollis, former director of research at Chatham House, she claimed that at the same time Lord Balfour was drafting the Balfour Declaration he was also driving anti-Jewish immigration legislation through Parliament. (clip 5)
Hollis also claimed that it wasn’t the Jews that invented Jewish nationalism but “the Europeans”. She said “it was the Europeans who decided somehow that Judaism was something above and beyond a religion”. Incredible! Who was Theodore Herzl anyway and that book he published in 1896. Der Judenstaat, anyone?
Jon Snow didn’t hold back either but suggested that Britain might well have delayed bombing the railway lines to the concentration camps because of Britain’s hatred of Jews. (clip 6)
Snow had also started the evening claiming that there was “Palestine fatigue” in the media (clip 7). Palestine fatigue! Has he not picked up The Independent or The Guardian recently or watched his own beloved Channel 4 which aired The Promise and many other programes about the Palestinians including one being aired while we were at the event!
To round things off nicely Ilan Pappe implicitly compared Israel to Nazi Germany (clip 8). He said Israel is beginning to look like “your own worst enemy” in its obsession with having as many Jews in Israel as possible.
Meanwhile, Karma Nabulsi spent most of the evening calling for the so-called “right of return”, commonly known as a pretext to the demographic destruction of the Jewish state. Nothing new there then from ex-PLO Ms Nabulsi.
(Read Jonathan Hoffman’s account of the event here)
Clips from the event (customer warning: may contain anti-Semitism)
(Snow mentions “the Jewish lobby” at 1 min 34 secs.)