In a cunning twist to that famous Fawlty Towers scene when Basil Fawlty tries to not mention the war when serving German guests but fails, Channel 4 News journalist Jonathan Miller does his best to not mention the war and succeeds!
The war that would not pass Miller’s lips was the one of 1948 when Israel beat five Arab armies and more to establish its legal state. Whereas the putative Israelis accepted UN Resolution 181 (the Partition resolution) the Arab world rejected it hoping to inflict on Israel’s Jews a second Holocaust instead.
To add to the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust another 6,000 Jews needlessly lost their lives in that 1947-49 war.
Not that such history seems to be of much concern to Jonathan Miller.
In his five-minute piece on Gaza for Channel 4 News last night he shows Palestinians playing football. Miller describes how “teams are named after the home towns from which previous generations were cleansed 66 years ago”. In one match we are told “Jaffa are playing Ashkelon”.
So Miller reduces the 1947-49 conflict down to one malicious word: Cleansed. The Palestinians were not “cleansed”, but Jews are cast as evil-doers nevertheless.
Miller tells us that Hamas and Fatah supporters play on the same team. It’s very touching to see guys taking time out from planning another genocide of the Jewish people (see Hamas’ Charter) and inciting racial hatred against Jews (see PA/Fatah TV) to play a bit of footy. The vicious fight at the end between two players possibly betrays the existing hatred between these two factions.
Miller starts his piece to camera with the common slur that Israel is cruel to Palestinian children. We are introduced to Abdel Karim who has a brain tumour and who has suffered a relapse after his first operation. Miller explains:
“Abdul Karim’s lifesaving treatment was delayed because Israel refused permission for his mother to accompany him to Jerusalem. They had to reapply for his grandmother to go instead. The process took two months. The oncologist is sending him to Israel again. This time for radiotherapy.”
Miller doesn’t tell us that Israel suspects Abdul’s father and mother of involvement in terrorism. Miller clearly outlines this on the Channel 4 News website where he writes:
“Arafat al-Dalo is not permitted to enter Israel because he had once been shot in the leg by an Israeli high-velocity bullet. Arafat, who is a tailor by trade, insisted categorically that he was not a militant. He had got caught up in a shooting incident at a border crossing, he said.
Ghada thinks she was refused because one of her brothers had been shot dead in a clash with Israeli forces. This made him a “shahid”, a “martyr” in Palestine; in Israel, it made Ghada a suspect.”
So why was this left out of the Channel 4 News footage?
Miller finishes his piece to camera with this cynical and unsubstantiated allegation against Israel:
“Paediatricians here cite several cases in which permissions to cross into Israel have taken so long that very sick children have died waiting.”
Jews responsible for the deaths of children is a long-standing anti-Semitic slur.
Last night Miller tweeted that he isn’t anti-Semitic:
What is truly shocking is Channel 4’s increasing attacks on Israel and the Jewish people.
Channel 4’s Dispatches Inside The Israel Lobby presented by Peter Oborne begins with Oborne’s ominous words:
“Tonight on Dispatches how British policy is influenced by supporters of a foreign power…We investigate the Israel Lobby’s bankrolling of British politicians.”
That’s another long-standing anti-Semitic slur of Jews using money and power for nefarious reasons.
“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…”
Channel 4 also broadcast Going for Gold in Gaza about disabled Palestinians training for the Paralympics. One Palestinian described in Arabic how he was able to rehabilitate himself at Israeli hospitals after the accident that left him disabled, but the word “Israeli” was suspiciously left out of the subtitles.
Finally, there was the time that Jon Snow, Channel 4’s main news presenter, lunged at me when I questioned him about his persistent use of the term “the Jewish lobby”.
Feel free to complain to OFCOM about Miller’s piece if you don’t want Miller to get away with it. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org but you must mention the date and time of the programme: Channel 4 News at 7pm on 18th February.
And here is that famous “Don’t mention the War” scene from Fawlty Towers. Instead of Basil Fawlty, think Jonathan Miller.
See also Honest Reporting’s response to Jonathan Miller’s Channel 4 piece to camera.