Israel derangement syndrome: A Telegraph story, mildly defending BBC’s Panorama program on the flotilla, elicits extreme anti-Semitic comments

CiF Watch has often documented how any piece in the Guardian even remotely related to Israel typically elicits extreme anti-Semitic (not merely anti-Israel) replies in the comments thread.  Though the Guardian represents an especially egregious example, it is a much broader phenomenon.  (See CiF Watch’s cross-post of Lee Smith’s piece, Playing with Fire, which explores another element of this issue)

In a recent story in the Telegraph, Aug 24, Julian Kossoff, the paper’s senior editor, wrote a piece entitled “Where did all the BBC’s anti-Zionists go?”. His essay centered on the recent BBC Panorama program entitled “Death in the Med” – a story on the events surrounding Israel’s interception of the Mavi Marmara.  While Kossoff was mildly supportive of the program – which many supporters of Israel thought was relatively well-balanced – he also cited the balanced reporting on the show to express criticism of those who contend that BBC is inherently biased against Israel.  All and all, Kossoff’s piece wasn’t so much about the flotilla incident, or about the Panorama program, as it was a broader defense of the BBC, and other media, who are accused by both sides of being biased.  He said:

“When Israel’s supporters mount this type of campaign, it’s often portrayed as a visitation from the all-powerful “Zionist lobby” rather than just a bunch of slightly overwrought citizens who really care about Israel, don’t understand how journalism works, and aren’t particularly interested in hearing the other side of the story.

But now that Israel’s supporters are falling over themselves with praise for “auntie”, what becomes of the widely held belief within the Jewish community that the BBC is a writhing nest of  anti-Zionist, Arab-loving vipers?

No doubt we’ll now see the flip side to this paranoia. Anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists will start droning on about Jews…on any website comment thread that will have them.”

In fact, Kossoff’s words were quite prophetic.  Here are just a few of the first 30 or so comments I read beneath the column.

Yeah, I know, Rod J and Farang are merely expressing their thoughtful, dispassionate, and well-reasoned, objections to certain Israeli policies.  How paranoid of us to assume that they may harbor animosity towards Jews.

12 replies »

  1. The simple act of finally giving Israel a voice so that it can defend itself from clear cut libel has resulted in two very clear responses. 1) Shock and pleasant surprise from supporters of Israel. “My Gosh, a BBC program that gives Israel a fair voice!” 2) Shock and horror from people who are reflexively anti-Israel at the idea that in this instance Israel was given a chance to explain it’s position.

    Let’s face it, the BBC is still filth and they could have done a better job with that documentary… but the truth regarding the Mavi Marmara is just too stark to deny.

  2. That kind of extreme obsessive hatred is corrosive. Nobody who talks like that can have a happy tranquil life

  3. Lauren Booth decided to write an open letter to Israel on her facebook, i am sure she would appreciate it if you replay to her on her facebook.
    With scientific methoods to prove IDF looting is more common than cats as the number of google results when you type ‘IDF looting’ on google (64,000 results) by the way i just typed “murdered banana” and got 622,000 results so it seems that for every act of IDF looting a banana is murdered around the world.

  4. Very well-written thought-provoking piece Adam. It makes Duvidl wonder about life’s worries increasing for Britain’s tiny Jewish community (270,000) these days.

  5. Also, just because it seems not to have been mentioned recently; is there any chance of the BBC’s Balen report on their Israel coverage being published any time soon? Or, does the BBC paying £200k of licence fee payers’ money for lawyers to supress the report mean it remains secret for eternity?

  6. It does not seem fair to compare Farang and Rod J. The latter’s comment I would regard as bascially acceptable, if rather silly abuse. Farang is clearly calling for the extermination of all Jews (“sympathizers and supporters”). I see that his comment was removed though the others mentioned were not.

  7. If only rumpledumplin was so moved by larger population transfers else where in the world around the same time.

    why not create large memorial museums for the Pakistani project?

    Or some for the later Bangladesh seperation?

    “Estimates of the number of deaths range around roughly 500,000, with low estimates at 200,000 and high estimates at 1,000,000…
    An estimated 25 million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs (1947–present) crossed the newly drawn borders to reach their new homelands. These estimates are based on comparisons of decadal censuses from 1941 and 1951 with adjustments for normal population growth in the areas of migration. In northern India – undivided Punjab and North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) – nearly 12 million were forced to move from as early as March 1947 following the Rawalpindi violence…
    In the aftermath of partition, a huge population exchange occurred between the two newly-formed states. About 14.5 million people crossed the borders, including 7,226,000 Muslims came to Pakistan from India while 7,249,000 Hindus and Sikhs moved to India from Pakistan. About 5.5 million settled in Punjab Pakistan and around 1.5 million settled in Sindh.”

    I found the following very hard to come to terms with:

    “In late 2004, the Sindhi diaspora vociferously opposed a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court of India which asked the Government of India to delete the word “Sindh” from the Indian National Anthem (written by Rabindranath Tagore prior to the partition) on the grounds that it infringed upon the sovereignty of Pakistan.”

    But all we hear about are those 750000 Arabs who most left willingly during battles which were waged against the newly Jewish state.
    Those who quote that number ommit intentionaly the rough estimate of 800000 Jews who were kicked out of Arab lands before, after and during that time for sheer antisemitic reasons.

    And all we hear is how the Palestinians were the ones being ethnicaly cleansed…

    If they were it was a poor atempt.
    And I thought antisemites believe Jews don’t do “poor”…

  8. Duvid: maybe our grandchildren will finally get to see the Balen Report one day….I have doubts about it ever coming into public view in our lifetimes.

  9. ItsikDeWembley, I said the comment about Judaism being paranoid was abusive. That and being inconsiderate and rude is what one might expect to see. Farang’s comment is completely different. He should be banned from CIF for good and I would not be too saddened if he could face prosecution.