'The British public were subjected to an hour of anti-Palestine propaganda by the BBC last week when it aired a Panorama programme on the “anti-Semitism” row within the Labour Party. The public service broadcaster appeared to be doing very little public service when it unleased what was, by any reasonable assessment, a media broadside taken straight from the disinformation rule book.
Received by the mainstream media as though it were the final say on the anti-Semitism row that has rocked the Labour Party since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015, the public have been duped into submitting to the dominant narrative. The political party that was born out of a desire to fight inequality and headed now by a leader whose record of fighting for social justice and equality is second to none is, we are led to believe, institutionally anti-Semitic.
The main characters used to “prove” this thesis in Panorama dominate the who’s who of people in the anti-Palestine lobby groups in Britain. Such basic information was omitted because it did not serve the presenter’s agenda. By failing to disclose the clearly relevant affiliations of the individuals involved in the programme, including the fabricated claims of anti-Semitism by one of the so called whistle-blowers, the BBC has basically admitted that their connections to the Israeli Embassy in London and anti-Palestine lobby groups like BICOM and Labour Friends of Israel completely discredits the “evidence” put forward.
The BBC producers also ignored the fact that there are dozens of Jewish Labour members and Jewish groups that totally reject allegations of the kind made in the programme. None were interviewed by Panorama veteran John Ware, who is developing a track record of being anti-Palestine and very pro-Israel; hardly the neutral journalism that one would expect from the BBC. Nor did Ware point out that there are Jews among the Labour Party members suspended or expelled for alleged anti-Semitism.
It has been claimed that the programme had such disregard for the truth that it resorted to doctoring quotes in an attempt to drive its point home. It presented an email by Labour’s director of communications Seumas Milne, for example, which gave the impression that senior Labour officials were interfering in the party’s disciplinary process. The BBC version of Milne’s email was, “Something’s going wrong, and we’re muddling up political disputes with racism… I think going forward we need to review where and how we’re drawing the line.” The Labour Party has released the full email, which shows that Milne was responding to a request from a former Labour staff member for a view on a complaint. He was talking specifically about Jewish people being accused of anti-Semitism and the unedited text of his email is this: “Having identified the subject of the complaint as a ‘Jewish activist, the son of a Holocaust survivor’… if we’re more than very occasionally using disciplinary action against Jewish members for anti-Semitism, something’s going wrong and we’re muddling up political disputes with racism.” This gives a very different meaning to the one put out on Panorama.
One has to wonder if the BBC, like the members of the Jewish Labour Movement interviewed in the programme as “whistle-blowers”, thinks that Jews supportive of Labour and refuting allegations of anti-Semitism are “the wrong type of Jew”. Is it just a coincidence that members of the Jewish community ignored by the BBC are very critical of Israel and its brutal occupation of Palestine and those given a voice by the public broadcaster are strongly anti-Palestinian?'
Read more: We all deserve an investigation into BBC Panorama’s propaganda