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JfJfP comments


2016:

06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics

2015:

23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo

2014:

15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014

2013:

29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011

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Posts

Jewish Chronicle invents defamatory story about call for BBC balance

Simon Schama and BBC attacked over Story of Jews

By Marcus Dysch,
September 12, 2013

Activists have attacked historian Simon Schama’s documentary series on the history of the Jews, claiming it should not include his opinions on the creation of Israel.The fifth and final episode of The Story of the Jews will focus on the relationship between the Holocaust and the creation of the modern-day state of Israel.

But supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign have complained to the BBC, claiming it was “alarming” that Professor Schama should be allowed to discuss the Shoah. (our emphasis)

The BBC defended the programme and said the coverage was “balanced, fair, accurate and impartial”.

The PSC sent a letter to BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow following the series’ debut last week. Among the signatories were PSC director Sarah Colborne; Daud Abdullah, who previously threatened violence against British troops; and Ismail Patel, a leading supporter of blood libel cleric Raed Salah.

They were joined by Diana Neslen of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and Professor Jonathan Rosenhead of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine.

Their complaints followed Prof Schama’s explanation that “it was not just what the Nazis did to the Jews, but what the rest of the world failed to do that makes the moral case for Israel”.

In the letter to Ms Hadlow the activists wrote: “We find it alarming that the BBC is giving a platform to an openly pro-Israeli commentator to make the ‘moral case’ for Israel.

“Schama’s views will go unopposed, unchallenged and unanalysed. This is a far cry from the balanced and impartial broadcasting that the BBC claims to champion.”

Their letter claimed the Corporation had acted inconsistently in allowing Prof Schama’s programme to go ahead when earlier this year it had pulled from its schedules a documentary about the archaeological history of Jerusalem.

“The difference in the BBC’s treatment of Jerusalem: An Archaeological Mystery Story and The Story of the Jews is a further indicator of the organisation’s lack of impartiality in its treatment of Palestinian and Israeli issues,” they concluded.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “The Story of the Jews is not a series about the state of Israel, it is a historical series by an eminent academic and award-winning presenter that covers a wide range of topics over five episodes.

“In the final episode, Simon Schama encounters a range of opinions about the state of Israel – including a cross-section of dissenting voices. In recent weeks he has taken part in a number of challenging news discussions across the BBC to discuss the topics raised in the series.”

Prof Schama declined to comment.


Zionist historian makes ‘case for Israel’ for BBC

Palestine Solidarity Campaign, website post
September 03, 2013

On September 1st, BBC Two screened the first of a five-part series called ‘The Story of the Jews’, presented by Simon Schama. In a Radio Times interview this month, Schama describes himself as a ‘historian-Zionist’ and says he will make ‘the moral case for Israel’ in the final episode of the series.

Here we have the BBC giving a platform to a Zionist to make a ‘moral case for Israel’, unopposed, unchallenged and unanalysed.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign and five other leading organisations have written to Janice Hadlow, controller of BBC Two and BBC Four, to question the BBC’s impartiality over this broadcast. The letter also asks why the BBC pulled Jerusalem: An Archaeological Mystery Story from its schedule, but is happy to broadcast Schama’s pro-Israel programme.

Jerusalem: An Archaeological Mystery Story was due to be shown on BBC Four in April. The documentary uses archaeological evidence to claim that the mass exodus of Jews from Jerusalem in 70AD – the story on which Zionists claim the right to ‘return’ and colonise Palestinian land – never happened.

Open letter to Janice Hadlow

3 September 2013

Dear Ms Hadlow

In June, we wrote to the BBC to express our concern at the removal of the documentary Jerusalem: An Archaeological Mystery Story from the BBC Four schedule with no credible explanation.

We note that an edited version of the documentary is now due to be shown in November, with an accompanying discussion programme. The discussion programme, according to the BBC, is intended to provide balance and context to the documentary.

We also note the new BBC Two series The Story of the Jews, presented by Simon Schama. In an interview in the Radio Times (31 August-6 September), Schama describes himself as an ‘historian-Zionist’ and says he will be making ‘the moral case for Israel’ in the final episode of this five part series.

We find it alarming that the BBC is giving a platform to an openly pro-Israeli commentator to make the ‘moral case’ for Israel. Schama’s views will go unopposed, unchallenged and unanalysed. This is a far cry from the balanced and impartial broadcasting that the BBC claims to champion.

The difference in the BBC’s treatment of Jerusalem: An Archaeological Mystery Story and The Story of the Jews is a further indicator of the organisation’s lack of impartiality in its treatment of Palestinian and Israeli issues.

Why can the one documentary only be screened with an accompanying discussion programme, while the other will be broadcast with neither balance nor context?

We await your clarification on this matter.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Colborne, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Daud Abdullah, Middle East Monitor
Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, British Committee for the Universities of Palestine
Abe Hayeem, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine
Ismail Patel, Friends of Al Aqsa
Diana Neslen,  a signatory of Jews for Justice for Palestinians


Letter from Diana Neslen to Jewish Chronicle
Unpublished

Your article “Simon Schama and BBC attacked over Story of Jews” (September 12, 2013) on the open letter to the BBC by a number of organisations has just been brought to my attention. Contrary to the report in your paper, we did not attack Simon Schama and the BBC over the programme, nor did we say or even imply that it was alarming he should be allowed to discuss the Shoah.

Rather we challenged inconsistency within the BBC in allowing Schama, proud to call himself a ‘historian Zionist’, to make ‘the moral case for Israel’, while denying the opportunity to those who challenge his perspective to put their case.

The BBC always insists that items with a Palestinian perspective are balanced by an Israeli point of view. The letter simply asked the BBC to live up to their claim of ‘balance and impartiality’ by airing the fact that the ‘moral case for Israel’ is a contested area which needs a response. Jews have always set great store by disputation and debate – something Schama was happy to stress during the series. Surely those who support Professor Schama’s position recognise that by denying an alternative point of view, they are standing against the very freedom of speech they expect for themselves.


A complete untruth
From Amena Saleem, media officer at PSC

“At no point in our letter did we mention the Holocaust or say that we were alarmed that Schama was ‘being allowed’ to discuss it. Each of the named signatories of the letter could view the JC’s claim as potentially libellous. That sentence is a complete untruth.”

 

And see also
JfJfP slandered in Jewish Chronicle January 2012. A letter to the JC correcting their ‘facts’ was also not published

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