Saturday, September 28, 2013
BBC TV mentions exodus from Egypt
The BBC trailer for Episode 5 of 'Story of the Jews' highlighted the sequence dealing with the Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue in Alexandria and Schama's interview with Cairo-resident Levana Zamir, whose uncle was arrested for 'Zionism'. (32 mins into the video)
It's possibly the first time that the expulsion of Jews from Muslim countries has ever been mentioned on BBC TV.
The trailer for Episode 5 of the historian Simon Schama's acclaimed epic 'Story of the Jews' begins with a clip filmed inside the majestic, but now empty, Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue in Alexandria. (The Shama family once had a pew here - perhaps that is why Schama is keen to tell viewers about it).
There follows an interview with Levana Zamir, indefatigable presidient of the association of Jews from Egypt in Israel. Levana tells Schama of her trauma, aged 10, when Egyptian officers came and rifled through her house, and arrested her uncle on charges of being a Zionist.
It is good that Schama mentions that life was not always easy for Jews in Muslim lands before the establishment of Israel. Hard to judge the programme on the basis of a two-minute clip, but this programme, the last of the series, shows every sign of living up to expectations.
'Story of the Jews' airs tomorrow (Sunday 29 September) at 9 pm UK time on BBC 2.