Tuesday, May 22, 2007

BBC Babylon nostalgia piece 'essentially a hoax'

The negative flak continues to fly against the BBC following a website story about Jewish nostalgia for Iraq (flagged on Point of no return and Honestreporting on 8 May). Although the BBC updated its original version to include two sentences about the uprooting of the community, the article still misleads.

Stan Brin copied
Biased BBC the text of his complaint. He wrote:

The story [Israelis from Iraq remember Babylon] is essentially a hoax. It falsely disguises a mass expulsion and terror campaign as a "mass migration" as if they just chose to move, or perhaps there was a crop failure. In fact, there were mass riots and mass murder.

Perhaps your "journalist" found someone who remembers the Shiah Muharam holiday fondly but I never met anyone who wanted to return to Iraq. I am an expert in Middle Eeast history, and lived with Jews from Arab countries, and they were unanimous that they would never go back, even if they miss the food.

It should be noted that well over 99 percent of the Jews of Arab countries fled since 1948. Most Jewish communities (except in Morocco) are essentially extinct. Some of the Jews were forcibly deported (Egypt and Libya), others escaped by fleeing across borders (Iraq, Syria, Yemen). All lost everything they had, their property stolen, their citizenship revoked. Many died as they fled.

Iraq, the subject of the story, was especially brutal. Of a quarter million Jews in 1940 (Sorry Stan, 150,000 is closer to the mark - Ed), perhaps a dozen remain today.

My Iraq-born roommate fled across mountains, avoiding Iraqi border police who would have had him tortured to death. He tells of an Iraqi border guard who kept a box filled with the fingernails of Jews whom he and his colleagues captured.

He has no nostalgia for Iraq.

What next from BBC? Auschwitz was a fun place to visit? Jews enjoy oppression?

I guess that all begs the question, if the Jews enjoyed having their fingernails pulled out, would they want to go back to Iraq so the Palestinians could move in?

Read post in full (21 May)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The BBC systematically distorts the history of Jews in Arab countries. It does so as a matter of policy. Every journalist who works abroad for the BBC is vetted by the Foreign Office, and none who are pro-Jewish or pro-Israel are allowed in. There are influential gangs in the Foreign Office who constantly work to harm Jews and delegitimize Israel.

I have heard over the years on the BBC how Moroccan Jews were "privileged" under French rule. There is a constant refrain of how well-treated Jews were in Arab lands, ignoring the monstrous anti-Jewish oppression, violence, dispossessions and expulsions that Arab rulers perpetrated against Jews in Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, Jordan and Syria in the 20th century.

The hostile propaganda is also applied against Israel. Acco is referred to as Akka, the Arabic name of that mixed-population town; Lod is called Lydda, and East Jerusalem is "traditionally Arab", even though it had a Jewish plurality until British-instigated anti-Jewish violence forced Jews to flee. And viewers of the BBC are told that Halil means "friend" in Arabic, while the name "Hebron" has no meaning worth mentioning. These are just some of the constructions designed to reinforce the idea that the Arabs are indigenous and noble while the Jews are rootless parvenues and ingrates.