Saturday, January 24, 2009

BBC admits Jews were unequal to Muslims

A smidgen of good news from the BBC: their editorial complaints unit has partially upheld a complaint (flagged here) about a website article published last June on Jewish refugees from Arab countries. But no dancing in the streets yet, folks - the article is still misleading, the BBC still maintains that the facts about Jewish refugees are 'disputed' and those promised background articles on the subject still haven't materialised. See this post and comments following on Harry's Place:


Complaint:


A reader of the page complained that the item gave an inaccurate picture of the position of Jewish communities in Muslim countries before 1948, which tended to suggest that any animosity between Jew and Arab arose only from foundation of the State of Israel.

Outcome:

The item was accurate in most respects, but the statement by the BBC’s Arab Affairs analyst that Jews in Muslim countries were “fully integrated” into their societies gave a misleading impression of equal treatment, whereas their ‘dhimmi’ status in Muslim countries entailed numerous laws and policies that discriminated against them.

Further action:

The report has been amended and the Middle East team reminded of the need to explain this situation clearly should it arise again.

This is the report in question. The paragraph originally read as follows:

"The BBC’s Arab affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi says the subject is highly controversial as the numbers of Jews who left, and the conditions under which they left, are disputed."

He says one undisputed fact is that Jews were part of Arab societies for centuries, where they were fully integrated in their societies, until Israel was established.

Now it reads:

"The BBC’s Arab affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi says the subject is highly controversial as the numbers of Jews who left, and the conditions under which they left, are disputed.

"He says one undisputed fact is that many Jews were part of Arab societies for centuries, although not with equal rights, until Israel was established."

The amendment is still inaccurate, isn’t it?

The BBC’s Arab affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi did not say that Jews had unequal rights in Arab countries. Instead, he propagated the lie that they were “fully integrated”.

That lie is an important one to those who seek the destruction of Israel. The reality of the systematic discrimination of Jews in Arab countries sounds too much like an argument for self-determination - and they can’t have that!

In any case, why did the BBC turn to one of its own employees, a partisan liar, to deny the reality of the persecution of Jews in Arab countries?

See post and comments in full

3 comments:

Karole du Pont said...

I think the Arab analyst of the BBC should have been forced to qualify his statements when he talks of Jews versus Muslims in the Middle East for under the Ottomans the Jews of Iraq had a representative at the Ottoman Parliament. There were 400 years of Ottoman rule so Muslim must be qualified in terms of all the political differences experienced by the Jewish communities and especially those who had representatives at the Ottoman Parliament.

Karole du Pont said...

I don't agree with making blanket statements regarding Jews of the Middle East this is damaging constitutionally for if the Babyonian Jewish community could have a representative at the Ottoman parliament this is definitely a differential constitutional equation and this has to be recognized in the constitutional discourse about Jewish rights in the Middle East.
In Palestine, there were Palestinian families represented at this same Ottoman Parliament.

bataween said...

The Jews only had representation in Istanbul the early 1900s. Less than a century earlier, the leader of the Jewish community had been executed by Daoud Pasha for not being able to pay the Jizya.