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British Trade Unions and Support for the Palestinians
Last uploaded : Sunday 19th May 2002 at 20:54
Contributed by : The Editors



In this month's issue of 'Stage Screen and Radio,' the magazine of the broadcasting and theatre unions in Great Britain, an article about the IDF's assault on the Palestinian television industry features with prominence.

Although JewishComment respects the right of the BECTU magazine to publish such a piece, the line, 'In Palestine there is no censorship,' would make even a Palestinian activist wince. We also lament the one-sided nature of the article, suggesting that only Palestinians cower in fear every day; there is no counter-article from the Israeli government or the IDF. It is suggested that the Israelis put pornography on daytime Palestinian TV to corrupt the minds of Palestinian children; those of us who have had to suffer through the succession of pornographic viruses sent down the web to Jewish sites and Jewish people long before this Intifadah began (not to mention the hate-filled and inciteful mail we receive), we say 'all is fair in love and war..'

One of our Editors has submitted a letter to BECTU's General Secretary, Roger Bolton, and we also provide below a letter to BECTU's magazine from one of our contributors.
Janice Turner,
Stage Screen & Radio,
111 Wardour Street,
London W1F 0AY
Dear Ms Turner,

How could you, how could you, how COULD you print in ‘Stage Screen and Radio’ that wickedly inflammatory piece about ‘Palestine?’ (There is no such nation, Ms Turner: There is the sovereign nation of Israel and THAT’S IT.) And why print a ‘pleas for help?’ When have you ever printed a plea to help the thousands of Israelis – including many technicians over there – maimed for life by Palestinian bombers and snipers? The wonderful Israeli film industry, like everything else, is in virtual ruins because of terror. Arafat’s corrupt regime has reduced his own people to penury –this is NOT Israel’s fault!!!!!!!!!!

Lest we forget that Jews built the entertainment industry here and in the US and many of us would have not had careers without these generous Jewish genius-bosses. You owe it to your Jewish membership to offer a fair-minded view of what went on in terror-land.

Are you, Ms Turner, not aware that the reason for Operation Defensive Shield was the truly obscene act of a suicide bomber who desecrated one of the holiest nights of the Jewish religious year, the Passover Seder, killing 30 elderly people at the Park hotel, Netanya? (Some whole families were wiped out as they prayed and most of the elderly victims were Belsen, Auschwitz and Treblinka survivors – NOT reported in ‘the Guardian’ .)

Or do you not care, having been born in our dear nation that started the first ever Blood Libel (Norwich 1144) , the York Massacre (1190, the result of which no Jew has ever resided in York ever again) and then the Expulsion of the Jews from Britain in1290 – they not to be re-admitted until the time of Cromwell?

Are you not aware that for 2,000 years we in Christian Europe tormented Jews by ALWAYS attacking them on Passover because it coincides with the crucifixion? Do you have no idea that the massacre in Netanya was a watershed event that shook the hearts of every Jew in every corner of the world because of the images conjured up of the dreaded brutal pogroms across Christian Europe during Easter and Passover? If Jews over the millennia dared fight back, they were hideously tortured or rounded up –as in Norwich – and locked in barns and burnt alive. The Jews have 2,000 years of fury built up in them and we are lucky in Europe that they did not wreak vengeance for the atrocities committed in the name of the Crusades, Christendom and Hitler. Post-Shoah we have the new Jew – a person of dignity who fights back against obscene desecrations of their faith.

You have allowed to go to print an article that may have absolute merit and value but that requires a response from the Israeli government or military in the same issue. It is possible they were destroying material that threatened the security of the Jewish State, or worse. Have you any idea how many Jewish websites, Jewish charities and film companies with Jewish names attached are hit by computer viruses and by frightening hate mail from the Arab world? (I spend a good deal of my time forwarding these threats to the Anti-Terrorist Unit at Scotland Yard.)

Your writer refers to the pornography being transmitted over Palestinian TV. Tough nuts! The behaviour of the Arab world towards the Jews ( and in the 1929 Hebron massacre, as well as the British-encouraged 1940s riots) has been a giant obscenity for 54 years. Was it not the PLO that shot Leon Klinghoffer in his wheelchair and threw him overboard from the Achille Lauro in front of his elderly wife? Was it not the PLO who murdered the Israeli Olympic team ? Was it not the PLO that terrorised whole families at Entebbe and ‘disappeared’ the OAP Dora Bloch? Her cruel fate cannot even be contemplated.

And please don’t write back to me with the Left’s‘brutal occupation ‘ fiction you believe without ever having set foot in Israel. The recent suicide bombers have come from areas handed back to the Palestinians by Yitzhak Rabin and Bibi Netnayahu, NOT from areas ‘brutally occupied’ by Israel. When I was in Israel for a year even during the height of the Oslo peace process, Palestinians were still murdering Israelis nineteen to the dozen.

I was meant to interview two British women on the Jewish Festival of Purim 1996, but by the time I got to Tel Aviv they had been blown up by a bomb perpetrated by a Palestinian intent on desecrating yet another Jewish religious festival. His bomb also killed many kids.

Your writer refers to ‘fear and stress’ and to Palestinians barricaded in their homes frozen in abject fear. Do you think that my friends and colleagues in Israel are living any other sort of life? Their livelihoods are ruined, their children are traumatised and not one Israeli goes through life right now without attending funeral after funeral after funeral. Since this disgraceful, medieval Intifadah began, Israelis have been terrified of even going to the corner shop.

When we made our feature documentary in Israel after the Rabin assassination our Israeli guide informed us that her father, ALL OF HER brothers and HER ONLY SON had all been killed in successive wars all started by the Arabs. HER FATHER, ALL OF HER HER BROTHERS, HER ONLY SON!!! Think about that!!!!!!Her one surviving daughter’s sons are studying and busy at their Playstations – she is cheerful – is she blowing herself up? Are her grandsons?

Have you been to the Weizmann Institute? Has BECTU ever visited the Mann Auditorium or Technion? Has it ever occurred to you that Palestinian TV may have been a mouthpiece for the hate-filled propaganda that has poisoned the minds of even the tiniest children? A billion Pounds has flooded into the PA from the EU and Arab League and what do they use it for? Bombs and murder, not hospitals and concert halls. There are more symphony orchestras in tiny Israel than in many European countries.

Your writer says ‘ In Palestine there is no censorship.’ Even the most anti-Israeli European journalists have bitterly complained to their union about dealing with the PA. If Israel censored, would be seeing every minute detail of this conflict? When I worked in Israel I never had such cooperation and editorial freedom in my entire professional career! Has BECTU looked into the fact that the Italian cameraman who bravely filmed the gruesome lynching of two Israeli men in Ramallah on 12 October, 2000 (on every front page of every paper around the world) now fears for his life and is reported to be afraid to take any work because he has to be in hiding?

Has BECTU looked into the execrable ‘blood libel’ accusations being levelled at Jews from Arab world media long before the present crisis occurred? Is it right or proper that Saudi mainstream papers print articles by professors explaining that Jews drain the blood of non-Jews for their Passover wafers?

Just remember this, Ms Turner: had the Jews had the tanks and the guns and the sledgehammers to destroy Julius Streicher’s and Josef Goebbels’ PR machine in Nazi Germany, rest assured they would have relished wrecking their poisonous film studios.

Our colleague Daniel Pearl, a journalist married to a non-Jew, a man devoted to respect for and study of the Muslim world, was forced to say ‘I am a Jew. I am a Jew’ for the cameras before being hideously beheaded. Can you find me an example of any Jewish human being anywhere in the world who has invited a journalist for a drink and then made him chant’ I am a Christian’ or ‘I am a Muslim’ before beheading him?

Does BECTU know that no Jewish filmmaker may be found living in Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Indonesia and other Muslim countries? Did you know that Pakistan and Libya are – intentionally – Judenrein??? (A Nazi term that means ‘free of Jews...’)

Out of respect and admiration for the wonderful, long-suffering and brutalised Israeli Jewish people who nonetheless made my working year in Israel the happiest of my life, I am not sending a contribution to your Palestinian writer but am sending a gift to a disfigured teenager in an Israeli hospital.

Yours sincerely,
C Philips

Roger Bolton,
General Secretary,
111 Wardour Street,
London W1F 0AY

Dear Roger,

I wish to register my dismay that BECTU has associated itself with the ‘Free Palestine’ rally as a sponsor, without consultation with the membership. Please note it would equally have dismayed me had BECTU sponsored the ‘Israel Solidarity Rally.’

Having covered the Middle East and having been filming there in the aftermath of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, it is a part of the world that evokes passions like no other. The most extreme elements on either side of the divide wish for the obliteration of the other, and BECTU should not be taking any sides in this matter, even if we deplore the actions of Messrs Sharon or Arafat.

Out of respect and regard for our esteemed and generous Jewish bosses – who number many!! – here and in Hollywood, we must also take into consideration that many of them have lost whole families in the Holocaust, and, since 1948, some 26,000 loved ones in Israel. Lest we forget that European anti-Semitism brought about the creation of the Jewish State; I speak not just of the Shoah but of the virulent hatred that inspired Theodor Herzl over 100 years ago to start the Zionist movement to liberate European Jewry from pogroms and terror. Whether we like its behaviour or not, Israel’s people, surrounded by hostile, medieval regimes, have suffered as deeply as the Palestinians.

A colleague’s ‘fixer’ on a film project in the Holy Land had lost her father, all of her brothers, and all of her sons in the 1948, 1967 and Yom Kippur Wars – all wars started by the Arab nations with the objective of annihilating the Jewish State. We cannot as a union support the Palestinians at the expense of the feelings of our Jewish and Israeli colleagues.

I attach a relevant cutting.

Yours sincerely,
(Miss) Carol Gould
Producer-Director shop


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