Open Question

DFH pointed out that this recent article on Iran by Frances Harrison met with the approval of MPACUK.

What do you think? I haven’t time to go a’fisking, but it seems to me a case of the BBC celebrating dhimmitude. Here are two articles to start you off: Here and Here

This could be point one:

1) There are 25,000 Jews (est) in Iran. Our Frances says “few know that Iran is home to the largest number of Jews anywhere in the Middle East outside Israel.”

Nope- knew that. What I didn’t know, actually, was that it had dropped from 80,000 at the time of the Khomeniac revolution. Strangely Frances didn’t have the figure handy for that one, and leaves it until the end of the article to point out that there has been an exodus connected with the Islamic revolution at all:

“The exodus of Jews from Iran seems to have slowed down – the first wave was in the 1950s and the second was in the wake of the Iranian Revolution.”

So, the first wave was in the 50’s (guess why, anyone?), and the second in the 80’s (guess why?- different reason I would venture).

Please add your observations. I loveclose observations.

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40 Responses to Open Question

  1. pounce says:

    The BBC and half a story.
    (Already posted this on the last board but it seems more apt here)

    Oh how well the Jews of Iran are treated according to the BBC:
    Iran’s proud but discreet Jews
    By Frances Harrison
    BBC News, Tehran
    Although Iran and Israel are bitter enemies, few know that Iran is home to the largest number of Jews anywhere in the Middle East outside Israel. About 25,000 Jews live in Iran and most are determined to remain no matter what the pressures – as proud of their Iranian culture as of their Jewish roots.

    Yeah right Francis, how about questioning why in 1948 over 140,000 jews lived in Iran now only 20,000 live there.

    How about this Francis;
    “In the Yusufabad synagogue the announcements are made in Persian – most Iranian Jews don’t really speak Hebrew well.”

    While the Islamic powers in Iran reportedly allows Hebrew instruction, recognizing that it is necessary for Jewish religious practice. However, it strongly discourages the distribution of Hebrew texts, in practice making it difficult to teach the language.
    Maybe there lies the reason why announcements are made in Persian.

    I did love this Francis;
    “Over the centuries there have been sporadic purges, pogroms and forced conversions to Islam as well as periods of peaceful co-existence.”

    Sporadic? The Jews of Iran have been treated like shite since Islam came a knocking,;

    “After the Islamic conquest of Persia, Jews, along with Christians and Zoroastrians, were assigned the status of dhimmis, inferior subjects of the Islamic empire. Dhimmis were allowed to practice their religion, but were forced to pay taxes (jizya, a poll tax, and initially also kharaj, a land tax) in favor of the Arab Muslim conquerors. Dhimmis were also required to submit to a number of social and legal disabilities; they were prohibited from bearing arms, riding horses, testifying in courts in cases involving a Muslim, and frequently required to wear clothings, clearly distinguishing them from Muslims. Although some of these restrictions were sometimes relaxed, the overall condition of inequality remained in force until the Mongol invasion”

    That was only the start Francis;
    “Further deterioration in the treatment of Persian Jews occurred during the reign of the Safavids who proclaimed Shi’a Islam the state religion. Shi’ism assigns great importance to the issues of ritual purity ― tahara, and non-Muslims, including Jews, are deemed to be ritually unclean ― najis ― so that physical contact with them would require Shi’as to undertake ritual purification before doing regular prayers. Thus, Persian rulers, and to an even larger extent, the populace, sought to limit physical contact between Muslims and Jews. Jews were not allowed to attend public baths with Muslims or even to go outside in rain or snow, ostensibly because some impurity could be washed from them upon a Muslim”

    “However, toward the end of his rule, the treatment of Jews became harsher; upon advice from a Jewish convert and Shi’a clergy, the shah forced Jews to wear a distinctive badge on clothing and headgear. In 1656, all Jews were expelled from Isfahan because of the common belief of their impurity and forced to convert to Islam. However, as it became known that the converts continued to practice Judaism in secret and because the treasury suffered from the loss of jizya collected from the Jews, in 1661 they were allowed to revert to Judaism, but were still required to wear a distinctive patch upon their clothings”


    “In the middle of the 19th century, a European traveller wrote about the life of Persian Jews: “…they are obliged to live in a separate part of town…; for they are considered as unclean creatures… Under the pretext of their being unclean, they are treated with the greatest severity and should they enter a street, inhabited by Mussulmans, they are pelted by the boys and mobs with stones and dirt… For the same reason, they are prohibited to go out when it rains; for it is said the rain would wash dirt off them, which would sully the feet of the Mussulmans… If a Jew is recognized as such in the streets, he is subjected to the greatest insults. The passers-by spit in his face, and sometimes beat him… unmercifully… If a Jew enters a shop for anything, he is forbidden to inspect the goods… Should his hand incautiously touch the goods, he must take them at any price the seller chooses to ask for them… Sometimes the Persians intrude into the dwellings of the Jews and take possession of whatever please them. Should the owner make the least opposition in defense of his property, he incurs the danger of atoning for it with his life… If… a Jew shows himself in the street during the three days of the Katel (Muharram)…, he is sure to be murdered.”[

    “In the 19th century there were many instances of forced conversions and massacres, usually inspired by the Shi’a clergy. A representative of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, a Jewish humanitarian and educational organization, wrote from Tehran in 1894: “…every time that a priest wishes to emerge from obscurity and win a reputation for piety, he preaches war against the Jews”[15]. In 1830, the Jews of Tabriz were massacred; the same year saw a forcible conversion of the Jews of Shiraz. In 1839, many Jews were massacred in Mashhad and survivors were forcibly converted. However, European travellers later reported that the Jews of Tabriz and Shiraz continued to practice Judaism in secret despite a fear of further persecutions. Jews of Barforush were forcibly converted in 1866; when they were allowed to revert to Judaism thanks to an intervention by the French and British ambassadors, a mob killed 18 Jews of Barforush, burning two of them alive[16][17]. In 1910, the Jews of Shiraz were accused of ritual murder of a Muslim girl. Muslim dwellers of the city plundered the whole Jewish quarter, the first to start looting were the soldiers sent by the local governor to defend the Jews against the enraged mob. Twelve Jews, who tried to defend their property, were killed, and many others were injured[”

    How about today Francis;
    “Moreover, the Iranian government has required that several Jewish schools remain open on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath, in conformity with the schedule of other schools in the school system.”

    “Jewish citizens are permitted to obtain passports and to travel outside the country, but they often are denied the multiple-exit permits normally issued to other citizens. With the exception of certain business travelers, the authorities require Jewish persons to obtain clearance and pay additional fees before each trip abroad.”

    “Jews in Iran are not allowed to communicate with Jewish groups outside of Iran unless the group is opposed to the existence of Israel, such as Neturei Karta.”

    And remember this from your story Francis;
    “”It’s not a problem coming and going; I went to Israel once through Turkey and once through Cyprus and it was not problem at all,” she says.”

    Really that may explain this little snippet;
    “Travelling to Israel is forbidden for all the citizens of Iran, mentioned very clearly on the last page of the passport,”

    The BBC defending the people who really oppress others.


  2. Pork Pieman says:

    Thanks for that! Nice to know the tide of Islamofascist shite can be stemmed on occasion.


  3. Umbongo says:


    Surely you can’t be correct: do you mean to say anti-Jewish activity actually pre-dated the establishment of Israel and, not only that, pre-dated the establishment of the US and – hardly believable – pre-dated the Crusades? Surely not: isn’t it a fact that the Iranian Jews lived in a paradise of tolerance and goodwill under their Muslim rulers until post WW2 when the majority of Iranian Jews (despite the desperate pleading of their Muslim co-citizens for the Jews to stay) were forced to leave for Israel and the West by the US and UK.


  4. Rueful Red says:

    Yes, surely that’s what happened. There was absolute equality between the sexes as well until the establishment of the State of Israel, and total freedom of speech.

    The forced expulsion of the Jews by the US and UK must be avenged!!!


  5. Pete_London says:


    Great stuff, thanks for that.


  6. Biodegradable says:

    See Frances Harrison’s Newsnight video Life as an Iranian Jew

    More in the BBC’s campaign of selling Iran to us – it’s all a misunderstanding, and guess what? It’s all the fault of the USA!
    Iran’s gulf of misunderstanding with US


  7. Epi-Me says:

    Great post pounce!


  8. Diana says:

    Wow, I’m not Jewish and disagree with Judaism, but it is really sad that the Jews have been massacred so much.
    The Islamists need to learn to respect other religions, and to respect the freedom of speech and of religion that every human being should be entitled to.
    They cannot ask for respect when they don’t respect anyone else.
    The BBC is doing this campaign because it is very plausible that we, the US and the UK, might have to go to war with Iran. Honestly, I don’t see the United Nations doing anything to ensure that Iran stops its uranium enrichment. They didn’t even do anything in reprimand for Hugo Chavez’s offensive remarks towards President Bush.


  9. AntiCitizenOne says:

    Remember Iran pays the BBC to promote tourism in Iran


  10. Bijan Daneshmand says:

    Pounce has done an admirable job at Fisking Francis Harrison by delving into Iran’s historic past.

    However in the context of Harrison and the BBC’s whitewashing of the Islamic dictatorship in Iran it is worth mentioning what has happened to Iran’s Jewish community since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    Before the revolution Iran’s Jews, Bahai, Christians and Zorastrian minorities were guaranteed all their civil and religious rights by the shah and the Consitution. Much in the manner of the Jews of Morocco today. There was no official anti-semetism.

    After the Revolution, Khomieni personally instigated the revival of anti-semetism in Iran with a series of anti-semetic tracts which he authored and which were given wide circulation in the early years of the revolution by the street thugs and semi-illiterates who were his closest followers. Ahmadinejad comes from this clique.

    Some 70,000 Jews who left Iran in fear for their lives after the execution without trial one of the elders of the Jewish community (David Elgahanian). They had all their assets confiscated by the Islamic Republic under an Islamic law which stated that Jews living in Kuffar (non Moslem) lands were no longer eligible for dhimmi protection.

    Today there are some 20,000 are left in Iran. Which is less than the Jews of Turkey. The remaining Jews often have no means of leaving Iran. They have no political rights other than a token representative that sits in a meanlingless sham Majlis (Parliament). That they are afforded any human or religious rights is largely due to the Islamic government’s desire not to overtly make the Zionist case that Jews need Israel as a haven from persecution.

    Were it not for this factor and the fact that the Islamic leadership in Iran believes that Jews control America the degree of peresecution would have been far more pronounced and overt. The Bahai’s which are viewed by teh Islamic government as heretic have been peresecuted relentlessly in Iran with mass executions, the desecration of their cemeteries, the closing of all their community activities. Were it not for Israel the Jews would have suffered a similar fate.

    No matter how hard Francis Harrison and the BBC try, they should not be allowed to cover up the fact that today anti-semetism is rife in all elements of Iran’s Islamic government and Judiciary.

    The HOLOCUST (sic) exhibition and the ravings of Ahmadinejad are not the exception but an integral part of the Islamic regieme’s mindset in dealing with its “Jewish Porblem.”


  11. Bijan Daneshmand says:

    For a taste of how anti-semetic the Islamic Government is, have a look at what Francis Harrison could have reported on but chose not to:

    Iranian Presidential Advisor Mohammad Ali Ramin: ‘The Resolution of the Holocaust Issue Will End in the Destruction of Israel’

    Iranian President Ahmadinejad Elaborates on His Plan for the Jews to Leave Israel and Return to Germany and Austria

    Cultural Advisor to Iranian Education Ministry and Member of Interfaith Organization Lectures on Iranian TV: Tom and Jerry – A Jewish Conspiracy to Improve the Image of Mice, Because Jews Were Termed ‘Dirty Mice’ in Europe

    Iran TV Discussion on the Myth of the Gas Chambers and the Truth of Protocols of the Elders of Zion

    Iranian TV Blood Libel: Jewish Rabbis Killed Hundreds of European Children to use Their Blood for Passover Holiday & Discussion on Holocaust Denial

    Iranian Sahar TV Film on Alleged Persecution of Holocaust Deniers

    Ayatollah Nouri-Hamedani: ‘Fight the Jews and Vanquish Them so as to Hasten the Coming of the Hidden Imam’

    France Bans Iran’s Sahar TV For Airing Antisemitic Programs

    Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial in the Iranian Media

    Antisemitic Series on Iranian TV

    Iranian TV Series Based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Jewish Control of Hollywood

    Iranian TV Report Exposes ‘Zionist Companies’ – Coca Cola, Marlboro, Hugo Boss, McDonalds, Disney, Garnier, Tommy Hilfiger, L’Oreal, & Others; Pepsi = ‘Pay Each Penny Save Israel’


  12. Diana says:

    Bijan Daneshmand
    thanks for the information


  13. Rob says:

    Isn’t Frances Harrison a Muslim, and married to an Iranian? Combine that with being a classic Beeboid and its is stretching hope to think that we would ever get anything from her but pro-Iranian, pro-Islamic propaganda.


  14. Bijan Daneshmand says:

    The fact that Frances Harrison is a Muslim and married to an Iranian is neither here nor there. There are many many young Iranian Muslim democrats that would not touch Harrison with a barge pole simply because she propogates support for radical Islamic government by soft pedalling on the repressive nature of the Islamic Republic’s dictatorship. For Harrison this is a costless excercise. In fact she is very well paid to churn out this propaganda and is following in the footsteps of John Simpson and his ilk. It is young Iranians who have to pay the price of her propaganda. They do it daily by bearing their repression.


  15. Fran says:

    Bijan Daneshmand

    Thank you for the information and the Iranian perspective on Frances’ Harrison’s reports – or should we say, Iranian Government propaganda.

    A more interesting and balanced approach was a reading of Shirin Ebadi’s biography on Woman’s Hour. There, the sheer terror of Iran under the Ayatollahs is spelt out in Ebadi’s chilling accounts of arrest, questioning and jail. Mind you, was it so much better under the Shah? Perhaps you could tell us.

    By the way, are you Bijan Daneshmand who directed “20 fingers”?


  16. ed says:

    Thanks to commenters for some great points. Sorry to Pounce I didn’t notice his comment earlier. Great minds and all that…


  17. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    25,000 Jews live in Iran, a country of 60 million muslims. Big deal! 1.5 million muslims live in Israel, a country of 6 million.


  18. chevalier de st george says:

    Congratulations Pounce, Bat Ye’or could’nt have done better, herself.
    There is nothing better than a knowledge of history to put propagandists like Frances Harrison in their place and expose the perfidious agendas of the BBC.


  19. Anat says:

    Thanks, folks. This was very interesting.

    What puzzles me is why would the Beeb cover up in this way for evidently totalitarian and racist regimes? What’s the point? what do they think they achieve?


  20. Bijan Daneshmand says:

    “By the way, are you Bijan Daneshmand who directed “20 fingers”?”

    No Im not. We share a name but thats all. He also supports the Islamic regieme in Iran.


  21. Bryan says:

    ….why would the Beeb cover up in this way for evidently totalitarian and racist regimes?

    Because it can’t/wont say a bad word about an Islamic nation, and any biter enemy of the US and Israel is automatically going to be the BBC’s dearest of friends.


  22. Bijan Daneshmand says:


    “was it so much better under the Shah? Perhaps you could tell us.”


    “What puzzles me is why would the Beeb cover up in this way for evidently totalitarian and racist regimes? What’s the point? what do they think they achieve?”

    As far as human rights are concerned, and in every other aspect, Iran was a far better place under the Shah. Political dissent was limited, but dissent was possible as long as one overtly didn’t call for the fall of the monarchy.

    Just one example, are the number of political dissidents imprisoned in Iran. During the Shah’s time the maximum was 3,000. Under the Mullahs the average has been some 40,000. More than 20,000 have been summarily executed in Iran for opposing the Islamic dictatorship.

    The regime has a far more developed internal security apparatus. It is backed by an Armed Militia called the Basiji (thugs who terrorise people daily – mainly women openly on the streets) and the Revolutionary Guards who are armed and trained to kill demonstrators – something they have done on a number of occasions. Torture is rife within the prison system especially for political prisoners.

    The Judiciary dispenses “Islamic justice” with constant hangings, executions, amputation of limbs, eye gouging, stoning to death, the use of acid applied to the face, and many other barbaric methods unheard in Iran for more than 100 years.

    Today there are no human rights in Iran whatsoever. No right to express any political opinion other than that espoused by the Islamic dictatorship, no real freedom of religion. Every aspect of peoples lives is controlled.

    The Shah often pointed to a conspiracy between the “Red and the Black” (the left in Iran and the Mullahs) – these past 25 years have proved him right.

    Where are Amnesty international, Human Rights Watch, and the BBC in their condemnation of what happens in Iran on a daily basis! They criticised the Shah’s regime relentlessly. AI and HRW give more attention to “human rights violations” in Israel and the US than Iran. BBC dishes out pro-Islamic government bias (as it has done for any anti-American government) through reporters like John Simpson and Frances Harrison.

    The “hidden” agenda of these left dominated organisations is that government anywhere in the world that is opposed to free market capitalism gets their unreserved backing. As far as they possibly can they push the agenda of Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, China, and any extra territorial organisation opposed to the US like Al Qaeda. They see themselves as the van guard of a long defeated Socialist movement. Like the BBC says its “WHAT WE DO.”

    What many people dont realise is the damage that this does to the standing of Britain in the eyes oif people in the 3rd world. In modern Iran the British have never been trusted by ordinary Iranians. To a large extent this is down to the role that the Forgien Office and BBC played in backing the Islamic Revolution and the subsequent Islamic dictatorship.


  23. Bryan says:

    Make that bitter enemy.


  24. Anat says:

    Thanks, Brian and Bijan Daneshmand. I suppose you are right. The Beeb seem like leftwing rearguard facing a cognitive dissonance and, irrationally, circling the wagons.


  25. staghounds says:

    Rewrite this story. Replace Jew with Negro and Iran with Alabama.


  26. Biodegradable says:




  27. NY Crank says:

    Actually, Frances, Iranian anti-semitism is so ingrained in the culture that it predates the Muslim religion.

    Jews around the world even have the effrontery to celebrate a holiday around it. It’s called Purim.


  28. J.G. says:

    You know, I have learned more about the reality of Iran reading the comments of Bijan Daneshmand and others than from all of the BBC-Iran love-in that is going on at the monent.

    Keep up the good work people.


  29. Fran says:


    Thank you for your helpful comparison of life under the Shah and life under the Mullahs. I’d suspected as much.

    Your comments about British support for this repressive Islamic regime are spot on. And sadly, this entrenched pro-Islamic attitude in the Middle East led to the shocking betrayal of the Jews by us Brits under the Mandate. I’ve only just got up to speed with what happened, and am still reeling under the shock and shame of how treacherous we were with the opportunity we were given to save heaven knows how many thousands of Jews from the Holocaust.


  30. Anat says:

    I am both British and Israeli and love both countries. I am therefore in a state of shock at discovering, thanks to the availability of original documents on the internet, the extent of the British perfidy in Palestine.

    Did you know, for instance, that between 1931 and 1945, while the British were blocking the immigration of Jewish refugees from Europe, the Arab population of Palestine DOUBLED (according to British sources nowadays quoted by “Palestinians”). Doubling population in 14 years before the age of penicillin cannot be all due to natural growth. It must include extensive immigration.

    I think the history has been seriously mis-written. For instance, eveyone talks about the Balfour Declaration, 1917, as British unjustified interference on behalf of the Jews. But the truth is that MOST countries in the Middle East were created and defined by the British and the French after WWI. Palestine (defined by the League of Nations, 1920-22, as the Jewish National Home), was just one of them. And unlike Jordan, Saudi, Iraq and others, had to do with people rather than fiefs for warlords who happened to be British allies. Jordan was in fact chopped off Palestine by the British in 1921 and given to Arab warlords, in breach of the League of Nations mandate for Palestine.

    Why did the British do that? Here is a small telling anecdote of their true policy, despite the Balfour Declaration: When General Allenby entered Jerusalem in 1917, the city (which at the time consisted largely of what today is “East Jerusalem”) had a Jewish Majority. But whom did he invite to join him for the ceremonial entrance? Lawrence of Arabia. By 1948, when Israel gained independence, East Jerusalem had been cleansed of Jews. Hebron and other places had been cleansed of Jews even earlier, 1929.

    Dictatorial warlords have flourished in the Middle East because they were considered useful, first by the British and French, briefly by Nazi Germany, and later by the Soviets. Although it is quite clear that the system has collapsed and brought the Middle East to what it is now, many is Europe still continue in the same vein.

    And then there is the issue of populations and refugees. It is true that in the 19th century the sparse population of Palestine was largely Arab (except in Jerusalem and a few other places), but almost all inhabitants of the country are the result of immigration in the 19th and 20th century, at times more Arabs and at others more Jews. Why should the one be any more legitimate than the other?

    The history of the Arabs of Palestine has been distorted beyond belief. For instance, the area of Palestine that became Israel in 1948 had at that time some 700,000 Arabs (according to British sources), of whom about 150,000 remained (according to Israeli census of 1950), and another 100,000 returned by various ad personam arrangements in the 1950s. So how come that UN (UNRWA) claim that the original number of unsettled Arab refugees was 900,000? How does this add up? I have heard Arab apologists saying that not all Arabs in British Palestine were registered. This is a bulshit assumption invented for covering up the discrepancy above.

    Besides, the UN at the time did not specify the ethnicity of the refugees concerned. What about Jewish refugees from Arab countries, of whom about 800,000 settled in the 1950s in newly born Israel with no UN support, and an additional untold number in France, England or the Americas?

    These are just a few points. I am still learning the subject, with growing alarm at how we have all been duped all these years.


  31. Fran says:


    Thanks for this. Shocking! The point that has struck me most in studying this period of my country’s history in more depth is that at the heart of the Mandate which the League of Nations awarded to Britain was the institution of a Jewish Homeland. Creation of a Jewish homeland wasn’t peripheral to the Mandate, it was at the HEART of it.

    And the then British Authorities and Government simply ignored these terms of the Mandate and acted in what they saw as their own best interest, which was to incite the Arabs, led by the ghastly Mufti (he of Nazi fame) to assault and massacre the Jewish communities who had been there for centuries, in order to persuade the British government that Arabs simply wouldn’t tolerate a Jewish State in Palestine.

    God knows they sowed the wind – and we are reaping the whirlwind today.

    You might be interested in the film I saw, The Forsaken Promise. It’s produced from an overtly Christian Zionist perspective by HaTikvah Film Trust. If that puts you off, try not to let it. It relies on film clips and documents from the time, and I’ve found it a mine of information, albeit most uncomfortable information. You can learn more about it here.

    Do you think that General Allenby’s invitation to T H Lawrence means that he did not support the mandate to create a Jewish State? I know that Lawrence very much supported Arab nationalism, but don’t know about his attitude towards Jewish national aspirations. Was he hostile? And if he was, would Allenby have been aware of that in 1917, so that the invitation to Lawrence was a signal that he, Allenby, opposed a Jewish homeland?


  32. Bryan says:

    I’ve also begun studying the subject in more depth. There’s no doubt that the British in Palestine not only went against the Mandate of their own government but actively undertook to thwart the establishment of Israel. They sided with the Arabs and treated Jews with contempt. In one incident they took a rabbi into custody on a Saturday, bundling him into a vehicle and ignoring his protests that he could not break the Sabbath. They would never in a million years have hauled an Imam out of his house on a Friday.

    And when the British were warned of the imminent bombing of the King David Hotel (which the anti-Semites love to label as “Jewish terrorism” but would praise as bold guerrilla activity if Arabs had been the perpetrators) they would not evacuate the place because they would not “take orders from Jews.”

    Members of the current British government have pretty much the same antipathy towards the Jews of the Holy Land and the same frienship for the Arabs. Tony Blair stands virtually alone as a friend of Israel. I watched a clip a few years ago on Sky or BBC World on one of those highly-democratic meetings where the PM is obliged to sit around a table with some hostile crowd – I think they were lawmakers and I’m sorry that I can’t be more specific – and field and answer tough questions. Someone asked a typically negative question about Israel and when Blair defended his stance on Israel he was basically sneered at. You could have cut the tension in the room with a knife.

    Blair comes across as a bit of a wimp but it takes courage to stand alone. During the second intifada, he was the only European leader that I can recall expressing genuine outrage at the brutal terrorism of Hamas and the rest of the motley terror crew – and genuine sympathy for the Israeli victims.

    The BBC at the time, of course, was more interested in interviewing the families of suicide bombers. And I recall that the smoke had barely cleared after one particularly vicious attack when the BBC was eagerly informing us that “Israelis at the scene were quick to blame the bombing on the fact that the wall had not been completed.” The BBC has obviously never learned that you don’t kick people when they are down.

    It would be interesting to research BBC reports on the events in Palestine. Did the BBC have much the same attitudes to Holy Land Jews then as it does now? Probably.


  33. Anat says:

    Thank you for the film. It’s very good despite the religious blurb on the introductory page. I don’t like religious blurb in this context (whether Jewish, christian or Muslim), because I think it diverts attention from the mundane facts of the twentieth cenutry which speak volumes in themselves.

    I don’t know about Allenby’s personal attitude to the Jews, but it was only 1917, the year of the Declaration. The mandate was not established until the San Remo conference 1920, and the charter for it issued only in 1922
    It is fair enough that he would be interested chiefly in Arabs in the Middle East as a whole, but he should have seen that the vast majority of the crowd who welcomed him into Jerusalem was Jewish. None of this seems to have an affect on the British, who as early as 1921 got Haj Amin out of jail and appointed him Mufti. The rest is history.

    The Arab riots conducted by the Mufti in the 1920s were simply anti-Jewish. In the 1930s, in addition to the Jewish victims there were also many Arab ones, killed by the Mufti men for the simple reason of accepting coexistence with the Jews. In local history this went down as the confict between the Husseinis (the Mufti gangs) and the Nashashibis, the latter Arab Christians friendly to the Jews. The Nashashibis no longer exist; those that survived the Mufti gangs have long left the country (an American Nashashibi was interviewed on Israeli TV a couple of years ago). It is horrendous that the British played up, as much of Europe still does, to the violent elements at the expense of the oppressed.

    I once saw a BBC documentary (late 1980s, I think) with interviews of British veterans of the Mandate. One of them said concerning WW2: “We knew the Jews will be on our side. They had no choice, did they. But the Arabs were on the other side and we had to win them over.” Here it is in a nutshell.

    A few years ago in London, I stayed with some British friends who tried to convince me that the Arabs were anti-Nazi during WW2. As proof they mentioned the “Palestine Brigade” of the British army, apparently unaware of the fact that all Palestinians in that brigade were JEWISH Palestinians, my own uncle among them. Here is how history gets rewritten.

    Finally, people would do well to remember that the UK abstained in the UN resolution 1947 that established two states in Palestine, Jewish and Arab. At the same time the British were training an Arab army in Jordan (headed by the famous Glub Pasha), the same that in 1948 was to try and take over the Jewish part of Palestine, but fortunately mostly repelled.

    A few years ago I composed a brief history in maps on Palestine/Israel. You can find it here (Nuttie = Anat)


  34. Anat says:

    I agree it would be interesting to study British Press of the time, though perhaps not only the BBC.

    Do you realize that on the year the Palestine Mandate was being established, 1920, the antisemitic so-called “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” appeared in Britain, with five editions sold out in that single year (and more in the following years). See

    Just imagine what went on in the heads of the British officers and soliders assigned to Palestine.


  35. Anonymous says:

    Anat, fascinating. Thanks for that info on the Protocol. And I’ve put your ‘History in Maps’ into my favourites.

    So many people are in complete ignorance of these matters. And the BBC, amomng others, helps keep them that way.


  36. Bryan says:

    I was Anonymous.


  37. Bijan Daneshmand says:

    Bijan Daneshmand:
    See these Iranian patriots have a go at Tony Benn. Something you will never see as part of BBC’s Uncovering Iran Season time…rezamoradi.html


  38. Bijan Daneshmand says:

    to see the video you may need to copy and paste link into your browser.


  39. Bijan Daneshmand says:

    MPAC isnt the only radical muslim group that has the BBC in its pocket. Here is Hizb u Tahrir trumpeting its appearence on the BBC on its front page.


  40. Mehran says:

    I am an Iranian and i live there.I should inform you all that Bijan Daneshmand is a great liar…
    thank u Frances Harrison,for your wonderful report