Gentle Persuasion

Anti-Zionists have persuaded the BBC to alter a report about a row at the meeting held at the School of Oriental and African Studies, (SOAS) in which the guest speaker was South African trade unionist Bongani Masuku.

Mr. Masuku has been condemned for hate speech by the South African Human Rights Commission. The SOAS audience consisted of pro Palestinian left wingers who wanted to confer chummily amongst themselves and share their outrage at the way Israel treats the Palestinians.

During the audience question time, up pops Jonathan Hoffman, vice chair of the Zionist federation, whose courageous personal appearances at hostile gatherings have earned him a reputation as a ‘hard-line Zionist’ and damned nuisance.

His question was simply “Why has this man, condemned for hate speech, been invited to speak at this place?” Admittedly, he read out the charges against Mr. Masuku first, which the audience found rather unpalatable, and this, combined with the fact that they disliked Mr. Hoffman and his well-known views, caused the whole audience to begin jeering and heckling. The chairman, Mr. Tom Hickey, then took over, warning them not to answer Mr. Hoffman’s question, or listen to anything he might say.

The BBC, uncharacteristically, reported this incident thus:

“Raheem Kassam, of student anti-racism campaigners Student Rights, said: “The overpowering racist jeering as displayed by some audience members at the event is a stark and chilling revelation of what can happen when extremism is allowed to take root in universities.

“This man was first shouted down, then ignored by the event chair and panellists.
“Why? From what we hear shouted when he is speaking, because he is, ‘Jewish’, and ‘not welcome here’.”

However, a few individuals didn’t think much of that, and emailed the BBC to complain, whereupon the BBC cut that out altogether and amended the article so it was more in line with the BBC worldview, along the lines that anti-Semitism is the sole prerogative of the SS., and it died out in 1948.

Funny how impossible it is for some people to get the BBC to alter things, while for others it’s as easy as writing a couple of emails.

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16 Responses to Gentle Persuasion

  1. Biodegradable says:

    You have to laugh at the very first line of the BBC report:

    A row has broken out over a meeting about Israel at a University of London college that one man described as “anti-Semitic”.

    That’s alright then, it was just one man’s opinion!

    Pity that News Sniffer now seems to be abandoned.


    • sue says:

      I know. I wasted ages waiting for News Sniffer to load. It would have enhanced my post.
      Eventually a message came up saying  “something’s gone wrong, we’re attending to it.”
      So annoying. I hope they fix it.


  2. Jack Bauer says:

    South African trade unionist Bongani Masuku.

    Oh I wonder if he’s one of those enlightened African chaps who think homosexuals should be executed?


  3. piggy kosher says:

    A mealie mouthed and strangely empty piece on the BBC website
    Yemenis Jews, A community in decline.
    Unpleasantly, the report also contends that the creation of Israel was directly responsible for the genocide of the Yemeni Jews.
    Funny, I thought it was widespread homocidal riots in the “muslim world” leading to the creation of 900,000 Jewish refugees. Silly me.
    No analysis of the context, nothing.
    BBC box ticking at its worst.


  4. Jack Bauer says:

    Study: Anti-Semitism, Homophobia on Rise in EuropeDecember 7, 2009

    JTA Wire Service

    Human Rights Group Upholds Jewish Complaint
    The South Africa Human Rights Commission upheld a hate speech complaint lodged by a Jewish group.

    The South African Jewish Board of Deputies had filed the complaint in March against the Congress of South African Trade Unions International Relations spokesman Bongani Masuku following “various threatening, inflammatory and derogatory statements” against the mainstream South African Jewish community and its leadership, according to a Jewish Board of Deputies’ news release.
    In its complaint, the board detailed how Masuku in a public address at the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as in written communications, had threatened to target South African Jews who supported Israel, saying that their lives would be made “hell,” that vigilante action would be taken against families suspected of having members who served in the Israeli army, and that Jewish supporters of Israel should be “forced to leave South Africa.”

    The human rights commission found that a credible case of hate speech had been “clearly established,” as Masuku’s statements and comments were “offensive and unpalatable to society.” It has asked him to apologize to the Jewish Board of Deputies within 14 days, after which the matter will be referred to the Equality Court for final adjudication.


  5. Biodegradable says:


    What’s happened to my avatar?!


  6. Millie Tant says:

    So, according to the BBC’s opening sentence, the University of London college is anti-semitic: 

    A row has broken out over a meeting about Israel at a University of London college that one man described as “anti-Semitic”.

    I am not quibbling with this: I don’t doubt it for one minute.

    Nice of you to admit it, BBC.   Thanks for that.


    • Biodegradable says:

      No, no, no!

      The BBC does not admit it was antisemitic. Only one man thought it was, and, as the BBC are careful to explain he’s one of those (gasp!) ZIONISTS!

      Jonathan Hoffman, vice-chairman of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain, made the claim in a blog relating to a meeting at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

      It’s only a “claim”, not actaul fact and true you see, as the BBC then go on to clarify:

      But others have insisted the meeting was fair and there were no anti-Semitic undertones. Other Jewish audience members spoke without being heckled.

      Of course what the BBC doesn’t tell you is that those other “Jewish audience members” are rabid anti-Zionists.

      They actually quote one as-a-Jew audience member:

      Also in the audience was Naomi Wimborne Idressi. She said: “I am a Jew and I am very sensitive about anti-Semitism. There was no anti-Semitism at the meeting.

      The BBC doesn’t tell us who Naomi Wimborne Idressi is either.

      Click this link to find out more about her.

      What was I saying just the other day about The Guardian possibly being worse than the BBC? Actually they work as a double act.


      • Millie Tant says:

        Hold on to your hair! I was making /attempting to make a completely different point.

        What I should have written was:

        So, according to the BBC’s opening sentence, one man said that the University of London college is anti-semitic:  
        A row has broken out over a meeting about Israel at a University of London college that one man described as “anti-Semitic”. 

        I think the BBC meant to write that the man said something else, i.e. that the meeting was anti-semitic.

        Oh, well, never mind…


        • Biodegradable says:

          Ah yes, I see what you mean now.

          That’s what happens when the BBC hurriedly re-writes a piece to satisfy the (Anti-)Zionist lobby!


      • Millie Tant says:

        PS: Just noticed this bit:

        BIO: What was I saying just the other day about The Guardian possibly being worse than the BBC? Actually they work as a double act.

        Actually you were wrong in that instance, by which I mean that the Guardian’s headline was correct. It accurately reported the court’s ruling. (Not saying that The Guardian isn’t biased).

        Very interesting case for a whole host of reasons, among them the President of the Court himself and the reasoning and other remarks in his judgment. He has a Jewish mother himself, by the way. It was also a majority decision of 5 to 4, which made it even more intriguing and even more vexed. One sharp dissenting judgment had some acerbic comments about judges having just found them to have racially discriminated, then going on to say that they weren’t “racist”. I see that judge’s point – it is a bit of a cheek, to do that – but also see why the President and the other majority judges said it: they did not want them to be stigmatised as “racist” for applying their genuine religious criteria without any racial intent or ill will against anyone or for that kind of easy smear be used against Jews generally.


        • Biodegradable says:

          Perhaps the headline was accurate but the Guardian was very selective about the parts of the judgement it quoted. they quote the one judge as saying that “The majority held that JFS had directly discriminated against M on grounds of his ethnic origins.”

          But in fact the discrimination, and there was discrimination in the strict sense of the word was on religious, and not “ethnic” or racial grounds. As another judge pointed out it wasn’t because the mother was of Italian or Roman Catholic origine, it was because her religious conversion wasn’t recognised. The end result was a British court telling a Jewish school that it had no right to define who is a Jew according to Jewish law, which is what I find worrying.

          You’re right that it’s an interesting case, but to report it as a case of Jews “racially” discriminating against others fits the Guardian’s, and the BBC’s view of things, even though the judges actually went out of their way to say that it wasn’t really so.


  7. TooTrue says:

    Crumbs, I just watched that video from the link at Harry’s Place. A more motley crew of unhappy little people spouting their rehearsed prejudices I have yet to see. Why is it that the left is so often so miserable?


  8. piggy kosher says:

    Their knowledge of M.E history is at the same level as their dress sense. Poor.


  9. TooTrue says:

    And both are at the same level as their common sense.