Thursday, January 15, 2015
BBC reporter faces calls to resign after he tells daughter of Holocaust survivors after Paris attacks: 'Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well'
Typical Leftist refusal to see the whole picture -- that Arab deaths at Israeli hands would stop if they stopped attacking Israel
A BBC reporter has faced calls to resign after he told the daughter of Holocaust survivors in Paris: 'Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well'.
Journalist Tim Willcox sparked anger during his coverage of yesterday's rally in Paris, held in memory of the 17 victims of last week's terror attacks, including four Jewish people in a siege at a Kosher supermarket.
During a live report from the streets of Paris, Willcox was speaking to a number of participants in the march, including one woman who expressed her fears that Jews were being persecuted, and 'the situation is going back to the days of the 1930s in Europe.'
Willcox was speaking to this woman, named as Chava, at the Paris rally who expressed her fears that Jews were being persecuted, and 'the situation is going back to the days of the 1930s in Europe'
To this, Willcox, who was broadcasting on the BBC News channel replied: 'Many critics though of Israel's policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.'
When the woman, shaking her head, responded saying: 'We can't do an amalgam', he told her: 'You understand everything is seen from different perspectives.'
She was identified during the broadcast as 'Chava', and told Willcox when she was introduced on screen that she had lived in France for 20 years, but was originally from Israel.
She said her parents were from Poland, and came to Israel after the Second World War. She had attended the rally with a friend, Aziz, who is French-born and comes from a Muslim background, with his parents being originally from Algeria.
Willcox has today apologised for his comments, taking to Twitter to say he had not meant to cause offence.
He wrote: 'Really sorry for any offence caused by a poorly phrased question in a live interview in Paris yesterday - it was entirely unintentional.'
But many viewers also used the social network to express their anger and concerns over Willcox's rally coverage, including historian and BBC presenter Simon Schama.
He wrote on Twitter: 'Appalling of @BBCTimWillcox to imply any and all JEWS (not Israelis) responsible for treatment of Palestinians by hectoring lady in Paris.'
And added: 'Then he had gall to patronise her at the end - "you see people see it from all sides" That Palestinian plight justifies anti-semitic murder?'
Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard also joined the debate, tweeting: 'What is @BBCTimWillcox's problem with Jews? Once is problematic. Twice is a pattern.'
The Campaign Against Antisemitism, which works to combat anti-Semitism in Britain, has circulated footage of the incident, and has called on those offended by it to formally complain to the BBC.
Director of communications, Jonathan Sacerdoti, told MailOnline Willcox's Twitter apology was 'not really good enough'. 'It's an admission he has done something wrong, but it's incumbent on the BBC to make an on-air apology and to investigate his behaviour.'
There have also been calls for the reporter to resign. Twitter user I Support Israel said: 'Retweet if you believe @BBCTimWillcox should be fired for making this anti-Semitic suggestion'.
The comment was re-tweeted 41 times, while others expressed their views on the controversy, adding the hashtag #WillcoxMustGo.
An online petition was also set up, demanding that Willcox 'personally apologise', and calling for 're-assurance that this constant anti-Semitic behaviour from the BBC will come to an end'.
The petition authors said: 'It was the wrong time and place to ask such a disgraceful question. The unity march was a time for France and the rest of the world to come together and unite against the rising threat of terrorism and anti-Semitism, as well as an opportunity to mourn and remember those killed in the horrific attacks.
'Nevertheless, Mr Willcox showed no sensitivity and asked a tasteless question on live TV which has outraged those who have seen the clip, as well as leaving the interviewee speechless and defenceless.'
It is not the first time Willcox has been accused of anti-Semitism.
In November during a review of the following day's newspapers on the BBC News channel, Willcox, who was anchoring the discussion, faced criticism after discussion of a story about Labour leader Ed Miliband reportedly losing Jewish support.
A guest on the programme, political observer Jo Phillips, had referred to a 'Jewish lobby', which had abandoned support for Labour over his condemnation of Israeli attacks on Gaza.
There was anger that Willcox had not pulled up the guest on her comments, and had added: 'A lot of these prominent Jewish faces will be very much against the mansion tax'.
The BBC defended the comments, and said: 'It was clear that he was not suggesting that Jewish people in particular are against the mansion tax.'
Mr Sacerdoti said his organisation and 33 individuals had complained to the BBC about the November broadcast.
'The BBC said there was no anti-Semitism in what he said, but according to the MacPherson definition, if a minority group feels it is anti-Semitic, it should be considered as such,' he said. 'It's obviously offending people.'
He added: 'And now he's done it again in an extreme example when people are mourning the deaths of four Jews, among the other victims, and his reaction is to say this to a Jewish woman who is saying it's like the 1930s. 'To somehow bring in mitigating circumstances, is terrible.
'The EUMC's [European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, now the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights] working definition of anti-Semitism includes collective blaming of Jews for the actions of Israel.'
Alex Benjamin, Executive Director of Brussels-based group European Friends of Israel, told MailOnline he would 'echo the calls for Willcox to resign'.
'I was not the only one who was utterly disgusted at the deeply patronising, offensive and frankly partisan way he hassled this woman - a woman who as a Parisian Jew is genuinely concerned for her well-being – seeking to justify the abhorrent murders of four jews in Paris with the Israel Palestinian conflict,' he said.
'It was tactless, arrogant and he should at resign.'
A BBC spokesman said: 'Tim Willcox has apologised for what he accepts was a poorly phrased question during an in-depth live interview with two friends, one Jewish and of Israeli birth, the other of Algerian Muslim heritage, where they discussed a wide range of issues affecting both the Muslim and Jewish communities in France. He had no intention of causing offence.'
Oxford University Press bans sausages and pigs from children’s books in effort 'to avoid offence': Bizarre clampdown branded 'nonsensical political correctness'
Schoolbook authors have been told not to write about sausages or pigs for fear of causing offence. Guidance from leading educational publisher the Oxford University Press prohibits authors from including anything that could be perceived as pork-related in their books.
The bizarre clampdown, apparently aimed at avoiding offence among Jews and Muslims, emerged yesterday during a discussion about free speech on Radio 4’s Today programme. It was immediately branded ‘nonsensical political correctness’.
Presenter Jim Naughtie – whose writer wife Eleanor Updale is in talks with Oxford University Press (OUP) over an educational book series – said: ‘I've got a letter here that was sent out by OUP to an author doing something for young people.
‘Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following: Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork.
‘Now, if a respectable publisher, tied to an academic institution, is saying you've got to write a book in which you cannot mention pigs because some people might be offended, it’s just ludicrous. It is just a joke.'
Muslim Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said: ‘I absolutely agree. That’s absolute utter nonsense. And when people go too far, that brings the whole discussion into disrepute.’
The OUP says its guidelines exist because it needs to make its educational material available to as many people as possible.
A spokesman said: ‘Many of the educational materials we publish in the UK are sold in more than 150 countries, and as such they need to consider a range of cultural differences and sensitivities.
'Our editorial guidelines are intended to help ensure that the resources that we produce can be disseminated to the widest possible audience.’
But last night the publishing rules were ridiculed amid doubts either Muslims or Jews would be offended by mention of farm animals in a children’s book. Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘How on earth can anyone find the word “pig” or “pork” offensive? 'No word is offensive. It is the context in which it is used that is offensive.’
He added: ‘On the one hand you have politicians and the great and the good falling over each other to say how much they believe in freedom of speech and on the other hand they are presiding over people being unable to use and write words that are completely inoffensive. 'We have got to get a grip on this nonsensical political correctness. ‘The political correctness brigade appear to have taken control of our schools.
'The Secretary of State needs to get a grip over this and make sure this ridiculous ban is stopped at once.’
He added that perhaps one good thing to come out of the Paris terror attacks was a groundswell of support for freedom of speech.
The chief executive of campaigning group Index on Censorship, Jodie Ginsberg, said: ‘It is difficult to imagine any context in which images of everyday objects – like pigs – or the word itself should be banned from being used in a children’s book.’
A spokesman for the Jewish Leadership Council added: ‘Jewish law prohibits eating pork, not the mention of the word, or the animal from which it derives.
Warning over rising tide of anti-Semitism in Britain with one in eight people claiming that Jews talk about the Holocaust to get sympathy
Nearly half of Britons think at least one anti-Semitic view presented to them was 'definitely or probably true', a survey has revealed.
One in eight said they thought Jews talked about the Holocaust to get sympathy, the poll found.
One in four believed Jewish people 'chase money more than others', while one in six felt Jews thought they were better than other people and had too much power in the media.
Some 269,000 Jewish people live in Britain, or 0.4 per cent of the population, according to the CAA.
Last year saw the most anti-Semitic incidents recorded by police since records began 30 years ago, the campaign said.
Chairman Gideon Falter said: 'The results of our survey are a shocking wake-up call straight after the atrocities in Paris. Britain is at a tipping point.'
The survey found that one in four Britons think Jewish people chase money more than others while one in six claimed that Jews thought they were better than others and had too much power in the media.
One in ten said Jews were not has honest in business and one in five said they questioned their loyalty to Britain due to their connection with Israel. Ten percent of those questioned would not be happy if a relative married a Jew.
In a separate survey carried out by the CAA, more than half of British Jews feared they had no future in the UK and a quarter said they have considered leaving the country in the last two years.
The poll of 2,230 British Jews found 56 per cent felt that anti-Semitism now echoes the 1930s, while 58 per cent believed Jews may have no long-term future in Europe.
Some 45 per cent felt their family was threatened by Islamist extremism, while 63 per cent thought authorities let too much anti-Semitism go unpunished.
Mr Falter added: 'Britain is at a tipping point. Unless anti-Semitism is met with zero tolerance, it will grow and British Jews will increasingly question their place in their own country. Britain's Jews must be shown that they are not alone.'
Jonathan Sacerdoti, who is also from the campaign, said: 'Jewish people have contributed to almost every part of British life, yet rising anti-Semitism here and across Europe means that now more than ever Jews are afraid. Some are even reconsidering their future here. 'British values of tolerance and pluralism must be upheld, so that minority groups like Jews feel comfortable and protected.'
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: 'Jews are an important part of the British community, and we would be diminished without them. 'Anyone who peddles anti-Semitic views is attacking Britain and British values.
'This Government has done much to enhance Britain's status as a safe, tolerant place for Jewish people but we are not complacent. We remain committed to tackling it wherever and whenever it occurs and continue to take a zero-tolerance approach. 'Those who commit hate crimes will be punished with the full force of the law.'
Snowden leaks incite vigilantes: Former MI5 chief claims Britons will seek to defend themselves against jihadis if government does not pass new anti-terror laws
A former head of MI5 last night warned the revelations by CIA fugitive Edward Snowden had left Britain at risk of ‘vigilantism’ because it was less able to protect itself from Islamist fanaticism.
Breaking his silence on the devastating impact of the security breach, Jonathan Evans said: ‘The result of this can only be that the overall risk of a successful terrorist attack in this country has risen.’
In a chilling intervention, he also warned that events in Syria and Iraq had given jihadis a ‘jolt of energy’ and the Government must complete the ‘unfinished business’ of giving the security services extra surveillance powers – or risk ‘vigilantism’ on the streets as citizens look to protect themselves.
Lord Evans said: ‘Inadequate security will breed vulnerability and fear and that in turn will tend to limit people’s ability to contribute to civil society, will tend to provoke vigilantism and will tend to diminish people’s ability to exercise the very civil liberties and human rights that we wish to sustain.’
The ex-spy chief’s comments came amid a warning from the EU’s security chief that Europe faces its ‘most serious’ threat since 9/11. Rob Wainwright, the head of Europol, revealed there were between 3,000 and 5,000 EU nationals who posed a terrorist threat after travelling overseas to countries such as Syria.
He told MPs: ‘Clearly, we’re dealing with a large body of mainly young men who have the potential to come back and have the potential or the intent and capability to carry out attacks we have seen in Paris.’
Lord Evans, who stood down as head of MI5 in April 2013, used his maiden speech in the House of Lords last night to deliver a devastating analysis of the harm caused by Snowden, who stole and leaked thousands of documents detailing intelligence-gathering techniques used by Western intelligence agencies.
The revelations, printed in The Guardian, have led to terrorists changing the way they communicate. They have also made internet companies less willing to co-operate with MI5 and GCHQ for fear of upsetting privacy campaigners.
Lord Evans, who sits as an independent crossbench peer, said: ‘When I left MI5 in 2013, I felt cautiously optimistic that we were over the worst as far as Al Qaeda and Islamist terrorist attacks were concerned. ‘It seemed to me that we were making significant progress. Regrettably, subsequent events have proved that judgment to be wrong.
‘The atrocious killing of Fusilier Rigby in May 2013 demonstrated the reality of the threat we face in this country and the brutal murders in Paris last week demonstrate that this is a European and international problem, not one we face alone.
‘The revelations made by Edward Snowden . . . have clearly led a reduction in the ability of the security agencies both here and overseas to access and read the communications of terrorists internationally, with the result that as the threat from terrorism has gone up in the last two years, the ability of the security agencies to counter those threats has gone down.’
Lord Evans also warned the current situation of extremists returning to the UK from Syria – 600 have travelled out, according to MI5 – put him in mind of the Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan before 9/11. He said: ‘On their return, many of them were even more radical than they had been when they departed.
‘They had experience of combat and had been trained in violence and they had an international network of support on which they could draw. Those circumstances led to a series of attacks internationally and over a long period, and I fear we may be facing the same situation.’
Mr Wainwright said the terror threat was the ‘most serious’ the continent had faced since the fall of the Twin Towers more than 13 years ago.
He told the Commons Home Affairs Committee that Europol had been building a database of EU citizens who had travelled overseas to fight. So far it has collected 2,500 names of suspects from security agencies across member states – but he believes as many as 5,000 may have gone abroad.
It came amid a continued row at the top of Government over surveillance powers. On Monday, Prime Minister David Cameron said a future Conservative government would pass laws which aim to deny terrorists a ‘safe space’ to communicate online.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg reiterated his party’s opposition to a ‘snoopers’ charter’, saying Britain will not be kept safer by keeping records on grandmothers visiting ‘garden centre websites’.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.