Roman Abramovich has been a leading voice in the UK fight against antisemitism. Abramovich is also a proud Zionist Jew. A wealthy, proud, Zionist Jew who fights antisemitism – what is not for the BBC and Guardian to hate?
On the other side of this argument, the BBC and the Guardian are two media outlets that have done more than any other in the mainstream to belittle the fight against antisemitism. Both have bent over backwards to give voice to fringe and irrelevant Jewish voices – amplifying them beyond recognition until many people were duped to believe that ‘anti-Zionist Jews’ were an army equal in size to the ‘Board of Deputies’. Never forget the persistent publications of letters by the Guardian or the inclusion of JVL voices on the BBC – were editorial choices – not accidents nor a necessity. Both of these outlets are also obsessed with Israel.
So it is of no surprise at all that Roman Abramovich is a target.
The Panorama Story
BBC Arabic has been creating a story about the funding of the City of David. It turns out Roman Abramovich has been a heavy backer of Elad – the NGO behind much of the investment in the biblical city. Shock horror – A Jew invests in Jerusalem.
The story broke this week on Panorama. All the usual smears were there. Instead of a Jew investing in Jerusalem, it was ‘secret funding’, ‘evicted Palestinians’, ‘settlers’ and nonsensical propaganda stories. The standard deceptive tactics were also deployed, with BBC Arabic finding a fringe Israeli left-wing politician to claim he was ‘shocked’ on camera. That politician left the scene 14 years ago after his party failed to gain enough votes to see him re-elected. This is truly desperate stuff.
Jews investing in Jerusalem is like Muslims investing in Mecca or Catholics in the Vatican. It is a non-story. The *only* difference is that Muslims in Mecca or Catholics in the Vatican can do whatever they please – whilst Jews are left to fight for every single cm of Jerusalem. Standing against them is a mammoth, and yes, well-funded propaganda industry – of which the BBC are clearly a part. BBC Arabic released their own extended ‘expose’, and tripping over their own anti-Israel bias as they did so, the Guardian quickly followed. Camera UK which monitors bias in the UK media, did a thorough take down of several pieces the BBC produced as a result of their ‘investigation’. It is worth noting in their article Camera highlight that this is far from the first time, the BBC have focused on the issue.
But what is the true story?
Not long ago, the ‘Arab village of Silwan’ was a tiny settlement on the eastern ridge of a hill on the outskirts of the old city of Jerusalem. Building on the western ridge – in the ‘City of David’ began in the 1880s.
A new village Kfar Hashiloach was formed, mainly of Yemenite Jews who had arrived in the 1880s. Jewish land purchase increased and in 1910 the Jewish community were even *FORCED* to purchase more land – by the then head of the Arab village of Silwan. Don’t be so surprised – Jews were already paying the village protection money so that their burial sites would not be vandalised. In pre-Israel days, Jewish protection was often provided by local Arabs ‘at a cost’.
Much of the land purchased by Jews was stolen when Jews were forced out in the 1930s due to ongoing Aran violence. Arab families simply moved in to the vacated Jewish property. Obviously between 1949 and 1967, when Jordan had control, the Jewish presence was obliterated completely. When Israel recaptured the land in 1967 it came complete with a new population.
When Jews began to repopulate some of their old property – such as a local synagogue – they had rocks thrown at them by local residents.
The City of David
Sitting as it does on the edge of the Old City, and on a slope adjacent to Temple Mount, the area is one of the prime archaeological sites in the world. This place is where the original city of Jerusalem – King David’s Jerusalem – is claimed to be sited. There is more on the historical significance in a video just published by the Israel Advocacy Movement.
In any other country in the world – that possibility would lead to a massive, *unchallenged* archaeological project. Anything on top would need to make way. Compulsory purchase orders would be sent out with residents compensated and moved on.
But not in Jerusalem. There are many people in the world who sickeningly see uncovering the Jewish history of the city as a major problem. They have gone to war – with the Jews – to try to stop any development or archaeological work taking place. As Jewish history is uncovered underneath, the claim of the Jews to the land above grows stronger. The City of David is the centre of a religious and political battle. The battle is so dirty that Arabs willingly selling land to Jews, will be hunted down by Arab gangs.
Israel organised the City of David as a National Park, as any nation would, and an NGO was created to oversee the entire project. That NGO is ELAD, the focus of the BBC hit piece.
The BBC present the ‘destitute’ Sumarin family
As always the BBC try to make it personal, and so introduced the Sumarin family as a victim of Abramovich’s funding and Elad’s activity. A poor Arab family facing eviction. Just as characteristically the BBC hid most of the story.
The Israeli courts have ruled that the Sumarin family is not, in fact, the legal owner of the property. The family have forged documents in an attempt to dupe the court that the property was sold to them. When the forgery was exposed, they dropped that part of their case.
The Sumarin’s moved in during the Jordanian occupation and the courts have decided they are not the owners of the property. But remember, Jews must fight for every cm of Jerusalem, their own capital city. Funding to support Sumarin and oppose the archaeological project has come from many European embassies and of course, Jewish American billionaire George Soros. You may not know this, as some backing of Jewish billionaires the BBC don’t want people to know about.
The Sumarins are even portrayed as poor Palestinians being thrown onto the street. whilst in reality the Sumarins are wealthy with a lot of property to their name.
Meanwhile Israel is doing what they always do – following the law and respecting the courts. As in the Sumarin case, these well-funded delays end up taking decades. Which is where we are now.
The BBC propaganda machine
BBC Arabic is a propaganda network. Anyone who doesn’t realise this doesn’t understand the way news is produced and isn’t paying attention. Using mainly locals to create its news, it is entirely subservient to local pressure and norms. When they do get to tell a story about life in Gaza, they spend it talking about fishermen and ancient coins rather than the brutal rule of Hamas. And inside every human interest story like that, they never miss an opportunity to talk about Israeli ‘oppression’.
As part of my research for this piece I was given access to the entire recording of the interview between Doron Spielman, Vice-President of ELAD and Rosie Garthwaite the BBC journalist and producer of this piece. A 55-minute exchange that Garthwaite virtually ignored, carefully snipping just a few seconds for her piece. Anyone who ever wants to see how bad BBC journalism is – should seek out evidence such as this. It exposes an exercise in creating propaganda, ignoring what you are being told and writing the piece they were always going to write anyway.
I sat through and listened to every word. Spielman’s message was clear.
- This is Jerusalem, the City of David and what we do benefits everyone
- This is an archaeological site of world importance
- Many Arab voices are with us, why are the BBC only using those against us
- Some well-funded NGOs are dissuading Jewish / Arab cooperation
- Suleiman forged documents and has no real claim
- Israel abides by the law
- The EU and some governments fund those dissuading Jewish / Arab cooperation
Each of these is a story in itself. None of them made it into the piece. In fact, when the BBC turned to an activist from Peace Now to help with their case during the documentary – they had all the information necessary to remind viewers Peace Now is financed by foreign governments. If funding on one side is important, then surely it is on both. This isn’t neglect or an accident. The BBC have completely aligned themselves with only one side of the argument. This isn’t telling the truth, it is spreading disinformation. If the BBC knows there are problems with Sumarin’s claim – wasn’t it the duty of a proper journalist to remind viewers his evidence was proven to be forged?
Garthwaite was one of the producers of the piece. Listening to her interview with Spielman was depressing. Is this really BBC journalism these days? She had clearly spoken to previous ELAD volunteers seeking dirt. This was presented as vague anonymous claims that Spielman was expected to respond to. No names were given, and no specifics mentioned. It could have been no more than a volunteer with a grudge who worked there for a few weeks a decade before. Or it could have been nothing at all with Garthwaite carefully twisting an ex-employee’s words. As he had nothing specific to work with Spielman had nothing to answer. It was gutter journalism. Even worse than this were all the important points Garthwaite was told – but chose to leave out of her piece.
Rosie Garthwaite used to work for Al Jazeera. A Qatari state media network that has spent enormous resources going after Jewish groups to create the illusion of rich Jewish lobbies influencing western politics. She has her own production company based in Doha Qatar called ‘Mediadante‘. Garthwaite literally operates inside a country with severe media censorship.
Garthwaite has personally shared hard-core anti-Israel propaganda on Twitter. Garthwaite even retweeted the vile and racist fake maps image. During the interview with Spielman, her bias, ignorance and belief in anti-Israel propaganda betrayed her. On more than one occasion she asked Spielman to respond to accusations Palestinians were afraid to leave their house in the morning for fear of it being declared empty. Absolute propagandist poppycock. During the interview she also seemed trouble by the fact ‘Jewish people’ were settling in Jerusalem. She came across as more naive, gullible and blinded by lies than true hater, but the end product is still the same.
Working alongside Rosie Garthwaite to produce the BBC Arabic piece was Uri Blau
Uri Blau and the BBC
There is journalism, which the BBC should undertake, and anti-Israel activism which British tax money should never support. Uri Blau is an anti-Israel activist. It is impossible for the BBC to claim impartiality when he is one of the producers of the piece.
Just some of the FB friends of this ‘BBC Producer’:
- Ronnie Barkan – anti-Israel activist and was a member of Palestine Live
- Ofer Neiman – anti-Israel activist and was a member of Palestine Live
- Haim Bresheeth – anti-Israel activist and member of Palestine Live
- Richard Silverstein – anti-Israel activist and member of Palestine Live
- Eran Efrati – anti-Israel activist and member of Palestine Live
- Haggai Matar – anti Israel activist and executive director of the 972 magazine
His FB friends list reads like an anti-Israel activist contact list. And here is the problem. There are plenty of unbalanced articles written by Blau promoting the activity of his FB friends, like this one about Ronnie Barkan and BDS. On Twitter he retweets hard-core activist propagandists such as David Sheen:
Uri Blau sits firmly on one side of the argument. He is in the enemy camp. How on earth can the BBC let him produce a news piece and then claim their investigations are impartial? It was a set-up from the start.
Going to war with the Jews
The key individuals behind this video were an ex Al-Jazeera hack who ignored entirely the argument put forward by the person she interviewed and an anti-Israel activist. There is nothing ‘fair’ about the BBC reporting nor the Guardian follow up. In fact, this week whilst researching Leila Khaled, the PFLP terrorist, I found a fawning, apologetic Guardian article written about Khaled in 2001. The journalist falls over herself in trying to glorify Khaled and present her as a strong woman at war. Incredibly in January 2001, just 9 months before 9/11, a Guardian journalist was belittling airplane hijacks as a long gone ‘political tool’. You’d think with a career blemish such as this, the journalist ended up restricted to reporting on local bake sales. Instead the journalist Katharine Viner is now Editor in Chief at the Guardian.
The truth is that the BBC and the Guardian are at war with the Jews. They don’t mind Jews when they are victims of a terror attack or Holocaust, but cannot stand them when they call for Jewish rights to be protected. It is an old-school British supremacist antisemitic mindset. A Jew investing in an archaeological site in the City of David – the historical biblical Jewish capital is enough to set them off. No longer interested in telling the truth, they sit firmly in the Arab camp, pushing out anti-Israel propaganda at every opportunity. Which makes pieces like the recent BBC piece on Panorama just par for the course. Just another shot in their ongoing propaganda war against the Jewish state.
David Collier blogs at BEYOND THE GREAT DIVIDE
His research is unique – it goes wherever it needs to – and it depends on community support. The results speak for themselves and for five years he has been creating headlines. He engages in forensic research, much of it undercover, into anti-Jewish hatred, anti-Zionism and anti-western extremism.
He battles back against those who seek to revise history and expose antisemitism and fights when others don’t.
Please check his website. It is full of great information