The BBC has come under fire for publishing a news article on Wednesday stating that “The Holocaust is a sensitive topic for many Muslims because Jewish survivors settled in British-mandate Palestine, on land which later became the State of Israel.”
The British Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), a volunteer-led charity dedicated to exposing and countering anti-Semitism through education and law-enforcement, demanded on its website that the BBC “immediately and unequivocally apologise” for the line.
“The Holocaust is indeed a sensitive topic for many reasons, not least because six million Jews were systematically massacred. It should not be a sensitive topic to Muslims, or anybody else, because of the foundation of the State of Israel,” CAA stated. “Zionism, the movement to create the modern State of Israel began decades before the Holocaust, and had the country existed at the time of the Holocaust, millions of innocent Jewish civilians may have lived.”
CAA claimed that the line published by the BBC was anti-Semitic in nature: “For the BBC to lend credence to the notion that it is legitimate to be ‘sensitive’ about the Holocaust because of the existence of the State of Israel invokes antisemitic notions that the existence of the State of Israel is in some way racist, and it is offensive to tar ‘many Muslims’ in this way.”
The line appeared in a BBC News article about German Muslim schoolgirls who went to visit concentration camps in Poland and suffered racist abuse from locals. The BBC has since removed the controversial statement.
Then BBC director Danny Cohen said in December 2014 that rising anti-Semitism endangered the future of Jews in the United Kingdom. “I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months (after Operation Protective Edge). And it’s made me think about, you know, is it our long-term home, actually,” Cohen stated. “Because you feel it. I’ve felt it in a way I’ve never felt before actually,” he added.
Despite Cohen’s observation, the BBC has repeatedly been embroiled in scandals over its reporting on Israel and Jewish affairs. Earlier this month, after three Palestinian terrorists stabbed an Israeli policewoman to death in Jerusalem before being killed by security forces, the BBC reported on the story with the headline: “Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem.” After public outcry, the BBC apologized and revised the headline.
[Photo: Les Haines / Flickr ]