The BBC and Israel

I was channel surfing at my in-laws tonight and came across a promising BBC series called MI-5. Robyn (my wife) and I love spy programs so we hunkered down and watched two episodes.

I’d heard of BBC’s anti-Israeli bias before (see here and here), but this was ridiculous. In the two episodes we watched, guess who Britain’s enemy was? Israel! In BBC fantasy land, Israeli secret agents pretended to be Al Qaeda terrorists and executed Saudi royals in order to sideline a deal that would see Britain selling nuclear technology to the Saudis and provoke Arab on Arab violence. In the end, the plot failed and the only surviving Mossad agent was sent to languish in a Guantanamo’esque prison camp for the rest of his days. Even better was the introduction for the next episode. Audiences everywhere were tantalized with a preview of MI-5 having to deal with Christian fundamentalists who declared war on Islam.

Brilliant. Because that’s really what MI-5 needs to be concerned with – Jews and street preachers.

Of course this isn’t a problem …

Perhaps this was a one off event but given what I’ve been reading about the BBC’s coverage of the Middle East, it’s doubtful. Shimon Peres may have recently gotten in trouble for lamenting anti-Israeli sentiments in the British establishment, but this is not news. As far back as 1945, George Orwell pointed out that anti-Semitism was on the rise in Britain. He also noted that anti-Semitism was “irrational and would not yield to arguments.” Orwell was right on both counts, even 65 years later.