BBC watchdog rejects complaints on refugees

Last Monday was not a happy day for Elisha Manasseh.  He had had a
third complaint rejected by OFCOM, which adjudicates on complaints to
the BBC.

He first complained to the BBC in 2018, claiming that its reporting on the MENA constantly refers to
Palestinian refugees, while ignoring Jewish refugees.

“I have now been through the whole system with the BBC,”  he says.

Manasseh  argued that the BBC had breached its own guidelines on
accuracy and impartiality when it failed to mention Jews displaced from
Arab countries in a background ‘explainer’ to the Eurovision Song
Contest in May 2019, held in Tel Aviv.

The BBC retorted that  ‘impartiality’ did not mean that every reference
to one side had to be matched with a reference to the other side. For example, a
reference to Israel’s security concerns needed not be matched by a
reference to Hamas security concerns.  They claimed that Jewish refugees
arising out of the’ Arab/Israeli conflict’ were ‘irrelevant’ to the
Israel/Palestinian conflict. Finally, they said, the Oslo Accords
allegedly addressed Palestinian refugees but makes no mention of Jewish

In fact this statement  is incorrect, as the Oslo Accords deferred such
difficult topics as borders, Jerusalem and refugees to be discussed as
final status issues. The Clinton Parameters of 2000 did mention Jewish
refugees. The BBC does mention the Palestinian ‘right of return’ – a euphemism for the destruction of Israel
by overwhelming the country with thousands of returnees. It is
essential to the audience’s understanding to explain this
point, but the explanation is never given.

The BBC’s position confuses claims with facts. Both sets of
refugees – Jewish and Arab – arose out of the same conflict
and both should be mentioned in the context.

Some 90 percent of the Jews of Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen fled
to Israel within three years of 1948. Some 90 percent of Jews fled
Arab countries in the 15 years since 1948 (and many more of
those would have left earlier, but were officially banned from
leaving ), making this one the most dramatic examples of
ethnic cleansing in the 20th century.

There was an exchange of refugee populations between Israel
and the Arab world. The BBC regularly mentions the exchange between
India and Pakistan and gives equal weight to both parties.

A radio programme with the historian Simon Schama marking Israel’s 70th anniversary did mention Jewish refugees, but the
Jewish side deserves equal time, not a solitary mention on
a single programme.

It appears that a lone complainant will  remain a voice in the wilderness unless the Jewish refugee issue is consistently and loudly raised by  the Jewish establishment and Israeli spokespersons.

Will Elisha Manasseh now give up complaining?

“What I will be doing is just carrying on, waiting
for the next time they mention the subject, and
there will be a next time, I will start all over
again,” he declares, undaunted.


  • "For example, a reference to Israel's security concerns needed not be matched by a reference to Hamas security concerns."

    Israel has concerns about bombers setting off their devices in shopping centers and drivers using their vehicles as weapons on public streets. If Hamas has any similar concerns, they would deserve the attention that Israel's security concerns deserve.

  • Warsaw's Jews were mostly murdered in Treblinka, not Auschwitz.

    An anti-Jewish faction in the British Foreign Office saw the Holocaust as an opportunity to reduce the numbers of able-bodied Jewish men and thereby cripple the Zionist programme. Some of their comments and intrigues are to be found in documents stored in the official records office.

  • Here is an account, translated from Yiddish, of how the BBC, under orders from the Foreign Office, suppressed news of the Holocaust until December 1942. By that time, most of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto had been murdered, mostly in Auschwitz. The UK govt was not eager to save Jewish lives. To paraphrase today's commonplace slogan, Jewish lives did not matter. Franklin Roosevelt was no better than Churchill and his cabinet.

  • The BBC avoided reporting the facts of the Holocaust while it was happening. It was not until December 1942 that the BBC reported the Shoah on any of its broadcast frequencies, and then not on all of them.
    More on this later.

  • ‏BBC��distorts the facts❗️It neglects & delete the Huge Jewish Nakba of the real Refugees out of the conflict in the ME.
    בי.בי.סי��מעוותת את העובדות❗️ מתעלמת ומעלימה את הנכבה היהודית הענקית של הפליטים האמיתיים שנוצרו מהסכסוך במזרח התיכון.

    BBC�� nice try to distort the facts and History❗️
    ‏They can try to neglect or delete the Huge Jewish Nakba of the real Refugees out of the conflict in the ME, while a lot of evidence including documents, ancient synagogues and Jewish holy sites (from immemorial time) still exist there in the Muslim lands.
    They should well learn & study the case. Let’s wish them Good Luck��

    The Farhud in 1941 in Iraq marked the start of the Jewish Nakba❗ As it was the 1st massacre in a range of pogroms against Jews in Arab Countries
    ‎הפרהוד בשנת 1941 בעיראק מציין את תחילת הנכבה היהודית, שכן הוא היה הטבח הראשון בסדרה של פרעות ביהודים במדינות ערב
    ‎الفرهود في عام ١٩٤١ في العراق يوءرخ بداية النكبة اليهودية فهو كان اول مذبحة من سلسلة المذابح بحق اليهود في الدول العربية

  • One thing I've learned about the BBC (and not just the BBC) is that they don't care about facts. they might do a correction here and there but in the main, the BBC will still be the BBC and you can complain all you want but that's not going to change. Perhaps those of us who do care about the facts should get the truth out by other means.


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