Peter Kosminsky acknowledges using testimony from radical NGO as source for “The Promise”

H/T to an alert reader for capturing Peter Kosminsky’s live chat (below) with viewers of his show, The Promise, which confirms the director’s use of research from highly politicized sources.

As we’ve pointed out previously, the show is brimming with historical falsehoods – such as the implicit assertion that the Arabs were the indigenous people in Israel, and the Jews should rightly seen as interlopers – and Kosminsky’s own virulently anti-Israel politics have been enunciated very clearly in his Guardian op-ed prior to the show’s airing. See my open letter to Kosminsky, in response to his Guardian commentary, here, but here are some highlights of his essay:

“Israel is isolated, loathed and feared in equal measure by its neighbours, finding little sympathy outside America for its uncompromising view of how to defend its borders and secure its future.”

“How did Israel squander the compassion [derived from the horrors of the Holocaust] of the world within a lifetime?”

During the live chat, when asked about the research he conducted for the show – a multi-part drama on British television, about Israel, which just finished airing – Kosminsky cited the NGO Breaking the Silence, as one of his main sources:

Per research conducted by the highly respected watchdog group, NGO Monitor, Breaking the Silence – a group funded by George Soros, New Israel Fund, and the EU (among others) – was active in promoting “war crimes” charges against Israel after the Gaza fighting in January 2009, charges which were based on anonymous and unverifiable hearsay “testimonies.”

Further, per analysis by Amos Harel in Ha’aretz: “Breaking the Silence…has a clear political agenda, and can no longer be classed as a ‘human rights organization.’ Any organization whose website includes the claim by members to expose the ‘corruption which permeates the military system’ is not a neutral observer.”

BtS members and anti-Israel activists Yonatan and Itamar Shapira were on the “Jews for Justice for Palestinians” boat “Irene,” which sought to violate Israel’s security-based policies regarding naval traffic into Gaza (September 2010).

While, of course, as anyone who’s actually lived here can testify to, Israelis (unlike citizens in neighboring countries) are free to speak out against the government or the military – a fact which begs the question, what “silence” exactly is BtS breaking? – Kosminsky’s use of testimony by BtS clearly undermines his claim that he conducted objective research for his show.

Instead of asking questions of average Israelis who serve or have served in the IDF, to understand Israeli military life, he chose instead a group with a clear, and quite radical, political agenda whose views are quite marginal, and are only amplified by the enormous resources provided to the group by European governments, and powerful foundations like NIF and George Soros’s Open Society Institute.

Kosmisnsky clearly knows little about the real nation of Israel beyond the one-dimensional caricature which informs the opinions of the elite media and cultural gatekeepers in the UK – an abstraction of the democratic Jewish state which his “research” only served to confirm, and, now, after”The Promise” has been seen by millions of viewers, will be even more firmly embedded in the political  imagination of the British public.

(Update: See NGO Monitor’s latest critical analysis of claims made by the group, Breaking the Silence, here)

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