“..is a daily 18 minute programme highlighting the best of what’s going in the arts.
Wide-ranging and with eclectic interests, The Strand reflects the artistic response to the BBC’s news agenda.
Presented by Harriett Gilbert and friends, it features discussions, reviews, big-name interviews and location reports as well as live studio performances and Hollywood, Bollywood gossip.”
Since the beginning of the year, The Strand has been running an occasional music series called ‘Hear my country‘ in which listeners were asked to write in with a nomination for the song which they feel best represents their homeland. The series also includes music selected by people who were invited by the BBC to contribute their choices of music best representing their particular country. Here, for instance, one can hear three songs selected by a presenter from Radio 3 in Madrid.
One might perhaps have assumed that an essential qualification for being asked by the BBC to select music representing one’s country would be to live in it. Obviously not, because the person the BBC asked to choose music representing Israel is an old BBC World Service favourite who has not lived there since 1994.
Atzmon being Atzmon, he uses the platform provided by the BBC to spout his usual propaganda and throws in a bit of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions promotion to boot.
“My first choice is a song that was sung by the Nahal choir – an Israeli military band basically – and it is called הוא לא ידע את שמה – ‘He didn’t know her name’.
And this music was very important for me because – as I understand it now – as youngsters in Israel, my generation and earlier generations, we were heavily indoctrinated with a lot of patriotic music that was there to prepare us for the ultimate sacrifice on the Jewish altar.”
Those wishing to hear the rest can do so here.
Gilad Atzmon is not just a “writer and jazz saxophonist” as the BBC claims. Despite his place of birth, he is also well known as a Holocaust denier and an unabashed antisemite, as was previously documented here and here when he was also promoted by the BBC World Service last October.
Would the producers of ‘The Strand’ invite a neo-Nazi to choose music to represent Germany for no other reason than that he happened to have been born in Bonn or ask a violin-playing member of the Klu Klux Klan to select American music? Of course not – because BBC producers are able to identify those versions of racism and the BBC does not normally collaborate with racists in the spreading of their hate-filled ideas. But the BBC apparently does not grasp that by refusing to recognise Atzmon’s well-documented antisemitism for what it is and by repeatedly providing him with a platform from which to champion his odious propaganda, it is actually complicit in the spread of racism.