We haven’t been monitoring Sky News long enough to provide a broader analysis of their coverage of the war in Gaza, but their decision (yesterday) to interview Mira Bar-Hillel (a British journalist who has admitted to being prejudiced against Jews), on the question of whether antisemitism in the UK will rise as a result of the conflict, reads like something in the parody site, The Onion.
Briefly, for those unfamiliar with Ms. Bar-Hillel (who contributes to the Independent), here’s a few facts about her own views about Jews:
She has complained that Jews (per the Livingstone Formulation) smear people unfairly with the charge of antisemitism to “gag into submission any critic of Israel”.
She recently evoked Nazi Germany in characterizing Israeli racism and IDF military actions in Gaza.
She has accused British Jews (collectively) of ‘bombing Gaza’.
She bizarrely claimed that British Jews don’t criticize Israeli actions in Gaza out of fear of being “ex-communicated” from the Jewish community,
She has admitted to being prejudiced against Jews. Here are her exact words:
The Jews of today scare me and I find it almost impossible to talk to most of them, including relatives. Any criticism of the policies of Israel – including the disgraceful treatment of Holocaust survivors as well as refugees from murderous regimes – is regarded as treason and/or anti-Semitism. Most papers and journals will not even publish articles on the subject for fear of a Jewish backlash. Goyim (gentiles) are often treated with ill-concealed contempt, yet the Jews are always the victims. Am I prejudiced against Jews? Alas, yes.
Now, let’s go the simply surreal Sky News interview:
Here are a few observations:
- Bar-Hillel claims that the failure of British Jews to speak out about Israeli ‘crimes’ in Gaza is what causes antisemitism – a perfect example of holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel, an accusation defined as antisemitic by the EUMC Working Definition.
- The female Sky News co-host asks a follow-up question (at roughly the 1:40 mark) to Bar-Hillel which parrots the claim that Jews label all criticism of Israel antisemitic.
- Neither Sky News host challenges her when she smears the UK Jewish community, by suggesting that British Jews are culpable for not speaking out against Israel.
- Neither Sky News host challenges her claim (at roughly the 5:05 mark) that the only reason why the West supports Israel is because of guilt over the Holocaust.
- More broadly, note that in a Sky News program about antisemitism, they didn’t seek the expertise of The CST (the British charity tasked with protecting Jews against antisemitism), or any official body which actually represents UK Jews, but, rather, a marginal commentator who has admitted to not being part of the Jewish community. If, for instance, they would have asked representatives from The CST, they would have provided data demonstrating that antisemitism has indeed increased in the UK since the beginning of the war.
Finally, if you believe, as we do, that this Sky News segment not only had the effect of smearing the UK Jewish community, but violating Ofcom’s rules on impartiality in news and current affairs, please consider filing an Ofcom complaint.
- Indy contributor Mira Bar-Hillel accuses British Jews of bombing Gaza (cifwatch.com)
- Antisemitic reporter Mira Bar-Hillel pens op-ed (on antisemitism!) for The Independent (cifwatch.com)
- Indy’s Mira Bar-Hillel complains on the BBC about Jews and CiF Watch trolls! (cifwatch.com)
- Gaza conflict: As a British Jew, I am now scared to talk about Israel and Gaza (telegraph.co.uk)
- BBC Radio 4′s ‘Today’ airs falsehoods on Gaza medicine shortage (and the ramblings of Bar Hillel) (bbcwatch.org)