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Israel's Birth According to Jeremy Bowen
Last uploaded : Monday 12th May 2008 at 00:40
Contributed by : Carol Gould



'The Birth of Israel ' -- BBC TV - 4 May 2008

I rang the BBC three times in the course of and after Jeremy Bowen's programme 'The Birth of Israel' on BBC2 4th May. This is because I was astounded to hear him over and over again purveying the Revisionist anti-Zionist story of rape, pillage, murder and expulsions by rampaging Mandate Period Jews. He never mentioned that the Jewish presence in the Holy Land was small even in 1947 and that the tormented and starving refugees from the Holocaust made up a segment that allegedly merciless and barbaric army.

By the same token, the teenage Jewish brigades led by young Yitzhak Rabin fought fearlessly and managed to defeat five truly rampaging Arab armies. In a recent 'Independent' newspaper article about National Archives data on the 'Exodus' ship of Holocaust refugees, Lt Col Gregson remarked that Jews tend towards hysteria. Well, the Israel Defence Forces and Air Force, not to mention the Mossad, have made up for that, but as Jewish friends say to me, 'We can't win -- we bow and scrape and are called wet, and we form a fierce army in Israel and are called murderers.'

What disturbed me is that Bowen never once explained the evolution of Zionism: why is it that we in the USA, where church and state are separated by law and no religious teaching is allowed in the schools, nevertheless learn about the history of our shameful Christian legacy of European and English anti-Semitism (I stress English because Jews have flourished for centuries in Scotland and were not expelled from Scotland during the English Expulsion of 1290) ?

Why did Bowen make it look as if a group of avaricious Jews in 1897 decided to declare Zionism a movement and just take the Arabs' land from under their noses? When in history have Jews ever done this? Do they do it in London or Paris or Toronto or Philadelphia or Rio? The various Jewish charities that by then existed were formed to combat the horrid poverty and persecution the Jews suffered across Europe.

Likewise, did he ever mention the huge expulsion of Jews from their homes across Europe during the Nazi occupations as far and wide as the eye of Eichmann could see? Why did he not mention the sheer terror Jews felt even in the USA, Canada, South America and Africa after Wannsee and when Eichmann drew up his list of 14 millions Jews he planned to torture and annihilate? What I found iniquitous in Bowen's script was a line about the Arabs 'knowing nothing' about the Nazi genocide. They knew enough about Jew-hatred to join the SS and follow the Grand Mufti to Berlin to join German brigades to help in the Final Solution!

Jeremy Bowen never once mentioned the horrendous centuries of Christian persecution of the Jews that culminated in the Dreyfus Case and the publication of 'J'Accuse' by Emile Zola, a Christian, who had had enough of European Jew-baiting. His screed helped inspire the birth of the Zionist Movement, and its adherents were non-religious Jews like the businessman Ahad Ha'am and Viennese Theodor Herzl, the chemist and author. Herzl and others explored Uganda, Madagascar, Baja California and Palestine as possible homelands for the perpetually besieged Jews. Whilst this was going on, a million Jews left the Pale of Settlement in Russia and neighbouring countries and went to South Africa, Canada and the USA.

Thanks to the welcome they received in New York the world would soon enjoy the fruits of their progeny:: Leonard Bernstein, Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern, 95% of the great Broadway and Hollywood geniuses and of course Jonas Salk, whose polio vaccine has cured hundreds of millions of Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and other religious groups across the world. Bowen's portrayal of Jews in his narrow and biased film depicts them in the worst possible light and bears scant resemblance to the dynamic, academically brilliant and magical culture they have given both to modern Israel and to my native USA since the great Jewish influx of the early 1900s. These people have the exact same DNA as those who went to Israel. Bowen portrays them as ruthlessly mean villains.

Jeremy Bowen may not be an anti-Semite but his litany follows a pattern I encounter in British academia, which cherry-picks Jewish history and portrays to the world a vicious, murderous wave of 'terrorist' humanity that was determined to displace Arabs and steal their homes. The Stern Gang and Irgun were a minority. What the Jews have made from an arid strip of land is a miracle. Why did Bowen not show this?

My grandparents -- like thousands of non-Jews and Jew alike -- in Philadelphia put nickels into the little 'Blue Boxes' carried by Jewish children to raise money for a homeland, and the state was formed legitimately with UN approval. Every penny that has gone to Israel in the past sixty years from charities has been used to build scientific and agricultural institutions, schools, ballet centre, opera houses, concert halls, libraries and theatres.
Why does Jeremy Bowen not ask why the Palestinians are living in squalor despite the billions poured in from the EU, UN and USA for the past fifty years? Where does this money go?

And if he thinks Jews go and throw people out of their homes and rape and pillage, why are they the most law-abiding, non-violent groups on earth wherever they dwell? Why does he not explain the origins of the Zionist movement? What about the British soldiers beating and killing the wretched refugees on the 'Exodus' and sending them back to Germany? Were I a young Jew I might have become a terrorist at that time after such shameful and unspeakable cruelty. After the Holocaust how many Jews across the Diaspora went out killing Christians and blowing people up and hijacking planes? None.

I went with a Christian group to a prison outside Newcastle last year and someone asked the Chaplain why there were eight clergy and no Rabbi in a prison population of 998. He laughed and said 'There is no call for one.' Another of our group said 'Jews aren't violent!'

Jeremy Bowen is guilty of portraying Jews as violent, merciless and thieving, an image Joseph Goebbels promoted, and which eventually Germany swallowed.

I urge the BBC to commission a programme celebrating the birth of a remarkable little nation the size of Wales that is a bastion of gay rights, press freedom, scientific brilliance and cultural greatness (did Bowen mention the Indian conductor Zubin Mehta, who has been the Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic for thirty years?) against unspeakable odds -- four major wars and sixty years of hatred from backward neighbouring Arab countries -- and that provides a dignified look at the Jewish State.

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