National Jewish Assembly condemns antisemitic conspiracy theory film aired by Islam channel, commends government’s fine

The National Jewish Assembly (NJA) strongly condemns the Islam Channel for broadcasting an antisemitic documentary titled “The Andinia Plan,” which propagated baseless conspiracy theories linking Israel to alleged plans in South America. This documentary, filled with unfounded claims and hate speech, only serves to perpetuate harmful stereotypes and misinformation.

Aired in February 2021, this hour-long film falsely asserted that there were secret schemes to establish a Jewish state in Patagonia, a sparsely populated region in South America. This conspiracy theory, rooted in extremist ideology, has no basis in reality and has caused undue harm to Jews living in the region.

NJA Vice Chairman Laurence Julius said, “Programmes like this drive antisemitism and hate. They have no place on any public broadcasting channel. The damage is done when it is broadcast. Fines and corrections do not reverse the damage. The channel should be given a final warning that it will lose its licence if there is a further instance.”

While such conspiracy theories may seem absurd to many, they have real-world consequences. In the past, Jewish individuals have faced discrimination and even threats in South America due to these unfounded allegations. The NJA stands firmly against any form of hatred or discrimination targeting any community.

The NJA commends the broadcasting regulator Ofcom for its swift and decisive action in ruling that this documentary amounted to hate speech against Jewish people. The fine of £40,000 sends a clear message that promoting antisemitism in any form will not be tolerated.

The NJA also acknowledges the Islam Channel’s apology for airing the documentary. However, it is essential for media outlets to exercise extreme caution and responsibility in disseminating information, especially when it concerns sensitive topics like religion and ethnicity.

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