The NJA condemns bias in BBC’s ‘The Holy Land and US’ show aired March 14

The National Jewish Assembly condemns the recent TV program named “The Holy Land and US,” which was aired on BBC last night. The program broke every commitment it made to maintain impartiality and instead tried to feed a particular anti-Israel agenda through biased reporting.

The program’s agenda served to portray Jews who arrived under the British Mandate after the Holocaust as individuals who came to displace indigenous Arabs. The program portrayed Jews as terrorists against the British, while downplaying the Arab revolt of 1936, and made scant mention of the numerous terrorist attacks and massacres of Jews carried out by Arabs at this time.

Furthermore, the BBC omitted the last words of the Balfour Declaration, which stated that the establishment of a home for the Jewish people should not prejudice the “rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

The BBC made no mention of the internally displaced Jews who were ethnically cleansed from the Old City of Jerusalem, and from communities throughout Judea and Samaria – chiefly as a result of Jordan’s illegal occupation of the area after the establishment of Israel. The BBC also failed to note that approximately 850,000 Jews were forced to flee Arab lands and Iran at this time.

The reporting of Deir Yassin represented only one side of the story without even touching on the debate around the circumstances and events of the incident. It was not a soft target but a village where convoys to Jerusalem were being attacked from. What occurred was a battle, and the net effect and the deaths are tragic, but the way it is dressed up and told is wrong.

Additionally, there was no mention of the encouragement by Arab leaders for people to leave temporarily the areas under the British Mandate. When mentioning both Lod and Ramle, the program said that Arabs fled – but failed to mention that many Arabs chose to stay – making them two of the largest mixed cities in Israel today.

The NJA strongly condemns the program’s biased and unfair portrayal of the history of the Holy Land. The NJA urges the BBC to maintain impartiality and fairness in its future programs and give a balanced representation of the facts.

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