"The Promise" - Begins Sunday, UK Channel 4


By Jonathan Hoffman
February 3, 2011
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http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-promise

This mini-series begins on Sunday on Channel 4. Writer/director Peter Kosminsky wrote about the programme in The Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/28/the-promise-peter-kosminsky-...

“Israel is isolated, loathed and feared in equal measure by its neighbours, finding little sympathy outside America for its uncompromising view of how to defend its borders and secure its future.....How did Israel squander the compassion [derived from the horrors of the Holocaust] of the world within a lifetime?”

Here is a response by an Israeli, Adam Levick of CifWatch:

http://cifwatch.com/2011/02/02/feared-loathed-and-isolated-an-open-lette...

COMMENTS

Jonathan Hoffman

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 07:45

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-1 points

"I’d rather be alive and hated than posthumously loved" says Adam.

Maybe Peter Kosminsky could respond here?


Jonathan Hoffman

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 07:59

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-1 points

As "Zamalek" says in The Guardian thread:

This film seems like another attempt to downplay Arab aantisemitsm and the Arab project to destroy Israel at birth. The film-maker talks about Deir Yassin, a battle during the 1948 war, but has nothing to say about the massacre of hundreds of innocent Jews in Iraq and Libya in the 1940s, whose families sought refuge in Israel. A film based on distortions and superficial leftwing cliches.


Yoni1

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 09:08

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-1 points

Channel 4 is more antisemitic than the BBC. This is very much in character.


Yoni1

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 09:12

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-2 points

"It made no sense but, as we were to discover, nothing is simple in a land where truth has long since been co-opted as a weapon of war."

Typical Channel 4 patronising nonsense. What an asshole.


Yoni1

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 09:13

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-2 points

Channel 4 is still more antisemitic than the BBC, despite the cowardly antisemitic moron going round marking down posts.


Jonathan Hoffman

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 09:33

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-1 points

@Kosminsky

When Kassam rockets start falling on Wiltshire (where you live) what action should your government take, if any?


jose (not verified)

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 10:20

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-2 points

Certainly Kominsky thinks that Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan, that were praised prior to the riots, see their dictators criticised or even abandoned by the courageous Western countries.
Surely a mistake!

Western countries have a tendency to flatter dictators until they fall. Nothing so interesting in Israel, I guess: it's just a democracy.


Yoni1

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 12:59

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-4 points

"When Kassam rockets start falling on Wiltshire (where you live) what action should your government take, if any?"

Some antisemitic moron has marked this down.


zair (not verified)

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 13:40

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Yoni, some advise please. As the BBC & C4 are anti-semitic, do I also become a bit anti-semitic by watching and can I get back to normal by watching something else?


jose (not verified)

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 13:45

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-1 points

do I also become a bit anti-semitic by watching

What are you talking about, Hater zair? You are not going to become antisemitic, you ARE already fully and irreversibly antisemitic.


Yoni1

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 14:25

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-3 points

"As the BBC & C4 are anti-semitic, do I also become a bit anti-semitic by watching"

Nah, you are an antisemite already.


Jonathan Posner

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 17:38

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Was I watching the same programme as all these awe-struck critics? I'm wondering. This was terrible drama, poorly written and unimaginatively staged. A heavy-handed and clichéd approach to 'The Background" did nothing to dispel my dawning realisation that Kosminsky was only interested in making trite student-type observations on the Middle East situation at the expense of credible characters and a believable plot.

The pretty 'dual-nationality' conscript suddenly arriving in Tel Aviv to drive around in her aunt's Mercedes convertible (subtext: Israeli affluence); the lecture to the British troops about Jews and Arabs (subtext: Kosminsky's lecture to us); the ridiculous 'central casting' demonstration by Peace Now activists outside the Israeli army base as the girls drive up in their Mercedes (subtext: here, look at all these right-thinking Israelis. Cut to uncomprehending frown on innocent Erin's face). Goodness, it's just all so naive and puerile.

The final straw for me was the tearful separation of the two friends as the one is about to begin her conscription. Observing some laughing and joking uniformed girls also about to begin their induction, Erin says: "you see, if these morons can do it so can you". Morons? Why are they morons? How do they know they're morons? Why use this word about young women on the point of beginning their (compulsory) national service? Could no one see how totally misplaced this term is? Or how revealing of the writer's stupidity?

The Promise is British "drama" of the worst kind. To produce such drivel after supposedly seven years of preparation is nothing short of incredible.


jose (not verified)

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 17:47

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-1 points

Damn! A Posner! The paranoid simonsam's fever will rise!


mattpryor

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 18:11

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And a Jonathan! This will really confuse them.


Jonathan Hoffman

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 18:12

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-2 points

@Jonathan

I agree. It was drivel. Kosminsky has skewered his own career just as Peter Oborne skewered his own career with "Inside Britain's Israel Lobby".

Oborne has sunk into oblivion; Kosminsky will too. Neither is any loss


Joe Millis

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 18:17

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-1 points

Peter Oborne has sunk without trace? Only if being the Daily Telegraph's Chief Political Correspondent is sinking without trace.


Josh Edge

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 14:39

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An excellent programme that tackles the tough issues head on. All people who are serious about building sustainable peace in the Middle East in which the rights of all to live in dignity are acknowledged will surely welcome this series. I


jose (not verified)

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 14:52

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1 point

Why do I have the impression that antisemites a flocking to these blogs?


Yoni1

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 15:46

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-2 points

Josh, you really have no idea what you are blabbing about, do you?


amber

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 15:57

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Josh, what does he programme "tackle" and what do you mean by "rights of all to live in dignity"? Please elucidate.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 16:12

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-1 points

A dreadful series. Israeli Jews are portrayed as either rich or terrorists or ruthless soldiers. The history of Zionism is not explained, the creation of Israel is seen purely as a response to WW2. Nothing about Jewish refugees from Arab countries.

Shame on Kosminsky, shame on Channel 4!


Josh Edge

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 16:21

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2 points

The programme shows in accurate detail the ongoing oppression of Palestinians by settlers and the IDF. For example, the scene in last night's episode where schoolgirls in Hebron are abused and stoned by settler children while the IDF does nothing is based on actual events (Google 'settlers / Hebron / children' and look through the youtube video clips, look also at 'Al-Tuwani / children / settlers'). Unless and until we can recognise suffering and oppression as experienced and enacted by all sides there is little hope of peace. As a Jew I am ashamed that many of my co-religionists seem to think you can achieve peace by denying other people their basis human rights. Yet, that has been the logic of a certain strand of political Zionism since its inception. 'The Promise' shows this well but also shows that not all Jews subscribe to this racist philosophy. I applaud Kosminsky and Channel Four for this brave and timely programme.


Yoni1

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 16:24

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-3 points

"The programme shows in accurate detail the ongoing oppression of Palestinians by settlers and the IDF"

Piss off, Josh, you pathetic worm. There are no 'Palestinians': there are Arabs with a clear and present agenda of annihilating Israel. They are not 'oppressed': they are paying the price for messing with modern Jews, those who are proud to be Jews rather than apologetic wimps who say Thank You when they get murdered.

I don't think you even understand that Jews are a NATION: I am not your 'co-religionist', since I am an atheist. I am a proud member of the Jewish nation.


mattpryor

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 16:34

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-2 points

I haven't seen this show. I guessed it would be a propaganda piece when I heard that it was banging on about Irgun. Was I right?


mattpryor

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 16:39

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-1 points

For example, the scene in last night's episode where schoolgirls in Hebron are abused and stoned by settler children while the IDF does nothing is based on actual events

67 Jews were murdered in Hebron in 1929 by a rampaging mob, while the British army stood by and did nothing. These hostilities have roots. Failure to adequately explain them is no different lying.


Josh Edge

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 16:49

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2 points

"67 Jews were murdered in Hebron in 1929 by a rampaging mob, while the British army stood by and did nothing. These hostilities have roots. Failure to adequately explain them is no different lying."

I see. So that means it is perfectly ok to routinely abuse and stone children on their way to and from school? How low do you have to sink in search of justification for despicable acts? And, while we're on the subject, what does the fact that young Jewish children are attacking Palestinian kids tell us about the ways that they are brought up? We hear a lot of complaints about the brainwashing of Palestinian children to hate Jews, do you not think it unacceptable when it happens in reverse as well?


mattpryor

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 17:04

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-2 points

Oh hello Josh Edge, and welcome to the JC blogs.

So that means it is perfectly ok to routinely abuse and stone children on their way to and from school?

I disapprove of Jews being murdered in riots and the fact that this documentary has airbrushed out the history leading up to the events it portrays. Therefore by your logic I support stoning children in the streets. What a monster I must be, in your head!

How low do you have to sink in search of justification for despicable acts?

Again, I have not justified or attempted to justify anything of the sort. This is entirely your paranoid fantasy, or failure to read what I wrote. Perhaps you're not too bright or perhaps you hear imaginary voices.

And, while we're on the subject, what does the fact that young Jewish children are attacking Palestinian kids tell us about the ways that they are brought up?

I don't know. You'd have to speak to their parents. I refuse to pass judgement on people whose circumstances I know nothing about. So should you.

We hear a lot of complaints about the brainwashing of Palestinian children to hate Jews, do you not think it unacceptable when it happens in reverse as well?

I have seen no evidence of this. Please provide some. I have seen Palestinian state "kids" television featuring an overgrown rabbit with a creepy high-pitched voice telling children to murder Jews though. That is my definition of brain washing. Please show evidence of something similar taking place on the other side to support your assertions that Jewish children are "brainwashed".


Josh Edge

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 17:20

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1 point

Matt, presumably you will join people of conscience in condemning the acts depicted in the clip below, and refrain from invoking 1929 as justification:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6zjnsaKXHg

And, by the way, since The Promise is a drama (not a documentary) that is set in the 1940s is it fair to criticise the makers for not discussing the 1929 riots? Presumably it has omitted a lot of atrocities by all sides that do not occur within the period of the story.


mattpryor

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 17:53

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-1 points

Matt, presumably you will join people of conscience in condemning the acts depicted in the clip below, and refrain from invoking 1929 as justification

Therefore, if I refuse to condemn it I am not a person of good conscience, correct?


mattpryor

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 17:55

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-1 points

And please answer my question above. Since you made the accusation that Jews brainwash their children to hate, provide evidence or retract the accusation.


amber

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 17:56

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-1 points

Josh, of course settlers shouldn't throw stones. Neither should Palestinians at Jewish settlers - which happens as a matter of routine - not that you seem to care.

isn't that a double standard?


amber

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 17:56

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Josh - what has your ethnicity got to do with it? Why use the "as a Jew" angle?


amber

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 17:59

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-1 points

Josh, in case it escaped your notice, it is Palestinian kids who are indoctrinated into anti-Semitism and a visceral hatred by their school,s weapons summer camps, children's programmes which tell them that murdering Jews is a holy act.

Why are you blind to this? Isn't that a double standard?


amber

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 17:59

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-2 points

The Promise - enjoyed by people who hate Israel.

Says it all.


jose (not verified)

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 18:00

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Arab antisemitism plagues 90% of the population. Jewish racism plagues about the same percentage as in Western countries. But much less than the Western countries at war with an enemy. I remember the French racism against Arabs after the Algerian war. During many years in my youth, Germans were name-called with a number of derogatory names too.

Fighting against racism should concentrate on Arab racism and supremacism.


Josh Edge

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 18:28

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2 points

"Josh, of course settlers shouldn't throw stones. Neither should Palestinians at Jewish settlers - which happens as a matter of routine - not that you seem to care.
isn't that a double standard?"

I condemn violence from all sources. However, double standards are consistently applied by the IDF and State of Israel. Palestinian children suspected of throwing stones are routinely treated under a military justice system introduced by the GoI in 1967. At any one time, you could expect to find around 300 Palestinian children 12 years and above held in Israeli prisons, more often than not within the Green Line and thus inaccessible to parents. Moreover, they are generally denied access to lawyers until the day of their trial. By contrast, Jewish Israeli children are rarely if ever arrested and I have yet to find any evidence of them being held in prison on suspicion of stone-throwing. Certainly, they are treated according to Israeli civil law. Check out the (in)action of the IDF in the video clip I posted earlier.

I condemn stone-throwing by all children and insist that all children are treated equally and fairly by the legal authorities. That is evidently not so in the case of the Israeli authorities. Do you agree that this is wrong or do you choose to operate by double standards?


Anonymous

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 18:29

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This comment by Yoni1 has been moderated


amber

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 18:47

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Josh, I do not accept the premise of your accusation, so no, I don't join you in anything. Furthermore, I would sak you how many terrorists who have blood on their hands have been arrested by the Hamas authorities in Gaza (an act worse than throwing stones) or the Fatah authorities (who glorify terrorists by naming streets and squares after them). It is a sad fact that Palestinian terror groups have frequently employed minors to commit acts of terrorism, and indoctrinate children through official Palestinian Authority or Hamas broadcasters, or through the education systems of both Fatah and Hamas. You will not see such incitement to hatred and violence in Israeli schools or broadcasting - quite the opposite in fact. Thus your moral equivalence falls flat on its face.

Settlers live under siege in a way that Palestinians do not. Do Palestinians have to go around in armored vehicles simply to go to school? Settlers do.


Josh Edge

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 23:19

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1 point

Amber - I roundly condemn the violence of Hamas. I also condemn the glorification of terror - whether it is in the naming of streets after terrorists by the PA or by the Government of Israel. In other words, I condemn violence against civilians whoever commits it and whoever is the victim. It is sad and very telling that you can't find it in you to condemn violence when it is committed by Jews against Palestinian children.


Watchful Iris (not verified)

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 23:29

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Settlers live under siege in a way that Palestinians do not. Do Palestinians have to go around in armored vehicles simply to go to school? Settlers do.

You forgot the teensy weensy fact that settlers aren't occupied...


amber

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 23:48

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So iris, it's Ok that Jews are pelted with stones, but not Arabs?


amber

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 23:55

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Josh Edge, that's a bit of a cop out, isn't it? Your problem is that you employ moral equivalence to try to pursue your agenda. It is clear from your posts, that you think Israel is the problem, not Arab rejectionism and extremism, yet when it you can't avoid it, you pretend that you abhor all violence and use the moral equivalence argument, which is both intellectuall and morally flawed.

To pretend that the extremism is as widespread on both sides, that it is officially sanctioned or indeed encouraged by both sides, and that its very expression through violence is the same on both sides, is lazy and repugnant. That Hamas and indeed Fatah through its terror wing of the Al Aqsa brigades deliberately targets civilians, and indeed celebrates openly the deaths of innocents - is, to you, equivalent to Israel taking legitimate action to defend its citizens from aggression and a genocidal and racist ideology, whilst doing its utmost to minimize civilian casualties, demonstrates the paucity of your argument. Israel does NOT target civilians - Hamas and Fatah do.

If you feel this conflict should just be reduced to casualty figures, and small matters like context or cause and effect should be ignored, then I feel sorry for you.


Watchful Iris (not verified)

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 00:22

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Amber, you've been taking charm lessons from Posner and Yonithan...I can tell. I never said anything of the sort.


Anonymous

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:53

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This comment by Yoni1 has been moderated


jandrsimonson (not verified)

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 09:03

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-1 points

Hopefully Josh will quickly learn not to wear himself, or his keyboard, out by engaging at length with the small number of cry baby, rabid hysterics that dominate these blogs by sheer volume of incoherent typescript.

e.g. "I don't think you even understand that Jews are a NATION:"

Just say your pieces Josh, and let the small number of wholly unrepresentative nutters froth.The odd little comeback is ok, but lengthy engagement will quickly mess up your mental and emotional health. In order to understand this danger you only need to look at THEM.


jandrsimonson (not verified)

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 09:14

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stellasolomons

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 09:52

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this is a blog that I wrote at the time of the first episode.

http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/channel4s-the-promise-i-know-jews-had-it-w...


zair (not verified)

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 09:54

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1 point

The last episode showed the reality of the situation in Hebron. I must say based on real life footage they watered down a lot of the actions by the settlers.

I will definitely be buying the boxed set, any chance of the ZF website stocking it Jonathan?


stellasolomons

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 10:02

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Please keep the memory of our ancestors alive in some way here by reading this blog just below - we had it alot worse than Channel4 make out.

http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/channel4s-the-promise-i-know-jews-had-it-w...


jandrsimonson (not verified)

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 10:20

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-1 points

Yomathan doesn't lub Iris then ?

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