By Jonathan Hoffman
October 22, 2012
Tim Llewellyn, Seumas Milne and Jackie Rowland (an Al Jazeera journalist) spoke at a Middle East Monitor meeting on Thursday night. It was chaired by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.
I counted at least 15 mentions of the phrase 'well funded Israel Lobby' - in fact it tripped off the speakers' tongues so adroitly that it seemed like one new Scrabble word "wellfundedisraellobby"..
Tim Llewellyn is a well-funded BBC pensioner whose anti-Israel diatribes get more ridiculous with age. He's not quite in the Alan Hart league but at the rate he's going ...
On Thursday he described the Jewish immigration into Palestine preceding the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 as:
the imposition and implanting of an alien people
(Never mind that Jews have lived in and around Jerusalem virtually continuously for 5000 years). He was withering about the BBC's supposed domination (!) by the wellfundedisraellobby. Apparently BBC journalists now self-censor in trembling fear of what the wellfundedisraellobby might do to them with the result that the BBC completely toes the line of the wellfundedisraellobby. (!) (It seems that Jeremy Bowen - who was found by the BBC Trust to have violated the BBC Charter - did not self-censor enough....). Llewellyn said that from remarks made to him by Helen Boaden (BBC Director of News) he concluded that
The Board of Deputies practically lives at the BBC
(a reference to the number of meetings they have with the BBC (Pro mem: I have been a Deputy for nearly four years and there has not been a single meeting with the BBC....)
In conversation after the meeting, Seumas Milne (who seems a decent guy 1-1) disassociated from Llewellyn's nutty comments ... shame he did not do that at the meeting ...
Jackie Rowland suggested that a Swedish NGO had managed to stop Veolia getting a contract in Stockholm. Richard Millett asked her how she knew the non-awarding of the contract was due to Veolia's work in Israel. She dodged an answer so he asked her again after the meeting.
Instead of an answer, Richard got a tirade about "coming to the meeting with the intention of making trouble".
Seems that when it comes to vilifying Israel, Al Jazeera journalists are not used to having their facts checked ...
At the end we had a cameo from "Jihad" Jenny Tonge, lately of the LibDem Party. She thanked the JC, the Board of Deputies, the Israel Lobby and Richard Millett (why not me?) for paying so much attention to her. I pointed out that she had forgotten to describe the Israel Lobby as "well-funded"...
More from Richard Millett ...
.. crossposted at Harry's Place:
Rowland claimed at the meeting that traffic lights at junctions in in East Jerusalem are set to favour Israeli over Palestinian drivers. This link demolishes that bullsh*t.
Melanie Phillips writes about this revolting meeting.
It's hardly surprising if, as Llewellyn claimed, the Palestinians don't lobby the BBC very much - they don't have to. The BBC is to a large extent their propaganda arm.
The horrible Senate House event - which also featured an Al Jazeera correspondent and Seumas Milne of the Guardian - might be dismissed as no more than a gathering of the usual suspects. But the wider salience of the unmistakable "Jewish lobby" trope confirms once again that irrationality and bigotry have gone mainstream in Britain.