MEMO 337

January 27, 2013

MEMO 337 A weekly overview of information of interest to minority ethnic communities in Scotland, including parliamentary activity at Holyrood and Westminster, new publications, consultations, forthcoming conferences and news reports.



Mon, 01/28/2013 - 18:32

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the jc used to have a column giving us a heads-up of tv and radio programmes of jewish interest: let's re-start it online


tonight/tomorrow morning (monday night/tuesday morning), on channel 4 tv …

2.25am-4.20am "The Promise" (2011), fourth (final) episode of four, written and directed by Peter Kosminsky

"Erin has read Len's diary on the events of 1947 and will not abandon her quest to find Mohammed's family, even though it takes her on a hazardous journey into Gaza."

from …

Writing in The Independent, novelist Howard Jacobson said that in The Promise "Just about every Palestinian was sympathetic to look at, just about every Jew was not. While most Palestinians might fairly be depicted as living in poor circumstances, most Israeli Jews might not be fairly depicted as living in great wealth... Though I, too, have found Palestinians to be people of immense charm, I could only laugh in derision at The Promise every time another shot of soft-eyed Palestinians followed another shot of hard-faced Jews." In an interview with Jacobson during Jewish Book Week 2011, Jonathan Freedland, having seen the first episode of The Promise, said Kosminsky used antisemitic tropes, misrepresenting Israel and Zionism as being a consequence of the Holocaust, whose imagery he had abused. Historian, Professor David Cesarani, accused Kosminsky of "deceit...massive historical distortion": omitting the Balfour Declaration's promise of a Jewish national home; downplaying selfish British geo-strategy; and exculpating the British, "chief architects of the Palestine tragedy...making responsible...only the Jews"; turning a tricorn conflict of British, Arabs and Jews "into a one-sided rant."

for the ofcom report, see
if you've missed previous episodes, they can all be watched online free (on 4oD) at

here's my transcript of erin's israeli friend, at 1:36 in the first episode …

    "It's a Palestinian village, that's another Palestinian village, that one's outside the checkpoint, that one's inside the checkpoint.
    Which one does the terrorist come from? You tell me!
    The village outside the wall, or the one that is already inside?
    The checkpoints are there for one reason, to make their lives impossible so they'll give up and move away.
    It's about humiliation and forcing them off their land, it's got nothing to do with terrorism, nothing."

… this statement (that the checkpoints have nothing, repeat nothing, to do with terrorism) is presented as unanswerable and unanswered

for the record, the answers (obviously) are:

  • explosives or weapons have to come from outside the checkpoint
  • the palestinian west bank population is increasing, and any suggestion that israel is trying to reduce it is ludicrous (as well as racist)
  • the checkpoints and security barrier have reduced terrorist murders almost to zero
  • why channel 4? an insight can be found in their recommended background article, a "brief overview of the political history of Israel and Palestine by Lindsey Hillsum, International Editor for Channel 4 News" which we are referred to at
    lindsey hillsum considers it a fair historical overview to mention the "hundreds of thousands of palestinians [who] were forced to flee" from israel, but not the hundreds of thousands of jews who were forced to flee, at the same time, from the west bank and neighbouring arab countries (even though she does mention the later "Jewish immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia as well as Europe and the USA")


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