C4 News accused of minimising hate

Jewish security organisation lodges formal complaint over a segment on pro-Palestine protests in schools


The Community Security Trust has accused Channel 4 News of minimising antisemitism concerns in a news report on pro-Palestine protests in schools.  

In a package that aired last Friday, journalist Fatima Manji reported that pupils in England were complaining they had been punished for showing support for Palestine.

Several schoolchildren were interviewed, all alleging that a culture of silencing exists in schools around pro-Palestine campaigning. 

In the report, Ms Manji cited CST saying, “Jewish schoolchildren are being intimidated by anti-Israel protests” and that “such cases rise when the conflict in Palestine and Israel is escalating”. 

However, CST say they were never approached by Channel 4 for a comment - instead the organisation was asked to supply data for antisemitic incidents in schools.

In the segment, immediately after discussing CST concerns about antisemitism, Ms Manji followed up with the statement, “none of the children in this film are accused of antisemitism”. 

The report did not feature commentary from any Jewish voices, despite discussing antisemitism.

A spokesperson for CST told the JC: “The Channel 4 News feature about anti-Israel protests in schools cited CST in a way that gave the misleading impression that we had provided a comment for use in the broadcast. 

“This was not the case and consequently they misrepresented CST’s view and minimised the problem of antisemitism in schools. We have contacted the head of Channel 4 News to make a formal complaint.”

Throughout May this year Jewish university students, school pupils, teachers and parents reported to CST incidents of antisemitism linked to the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Students at UCL received messages including threats to have their kippot removed and being greeted on campus “Arab-style”.  

A spokesperson for Channel 4 news said: "Channel 4 News contacted the CST to provide some broader context on this matter and following that conversation, as well as examining the most recent reports on the CST website, we fairly summarised this in the report 'The Community Security trust - a Jewish group which monitors antisemitism say Jewish school children are being intimidated by anti-Israel protests. They say such cases rise when the conflict in Palestine and Israel is escalating.'"

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