Jewish schools are being given urgent security advice following claims on an Iranian TV channel that British children are being “indoctrinated”.
Sacked Bristol University professor David Miller used his Palestine Declassified show on Iran’s Press TV to claim schools including Yavneh College and Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School (now Haberdashers’ Boys’ School) were influencing students to promote Zionism.
In response, the Community Security Trust (CST) says it has given security advice to Jewish schools throughout the UK. The JC understands the CST has been monitoring the show, which is produced by Miller and hosted by disgraced former Labour MP Chris Williamson, since it launched earlier this year.
The CST has also worked with YouTube to have its channel closed and persuaded Twitter to have its account labelled as Iranian state-affiliated media. Press TV lost its Ofcom licence in January 2012 and cannot broadcast in the UK.
Oh oh the Habonim Dror has taken over the BBC by virtue of the fact that one former member, @baddiel, wrote jokes for Mock the Week (like 30 years ago)— Harry's Place (@hurryupharry) August 23, 2022
Zionist conspiracy in full effect! pic.twitter.com/H1s7lKprSo
It is believed that so far there have not been significant threats against Jewish organisations and individuals mentioned in previous episodes, but as a precaution CST representatives have spoken to the schools mentioned in the episode to provide security advice and they are “actively monitoring” any suspicious or hostile activity that might be linked to it.
CST Policy Director Dave Rich told the JC: “Palestine Declassified is a litany of antisemitic conspiracy theories and stereotypes that has attacked Jewish schools, youth movements, interfaith groups, charities, academics and now even Jewish comedians. It is absurd, but also harmful, and brings shame on anyone associated with it.
“When David Miller was fighting to keep his job at Bristol University he was supported by hundreds of academics and pro-Palestinian groups. So far, none of them have publicly expressed any regret for this or apologised to the Jewish community for standing alongside Miller when his antisemitism was so glaring.”
In the recent episode, which went out on Saturday 20 August, Miller and Williamson, together with reporter Bianca Rahmil and left-wing activist Tony Greenstein, discussed how Jewish schools and youth groups allegedly stifle debate about Israel, and ensure that young Jews are supportive of the country.
Rahmil claimed: “Indoctrination starts as young as four or five years old when children begin primary school.”
She continued: “This is a process of turning young Jews outside Palestine into partisans of Zionism. It is a process of grooming young people to radicalise them.
“This is a real threat to national security in every country that the strategy is used. It educates, trains, and prepares young Jews to have a primary loyalty to the Zionist entity and encourages them to commit practically to the racist state ideology of the entity, Zionism.”
Hertsmere Jewish Primary School and Yavneh College are both named in this context. Tony Greenstein also named the King David School in Liverpool, which he attended in the 1960s, claiming “the Zionist Federation and the various institutions had a stranglehold on the school”.
David Miller made a link from Yavneh College in North London to his firing from Bristol University, telling viewers: “The president of the Bristol Jewish Society when they took the complaint against me back in 2019, she went to Yavneh College.
"In my own case, we see the process of indoctrination; they come out of these schools, they then take leading roles in Jewish societies in universities.
"They go on to take national roles, which this particular person did; she became the president of the Union of Jewish Students, and then off they go into politics to pursue Zionism for the rest of their political careers.
“So, this is an ongoing process. It starts, yes, in primary school, but it goes all the way through as a whole process of indoctrination until they’re adults.”
Turning to Haberdashers’ Boys’ School. Rahmil said: “Significant number of nationally and internationally known entertainers attended the school, including Matt Lucas and Ashley Blaker, who are behind the popular comedy show Little Britain. David Baddiel, the stand-up comedian and key participant in the antisemitism smears against the left of the past five years.”
She added: “It has been said that the school might be the origin of these creative talents, often referred to in the media as the Elstree School of Comedy.
"But many of those involved, such as Baddiel and [Sacha] Baron Cohen, also credit a little-known Zionist youth group, Habonim Dror, as playing a role in their success. Perhaps it should be known as the Habonim school for racist comedy.”