A YouTube video just issued by the BBC in employs classic tropes about Jewish wealth and influence to explain American support for Israel in the current Gaza conflict, and describes Israel as “an American enclave” in the Middle East.
The BBC is already embroiled in controversy over its reporting of the Hamas invasion of Israel.
The seven-and-a-half minute video for BBC News Mundo, the broadcaster’s service for the Spanish-speaking world, is titled “Six Keys which explain the US’s unconditional support for Israel”.
“Currently, estimates indicate that Israel has around 7 million Jews, while the United States has a community of around 7.5 million Jews,” says video producer Gonzalo Cañada.
“Although Jews are a minority in the American population, they are a powerful minority,” he goes on.
“Half of American Jews have a household income of more than $100,000 annually, while among Americans in general, the percentage with that same income barely reaches 19 per cent.
“In terms of educational level, 36 per cent of American Jews have completed a postgraduate degree, compared to 14 per cent of the general US population.
“Furthermore, Jews have also found prosperous avenues in politics. In the current legislature, 34 congressmen, 6.4 per cent of parliamentarians, declare themselves to be Jewish, while the portion of the American population that declares itself Jewish does not exceed 2 per cent.”
Later, Cañada says: “Iran has recently strengthened its ties with both China and Russia, which has further increased the importance of having Israel as an American enclave in the zone.”
He also says: “Forty years ago, US Secretary of State Alexander Haig, appointed by then President Ronald Reagan coined the following definition of the Middle East ally: ‘Israel is the largest American aircraft carrier, it is unsinkable, it does not carry American soldiers and is located in a region critical to the national security of the United States.’
“For most analysts, this description remains perfectly current and has not significantly changed the way the United States treats Israel.”
In fact, the video quotes only one analyst, Professor Stephen Zunes, a Middle East specialist at the University of San Francisco.
The video concludes: “Unconditional support for Israel is a constant in Washington policy.”
BBC News Mundo has 3.65 million subscribers. The video has already garnered more than 5,000 likes.
A spokesperson for the BBC later said: "We edited the video as a previous version did not meet our editorial standards."