Of­com re­jects anti-Zion­ist’s TV com­plaint

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

OF­COM, THE me­dia reg­u­la­tor, has re­jected a com­plaint of un­fair treat­ment against Chan­nel Four by Tony Green­stein, the vet­eran anti-Zion­ist cam­paigner.

Mr Green­stein ap­peared in a pro­gramme made by Richard Lit­tle­john, the Daily Mail colum­nist, about ris­ing an­tisemitism in the UK which was shown last July.

He com­plained that view­ers might have gained the im­pres­sion that he agreed with t h e i d e a t h a t an­tisemitism was on the in­crease.

The pro­gramme, en­ti­tled The War on Bri­tish Jews, had failed to in­clude com­ments he had made in his in­ter­view which “coun­ter­manded” its theme, he said.

He also ar­gued that he had re­ceived as­sur­ances from the mak­ers of the pro­gramme that it would not “sim­ply be a ve­hi­cle” for Mr Lit­tle­john’s views.

But Of­com con­cluded that there was noth­ing to sug­gest that Mr Green­stein be­lieved in ris­ing an­tisemitism.

The pro­gramme “did not leave view­ers with an un­fair view” of him, the TV watch­dog de­clared in a judg­ment which was pub­lished in its latest bul­letin. It pointed out that the ex­tracts of his in­ter­view had been shown in a par­tic­u­lar part of the pro­gramme to il­lus­trate a di­ver­sity of views about Is­rael among UK Jews.

The TV watch­dog was “sat­is­fied that Mr Green­stein’s de­ci­sion to take part in the pro­gramme and al­low the use of his con­tri­bu­tion had been taken in full knowl­edge of both the fact that Mr Lit­tle­john was host of the pro­gramme and Mr Lit­tle­john’s views on the key is­sues”.

Mr Green­stein ap­peared in the fi­nal sec­tion of the pro­gramme look­ing at whether there would be less ha­tred of Bri­tish Jews if Jewish lead­ers were more crit­i­cal of Is­rael.

Speak­ing about the for­ma­tion of the group In­de­pen­dent Jewish Voices, he had com­mented: “They’re peo­ple who do not like the idea that they are au­to­mat­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with the war, with Is­rael and all the other things.”

He also said in the pro­gramme that as long as Jewish peo­ple in this coun­try were as­so­ci­ated with “what Is­rael does to Pales­tini­ans, some mis­guided peo­ple will then take it out on them, and that’s un­for­tu­nate and that’s wrong.

“How­ever, it is also un­ac­cept­able for lead­ers of Bri­tish Jews to say that they iden­tify their com­mu­ni­ties with what Is­rael does, that is the prob­lem.”

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