It is now alleged that most of the people interviewed as direct witnesses to antisemitic incidents in Wednesday’s BBC Panorama programme were members or supporters of the Jewish Labour Movement (formerly Poale Zion) relaunched in 2015.
This was not mentioned at any point in the show, during the programme itself or in the credits at the end.
The first witness and many others on Wednesday’s Panorama programme recounted their experiences of antisemitism in the Labour party with apparent sincerity. No professional actress could have performed more movingly than the first person to appear – seen below
Investigative journalist Asa Winstanley, on the Electronic Intifada website, was the first to break the news and others have added their observations. A provisional list of JLM people who “gave witness” anonymously in the Panorama show reads as follows (click here to see the full list of JLM officers):
Ella Rose (JLM equalities officer, former national director)
Alex Richardson (JLM Membership Officer)
Adam Langleben (ex JLM Campaigns Officer)
Stephane Savary (JLM vice-chair)
Rebecca Filer (JLM political education officer)
Joshua Garfield (JLM local government officer)
Izzy Lenga (JLM international officer)
There was no semblance of balance: no witnesses from Jewish Voices for Labour were invited to speak, so they have issued their own statement on Wednesday’s Panorama programme which may be seen here and on this website.
Richard House quotes from JVL’s text: “It is shameful that the BBC has joined in an orchestrated campaign whose principal aim is quite clearly to prevent Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister of a Labour government committed to socialism.”
As George Monbiot says, in nominal democracies, billionaires get political power by funding parties, lobby groups and social media ads. But above all, they buy newspapers and television stations. Social media is dominated by stories the billionaire press generates: “As their crucial role in promoting Nigel Farage, Brexit and Boris Johnson suggests, the newspapers are as powerful as ever”. He advises readers: “If a newspaper is owned by a billionaire, be suspicious of every word you read in it. Check its sources, question its claims. Withhold your support from any party that allows itself to be bullied or – worse – guided by their agenda. Stand in solidarity with those who resist it”.
Richard House advocates extending the Star’s “people’s press” ethos to the rest of the media, and take back ownership of it. To this end, the political left should initiate a national campaign for people in their millions to cancel their licence payment and start its own radio station. Many readers would invest in such an enterprise.