Jewish and Zionist Influence at the BBC
Jewish influence, or power if you like, in mainstream media is one of those pink elephants in the room that everyone at some level realizes, but which badly needs to be openly discussed. This is happening more and more today due to, to their infinite credit, the efforts of the anti-Zionist left, which has found itself stymied by this influence and has spent some time documenting it. (1)
In order to contribute broadly to this discussion I thought it would be appropriate to explore the influence that Jews, be they pro or anti-Zionist, have in British state broadcaster; the BBC. This is important because the BBC has long been viewed, although less so today, as a relatively impartial broadcaster around the world and has been the subject of the umbrage of many a Zionist over the years.
The fact that Jews, as a minuscule part of the population of the British Isles, have so many members of their community in positions of power and influence in a state broadcaster committed to journalistic impartiality is obviously extremely concerning to any individual in their right mind. After all Jews, like any other group, are always going to promote their interests or push their particular perspective as a group and as such will knowingly or not distort the narrative to favour their perspective and interests.
When we look at the Executive Board we find the following individuals: (2)
Tony Hall (Director General, BBC)
Helen Boaden (Director, Radio)
Danny Cohen (Director, Television)
James Harding (Director of News and Current Affairs)
James Purnell (Director, Strategy and Digital)
Annie Bulford (Managing Director, Finance and Operations)
Tim Davie (CEO, BBC Worldwide and Director, Global)
Simon Burke (Non-Executive Director)
Sir Howard Stringer (Non-Executive Director)
Dame Fiona Reynolds (Non-Executive Director)
Sir Nicholas Hytner (Non-Executive Director)
Alice Perkins (Non-Executive Director)
Dharmash Mistry (Non-Executive Director)
Of these thirteen executives; three are jewish.
The executives who have jewish backgrounds are Danny Cohen, (3) James Harding (4) and Sir Nicholas Hytner. (5) This seems superficially reasonable until we note that, according to the 2011 census, jews are 0.5% of the British population. (6) Comparatively those of Jewish origin are 23% of the membership of the Executive Board of the BBC.
When we compare that to Indians who are a similar minority group in the United Kingdom; we note that while in the 2011 census they made up 2.3% of the British population. (7) They only have one representative (Dharmash Mistry) on the Executive Board of the BBC.
Therefore we can see that jews are both significantly over-represented among the individuals who are members of the Executive Board as well in them of themselves. In addition to being significantly over-represented relative to more populous ethnic minority groups such as those of Indian origin.
This situation becomes more concerning when we note that James Harding, one of the Jewish members, has made it explicitly clear that, after making the British daily The Times newsroom pro-Israel, he wants to do precisely the same at the BBC. (8)
This obviously already a violation of the BBC’s neutrality, which is explicitly required in its periodically renewed charter, since Harding is explicitly setting out to modify the BBC’s relative objectivity to a partisan pro-Israel stance.
Naturally Harding claims it is ‘injecting balance’ into the BBC newsroom, but such verbiage is a common linguistic trick (9) and is explicitly how Israel projects ‘soft power’ to attempt to create a pro-Israeli narrative (i.e. Hasbara). (10)
Even more concerning is the backgrounds of some of the other non-Jewish members of the Executive Board.
James Purnell is the former Chairman of the pro-Israel lobby group ‘Labour Friends of Israel’. (11) This group explicitly exist to influence the members and policy making of the Labour Party in Britain and has a substantial membership among Labour party Members of Parliament. (12)
Combined with James Harding this is enough cause for serious concern about jewish and Zionist influence within the Executive Board of the BBC.
However Sir Howard Stringer also has a strong Zionist connection given that he was the honorary chairman of the ‘American Jewish Committee’, a powerful Jewish communal organization dedicated to promoting Zionism in the United States, in 2004. (13)
That he has not repudiated his pro-Zionist views since this time is suggestive of the fact that Sir Howard continues to support the objectives and methods of the ‘American Jewish Committee’.
While Sir Nicolas Hytner, a Jewish member of the Executive Board, has often abused his positions in the world of acting and theatre to oppose the BDS (Boycott Divest Sanctions) movement against Israel. (14)
It is unlikely that Sir Nicholas will act any differently while he is part of the BBC’s Executive Board than he has when he was at the National Theatre. Indeed he has given us absolutely no reason to think he will do an about face on his track record of running political interference on behalf of Israel.
Danny Cohen, a jewish member of the Executive Board, has also publicly endorsed the Zionist cause only a year ago. (15) Since he has not given us reason to think otherwise; we may be confident that he will continue in his support for Israel and the pro-Zionist narrative.
Once we take the political affiliations of the Executive Board of the BBC into account we can see that all three of the Jewish members are openly pro-Israel/pro-Zionist, while two of the non-Jewish members are also pro-Israel/pro-Zionist.
This takes the pro-Israel/pro-Zionist bloc in the BBC’s Executive Board to five members, while none of the other members have any known anti-Israel/anti-Zionist convictions.
This means that 38% of the BBC’s Executive Board is pro-Israel/pro-Zionist. When added to the fact that three of those five members (James Harding, James Purnell and Sir Nicholas Hytner) have a track record of political interference on behalf of Israel in organizations then it becomes even more sinister.
When we further note that Harding is in charge of the BBC’s newsroom it suggests that the narrative the BBC will produce going forward will be pro-Israel/pro-Zionist and not in any way neutral.
James Purnell’s role as the head of Strategy and Digital makes him an invaluable ally for Harding in manipulating the pro-Israel/pro-Zionist narrative in such a way as to promote it as the ‘wave of the future’ for the BBC.
Danny Cohen’s role as the head of television, the BBC’s most powerful arm, is even more subversive given that it is by news, documentary/factual and entertainment television programming that many people, in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, get their informational prism with which they view the world.
We get an absolutely intolerable situation where the neutral BBC has been/is being progressively hijacked by avowed pro-Israel/pro-Zionist activists with the stated aim of abusing its reputation for neutrality in order to promote Israel politically and neutralize dissenting views/unflattering coverage.
When we look at the next organizational layer down, the BBC’s Executive Team, we find the following individuals: (16)
Ken MacQuarrie (Director, BBC Scotland)
Rhodri Talfan Davies (Director, BBC Cymru Wales)
Peter Johnston (Director, BBC Northern Ireland)
Peter Salmon (Director, England)
Ralph Rivera (Director, BBC Digital)
Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth (Director, HR)
David Jordan (Director, Editorial Policy and Standards)
Philip Almond (Director, Marketing and Audiences)
Alan Yentob (Creative Director)
Francesca Unsworth (Director, BBC World Service Group)
Of the ten members of the Executive Team; one is Jewish.
The member of the Executive Team with a Jewish background is Alan Yentob. (17)
Peter Salmon is sometimes listed as being Jewish, (18) but while ‘Salmon’ could well be a contraction of the common Ashkenazi surname ‘Salomon’ there is no evidence I can find of such occurring here. Indeed ‘Salmon’ is a perfectly English surname to have (19) and without evidence to the contrary we can only assume that Peter Salmon is not Jewish.
While Yentob’s presence in the Executive Team takes the Jewish representation on it to 10%. The fact that it is only one individual that is Jewish suggests that the numbers alone here relative to the Jewish representation in the population of the British Isles (i.e. 0.5%) are in some-way reasonable (as you cannot get less than 10% of the membership of the Executive Team with representation).
It is worth noting however that the Indian population in the United Kingdom (i.e. 2.3%) are not represented at all, while no other ethnic or religious minorities are represented either.
This makes Yentob’s presence rather concerning given the general lack of diversity among the BBC’s Executive Team since Jews are a tiny minority even by ethnic minority standards and their having a voice on the Executive Team while no others do is inconsistent with the BBC’s fervent support for racial diversity and propagation of an anti-nativist narrative. (20)
We also need remember that there are internal politics in every organization and while Yentob seems rather innocuous as the ‘Creative Director’; he has recently openly boasted that he is very closely involved in the running of the BBC in general. (21)
Some would dismiss this as merely hot air, but we know that Yentob has long been tipped as a potential future Director-General of the BBC. (22) It was also Yentob who lead the charge against those BBC journalists who dared to doubt the BBC party line on the Jimmy Savile paedophile scandal and branded them ‘traitors’. (23)
One wonders why the BBC’s ‘Creative Director’ would get so closely involved in such things if he was not a significant political force within the BBC’s internal political world?
Contrast that with the fact that no other members of the BBC’s Executive Team have been named as behaving in a similar manner or censoring their own employees on said scandal and we can see that Yentob, in spite of being only one man, is a political force to be reckoned with within the world of organizational politics in the BBC.
Yentob is also quite active in the Jewish community (24) and is known to produce programming that lionizes said community. (25)
While I cannot link him directly to Zionist activity; given his background and lionization of the Iraqi Jews (who immigrated to Israel). It is reasonable to assume that, while not an open political partisan, Yentob is at least willing to allow a pro-Israel/pro-Zionist narrative on the BBC. Therefore while Jewish and Zionist influence in the BBC’s Executive Team is seemingly small; the fact that its only known representation is an obvious key political player in the BBC is suggestive that at the very least there would be no significant resistance to a pro-Israel/anti-Zionist, as opposed to a neutral, narrative from the Executive Team.
When we move on to the BBC’s editors and correspondents we find the following individuals listed: (26)
Mark Easton (Home [UK] Editor)
Bridget Kendall (Diplomatic Correspondent)
Andrew Harding (Africa Correspondent)
Carrie Gracie (China Editor)
Soutik Biswas (Delhi Correspondent)
Katya Adler (Europe Editor)
Anthony Zurcher (North American Reporter)
Robert Peston (Economics Editor)
Kamal Ahmed (Business Editor)
Mark D’Arcy (Parliamentary Correspondent)
Laura Kuenssberg (Political Editor)
James Landale (Deputy Political Editor)
Rory Cellan-Jones (Technology Editor)
David Lee (North American Technology Reporter)
David Shukman (Science Editor)
Jonathan Amos (Science Correspondent)
Nick Triggle (Health Correspondent)
Fergus Walsh (Medical Correspondent)
Hugh Pym (Health Editor)
Branwen Jeffreys (Education Editor)
Sean Coughlan (Education Correspondent)
Will Gompertz (Arts Editor)
Of these twenty-two editors and correspondents; six are Jewish.
Those with a Jewish background are: Katya Adler, (27) Robert Peston, (28), Laura Kuenssberg, (29), David Shukman, (30) Jonathan Amos and Will Gompertz. (31)
This means that the representation of Jews among the BBC editors and correspondents is currently running at a frankly frightening 27%. Compare this with their representation in the British population (0.5%) and it becomes obviously a matter of likely pro-Jewish/pro-Israel/pro-Zionist bias.
It is more difficult to prove sympathies (one way or another) with the BBC’s editor and correspondents than with the BBC’s Executive Board and Executive Team. Since editors and correspondents by the nature of their profession are very aware of the need to carefully manage any statements they make outside of a professional context as they are aware of how closely scrutinized they will be once they pass into the public domain.
However something of the pro-Jewish/pro-Israel/pro-Zionist views of some of the editors and correspondents can be gleaned from the fact that both David Shukman (32) and Will Gompertz (33) have abused their positions to insert an unbalanced historical narrative of Jewish suffering into the content they have produced for the BBC.
Meanwhile Rory Cellan-Jones, the non-Jewish Technology Editor, has been a major figure in the anti-BDS/pro-Israel movement since early 2007 (34) and has abused, like James Harding and Sir Nicholas Hytner have done in the past, his position as a BBC editor to give credence to his pro-Israel views (which was regarded as a significant contribution to the Zionist cause by the website ‘Totally Jewish’). (35)
Then we have Robert Peston, the Jewish Economics Editor, who believes that his Jewish heritage has provided him with superior genes compared to non-Jewish heritage. (36)
This clearly suggests that Peston holds to some form of Jewish nationalism (i.e. Zionism) given these, essentially, Jewish supremacist sentiments that necessarily label non-Jews as inferior beings when compared to Jews.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that Laura Kuenssberg is a very recent appointment to the position of Political Editor; previously the position was held, for several years, by Nick Robinson. He is, like Kuenssberg, Jewish. (37)
Interestingly Kuenssberg was promoted to the position of political editor over Robinson’s non-Jewish deputy James Landale, (38) which suggests that Kuenssberg may have been promoted (she was formerly merely a guest blogger) (39) merely because she is Jewish and Landale is not.
I cannot prove it one way or the other, but the otherwise inexplicable appointment of Kuenssberg over Landale would then explicable.
Given all this information we can see there at least four of BBC’s editors and correspondents (David Shukman, Will Gompertz, Robert Peston and Rory Cellan-Jones) who are pro-Jewish/pro-Israel/pro-Zionist activists, while three others (Katya Adler, Laura Kuenssberg and Jonathan Amos) are likely to be such.
This then suggests that the pro-Jewish/pro-Israel/pro-Zionist narrative that seems to be part of James Harding’s overt plan for the BBC would find at least seven supporters out of the twenty-two current editors and correspondents at the BBC (i.e. 32% of all those concerned).
What we can see from the foregoing analysis is that the BBC has a disproportionate number of Jewish ethnic and non-Jewish pro-Zionist activists, particularly on its Executive Board and among its editors and correspondents to seriously impede the BBC charter’s requirement for neutrality.
In essence the bald way of putting it is that the BBC has been all but captured by Jewish ethic and non-Jewish pro-Zionist activists. We should therefore reasonably expect the BBC, a-la James Harding’s explicit plan, to become a particularly insidious weapon in the Israeli Hasbara arsenal.
(1) Notably Grant Smith, 2006, ‘Deadly Dogma: How Neoconservatives Broke the Law to Deceive America’, 1st Edition, Institute for Research: Middle East Policy: Washington D.C.; James Petras, 2007, ‘Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists, Militants’, 1st Edition, Clarity: Atlanta; James Petras, 2014, ‘The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East’, 1st Edition, Clarity: Atlanta
(9) See: http://www.sott.net/signs/hasbara.pdf
(18) For example: http://radioislam.org/islam/english/jewishp/gbmedia/update.htm
(20) http://biasedbbc.org/blog/category/anti-british/; http://whitegenocideproject.com/the-bbcs-white-problem/
(22) http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/profile-alan-yentob-the-insiders-extrovert-1096476.html ; http://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/jun/13/alan-yentob-bbc-creative-director-imagine
(24) For example: http://www.thejc.com/community/community-life/57205/bbc-yentob-gets-role-young-norwood
(25) For example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2011/48/the-last-jews-of-iraq.html and http://www.thejc.com/news/the-diary/yentobs-expensive-account
(26) Compiled through the BBC’s online news portal: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news
(39) http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2009/06/a_call_for_deba.html ; http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2009/08/prospective_mps_selection.html