I have submitted the following complaint to the BBC following its ‘Is Labour Anti-Semitic’Panorama programme on Wednesday July 10th. The fact that Tom Watson, instead of giving support to Corbyn, immediately latched onto this programme’s false accusations, presented by the BBC’s Islamaphobe –in-chief John Ware, demonstrates why Watson is not fit to be a dog catcher let alone Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
This programme by itself explains why the BBC needs to be reformed from the top down. The anti-socialist, racist bias of this institution needs to be combated. The idea that the BBC is ‘independent’ needs to be jettisoned.
Since originally writing this we have had a full-page advertin the Guardian from 60 Labour lords calling on Corbyn to fall on his sword because of his toleration of ‘anti-Semitism’ These unelected lords are thinking of having a vote of no confidence in Corbyn. The real question is why do they think we have any confidence in them.
Among the signatories was one of the most racist bigots of New Labour (& there was stiff competition) former Home Secretary John Reid. Reid was quoted by the BBC in 2007 as railing against asylum seekers. He was called an Alf Garnett figure by the Lib Dems home affairs spokesman, Nick Clegg. Reid was quoted as saying that
‘A clampdown has been launched targeting “foreigners [who] come to this country illegitimately and steal our benefits. The plan is to stop illegal immigrants getting housing, healthcare or work.’
Reid said that the UK was now “throwing out” record numbers of asylum seekers and he hoped to make life“constrained and uncomfortable” for illegal immigrants.
This is the type of person who is now lecturing Jeremy Corbyn, a life-long anti-racist about ‘anti-Semitism’. It makes you want to puke. The hypocrisy of these people is breathtaking.
When Labour MP Phil Woolas was removed by the High Court in 2010 for waging a blatantly racist campaign against the Lib Dems ‘which sought to make the White folk angry’Tom Watson wrote that ‘I’ve lost sleep thinking about poor old Phil Woolas and his leaflets.’ This is the level of sincerity and integrity of those campaigning to paint Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite.
When Margaret Hodge professes to be concerned about anti-Semitism we should ask her why she advocated a policy on reserving council houses for ‘locals’ i.e. whites in her Barking constituency such that the BNP congratulated her and sent her a bunch of flowers! The same Margaret Hodge who as Council leader in Islington covered up child abuse in council homes and defamed one of those victims. Demetrious Panton such that she had to pay him £30,000 in libel damages.
Our enemies are hypocrites to a man and woman and that is why we should not have any truck with Jon Lansman who has given aid and comfort to these creatures.
Below I have submitted over 100 questions concerning the Panorama programme.Tony Greenstein
BBC Complaints PO Box 1922 Darlington DL3 0UR Dear Sir or Madam,
I wish to make a complaint about the Panorama programme‘Is Labour Anti-Semitic’ that was broadcast on Wednesday 9th July. I am well aware of the standard, pro-forma response you have already sent to complainants. Please do not bother sending it to me. I have read it and it is wholly inadequate, trite and clichéd. I expect you to answer the specific points I am making and to stop trying to avoid the justifiable criticisms of you that I and others are making.
The BBC’s Complaints system is or should be about examining where things have gone wrong and how to put them right. Unfortunately your complaints system, which has no independent oversight, seems to have but one concern – the protection of the BBC from complaints and criticism, thus reinforcing its existing bias.
The BBC has always been an establishment body, born in the womb of the State. Its journalists and news staff are largely conservative, public school educated and wedded to a version of politics that upholds the existing political, social and economic system. From the General Strike to the Great Miners’ Strike the BBC has always sided with the rich against the poor, the powerful against the weak.
The Panorama programme Is Labour Anti-Semitic was the most biased, tendentious, dishonest and politically driven programme I have ever seen. What it lacked in evidence it made up for with assertion and unsupported allegations. Its disregard for the truth was clear from the outset. Although its title was framed as a question, it was clear that this was mere rhetoric. As John Prine put it, ‘a question ain’t really a question when you know the answer too!’
I will, unusually, begin with your ‘defence’ to what you clearly expected would be a deluge of complaints. The fact that you prepared in advance a standard response demonstrates the contempt the BBC has both for its viewers and the truth.
i. I do not accept that your refusal to respond to complainants individually is because of a desire to ‘use our licence fee resources as efficiently as possible’.The BBC’s waste of licence payers’ money is legendary. Money spent on accountability to those who pay the licence fee should be the last area for cutbacks. This is nothing more than a self-serving lie, a pretext to avoid scrutiny.
ii. Naturally you ‘completely reject any accusations of bias or dishonesty.’ One would not expect anything else. Donald Trump claims that he doesn’t have a ‘racist bone in his body.’ The evidence suggests otherwise.
iii. You claim that you ‘explored a topic of undoubted public interest, broadcasting powerful and disturbing testimonies from party members who’d suffered anti-Semitic abuse.’ No the members in question allegedthat they had suffered anti-Semitic abuse. They presented no proof whatsoever and they should be viewed with extreme scepticism.
iv. The party members whose views you ‘explored’ came from a single and narrow Zionist political group, the Jewish Labour Movement. You didn’t interview a single Jewish member of the Labour Party who wasn’t a Zionist or a supporter of the Israeli State.
v. It is true that you ‘heard from former Labour officials, some of whom defied non-disclosure agreements to speak out about their experiences inside the Party and its anti-Semitism crisis.’ The fact that these officials signed NDA’s does not however mean that they were telling the truth or that they didn’t have their own agenda. Your failure to treat their claims with any level of scepticism suggests that you share their agenda.
vi. You say you gave a ‘full right of reply to the Labour Party.’ I disagree. Given the tendentious and relentlessly one-sided nature of the broadcast it would have been impossible for any right of reply to have dealt with the programme’s in-built bias. Since you did not supply the Labour Party with a copy of the programme before it was broadcast it was impossible that they could have adequately responded.
vii. Your programme defamed ordinary members of the Labour Party, including its many Jewish members, who didn’t agree with those whom you carefully selected to give ‘evidence’
viii. You say that ‘John Ware is a highly experienced and respected investigative journalist.’ John Ware is a former Sun journalist, a racist and Islamaphobe who is on the record as saying [Why the I-word has closed down debate on extremism, Jewish Chronicle 26.7.13. that whereas anti-Semitism is ‘entirely irrational’ Islamaphobia, if it exists, is ‘reactive’. It is no wonder that Ware won the Islamic Human Rights Commission’s Islamaphobe of the Year award in 2005.
ix. No one, apart perhaps from ‘journalist’ Tommy Robinson, could have been less suitable to present this programme than John Ware. Ware made a hostile and biased Panorama programme, Jeremy Corbyn: Labour’s Earthquake in 2015 even before he became leader. The Independent reported that ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s team send a complaint to the BBC over its ‘hatchet job’ Panorama programme’ .
x. ‘The significance’ as you put it of the email from Seumas Milne is that you deliberately excised part of it in order to create a false and misleading impression. You omitted all reference to Jews who had been disciplined for ‘anti-Semitism’. If Ware had been interested in a serious investigation he might have asked why people like myself and Jackie Walker had been expelled. Instead of portraying Jackie as some kind of disembodied alien he would have interviewed both of us and Marc Wadsworth, who was disgracefully framed.
xi. Your claim to have relied on ‘a significant body of evidence, some of which could not be included in the broadcast programme for reasons of source protection’is unverifiable. What is clear is that you have ignored a much greater body of evidence that the anti-Semitism crisis as you call it has been a confected and artificial crisis in which Jewish and Black anti-racists have been the prime target.
I am therefore submitting to you a series of questions which form part of the overall complaint.Yours Tony Greenstein
My 105 Questions re Panorama’s Is Labour anti-Semitic?
The programme opened with Ella Rose of the Jewish Labour Movement telling us that she had been the victim of such terrible anti-Semitism in the Labour Party that she couldn’t ask someone she cared about to attend Labour Party meetings. Someone apparently screamed in her face when she was giving out leaflets at Labour Party conference.
1. Why did you not name or caption Ella Rose? 2. Were you aware of Ms Rose’s history as an Israeli Embassy staffer and Director of the Jewish Labour Movement [JLM]? 3. Why did you not mention that she was the former Director of the Jewish Labour Movement and a former worker at the Israeli Embassy? 4. Why did you not think that was relevant? 5. Were you aware that Ms Rose also featured in Al Jazeera’s undercover documentary The Lobby? 6. Were you aware that Ms Rose was filmed making threats of violence against another Jewish member of the Labour Party, Jackie Walker? 7. How is Ms Rose’s portrayal in Panorama as a innocent victim of anti-Semitism compatible with her threats of violence against another Jewish person and her boasting that she could attack someone nearly three times her age because she is ‘tiny’? 8. Do you agree that in hindsight this throws doubt on Ms Rose’s claims that she is an innocent victim of anti-Semitism? 9. If you weren’t aware of Ms Rose’s background and her portrayal in The Lobby, making threats of physical violence, then what due diligence did you do? 10. Why was Ella Rose not questioned about her allegations of anti-Semitism and asked for specifics? For example who was the person who ‘screamed’ at her? Did she make a complaint at the time? 11. Did you ask what were the leaflets she was giving out? Perhaps they were justifying Israel’s brutal and murderous attacks on Palestinians and that someone understandably disagreed with her? This would have nothing to do with anti-Semitism but as you failed to ask the relevant questions we will never know. 12. Were you not interested in the details of her allegations and did you prefer all the allegations to be as general and unspecific as possible?
The Jewish Labour Movement
13. Seven Jewish Labour Party members appeared in the programme. All seven were not only members of the JLM but officers of this organisation. Were you aware of this fact? 14. If not why not? 15. If you were aware of their membership of the JLM, which seems likely, why did the programme deceive its viewers by omitting to mention this fact? 16. If you weren’t aware of their membership of the JLM how were these seven Jewish Labour Party members chosen? The fact that they knew each other and were part of the same group cannot simply be coincidence. 17. What direct contacts with the JLM did Panorama and John Ware have? 18. Was the programme planned jointly with the JLM? 19. Did you discuss its format with the JLM beforehand? 20. Why did you not seek to interview other Jewish Labour Party members who held different opinions to those of the JLM? 21. Why did you make no attempt to interview members of Jewish Voices for Labour for example? Large numbers of Jewish members of the Labour Party, being a left-wing anti-racist party, are not Zionists. Isn’t it strange that you didn’t manage to interview a single non-Zionist Jewish person? 22. Did you think that interviewing non-Zionist or anti-Zionist Jews might spoil your narrative? 23. Would it have been inconvenient if not embarrassing to have Jewish people on the programme who disagreed with John Ware’s strongly held belief that Jeremy Corbyn is anti-Semitic? 24. The title of the programme was ‘Is Labour Anti-Semitic?’. What attempt did you make to interview people who did not believe it was anti-Semitic? 25. Why did you not attempt to achieve any balance and have supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, including Jewish supporters, who would refute the false assertion that he was anti-Semitic? 26. Did Panorama find it difficult to make contact with any of the 29 Jewish rabbis who last year signed a statement supporting Jeremy Corbyn? What attempts did you make to contact them? 27. Why did Panorama not interview the well-known Jewish Chronicle and Jewish Telegraph columnist Dr Geoffrey Alderman, who is himself a Zionist, of Buckingham University, who wrote an article in The Spectator recently,Is Jeremy Corbyn really anti-Semitic?, rebutting the absurd accusations that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite? Would this have been too embarrassing for the BBC and John Ware? 28. Did you make a conscious decision not to present at any evidence running counter to your narrative? 29. How do you reconcile this with the BBC’s duty to impartiality? 30. Do you intend to run another programme countering John Ware’s thesis that Corbyn is anti-Semitic?
Other forms of Racism
31. According to the Pew Global Attitudes Survey 2016negative opinions about Muslims and Roma in the UK are 28% and 45% respectively compared to 7% for anti-Semitism. Why is it that Panorama has not made programmes about these forms of racism and asked whether the Tory party is institutionally Islamaphobic or anti-Roma? 32. Is the reason for Panorama’s disinterest in these forms of racism due to the fact that Jeremy Corbyn cannot be accused of them? 33. Do you have a reason for preferring to concentrate on anti-Semitism rather than other forms of racism? 34. Is your reluctance to Panorama do a special on the background to the Windrush Scandal have anything to do with the assertion that opposition to the State of Israel and Zionism is anti-Semitic? 35. Why has Panorama not seen fit to do a documentary on the hostile environment policy of Theresa May? 36. In the programme John Ware asked Mike Creighton and others ‘do you believe Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite’ despite there being not a shred of evidence, from anything he has ever said, to suggest that he is. Can you envisage a programme, for example on Windrush, in which you asked the same question about Theresa May? 37. Why in her valedictory interview with Theresa May why did Laura Kuenssberg not ask Theresa May about her hostility to immigrants with special reference to the hostile environment policy, Windrush and Grenfell Tower? 38. Given that the former head of the civil service, Sir Bob Kerslake, said that Theresa May’s attitude to migrants was seen by some other Tory Ministers as “almost reminiscent of Nazi Germany” why did Ms Kuenssberg not pursue this line of inquiry? 39. Does the BBC have a blind spot when it comes to racism in the Conservative party? 40. Is racism against Black people, Roma and Muslims more acceptable to Panorama than anti-Semitism? Is that the explanation for your disinterest in them?
41. John Ware stated that ‘Corbyn campaigned toallow anotoriously anti-Semitic preacher Raed Salah into Britain who had called Jews the ‘germs of all time’ and blamed them for 9/11.’ These assertions are untrue and have been found to be untrue by a British court but Panorama’s audience would not have known this fact. Will you retract these lies and apologise to both Raed Salah and Jeremy Corbyn? 42. It is untrue that Jeremy Corbyn did not campaign to allow Raed Salah into the country because he had already entered Britain unhindered despite Theresa May having issued an order preventing his entry.Corbyn campaigned for Raed Salah to be released from custody in order that he could continue with his speaking tour. How did John Ware manage to get such a simple fact wrong? 43. The allegation that Raed Salah was anti-Semitic and had called Jews ‘germs’ or made other anti-Semitic comments were shown during the hearings before the First and Upper Immigration Tribunals to be untrue. These allegations were based on the doctoring of a poem by the Jerusalem Post. This was the reason that the Upper Immigration Tribunal overturned Theresa May’s deportation order.These are matters of fact and were widely reported for example Theresa May’s haste to ban Raed Salah will be repented at leisure, Guardian 9.4.12. All 4 chargeswere thrown out by the Vice-President of the Upper Immigration Tribunal, Mr Justice Ockleton who ruledthat Theresa May ‘was misled as to the terms of the poem written by the appellant, a matter on which there is now no room for dispute.’ Why was it that John Ware chose to ignore the ruling of a British court, which was upheld by the High Court? 44. Was John Ware of the facts surrounding Raed Salah’s entry to Britain and his attempted deportation? If so why did he not report them? 45. If John Ware was unaware of the above facts then doesn’t this cast a shadow of doubt over the whole Panorama programme? 46. Are you disputing the findings of the Upper Immigration Tribunal as upheld by the High Court with your egregious comments? 47. Will you withdraw your allegations and apologise for them? 48. Does John Ware not believe in doing basic research before making a programme containing serious accusations of anti-Semitism? Why did Ware make these bigoted and slanderous comments without researching what had actually happened? 49. Why did John Ware allege that Raed Salah was a‘notorious anti-Semitic preacher’ when the Upper Immigration Tribunal found that the allegations of anti-Semitism against him were false? 50. Was this another case of a former Sun journalist plying his old trade and playing fast and loose with the facts? 51. Was John Ware aware that Raed Salah is the leader of a significant proportion of Israeli Palestinians who have suffered extreme discrimination in Israel including persistent attempts to hinder their ability to pray at the Al Aqsa and Golden Dome mosques. 52. Would you accept that John Ware’s demonization of Raed Salah is an example of the very racism that he purported to decry? 53. Was the affair of Raed Salah merely another convenient Islamaphobic stick with which Ware could beat Jeremy Corbyn? 54. The principal source according to The Guardian 9.4.12. ‘for the decision to ban him, according to witnesses who testified in court for the Home Office, was a report compiled by the CST.’ 55. Given the unreliability of the Community Security Trust, an overtly Zionist organisation with close links to Israel’s Mossad (MI6) why did the programme use its Deputy Director, Dave Rich, as one of its two expert witnesses? 56. After being freed from detention, Raed Salah wrote an article Britain’s duty to the Palestinian people in the Guardian 19.4.12. in which he wrote:‘‘I have no doubt that, despite this, [his arrest and detention on the basis of false evidence] Israel’s cheerleaders in Britain will continue to smear my character. This is the price every Palestinian leader and campaigner is forced to pay.’ Does the BBC accept that John Ware’s lies about Raed Salah constitute a good example of this smearing?Izzy Lenga and the Jewish Labour Movement 57. Allegations were made by Izzy Lenga, the International Officer of the JLM, that Holocaust denial was discussed at her Labour Party meetings. No detail was provided of this wild allegation, for example which CLP was this was taking place in? This seems to be a blatant lie, a flight of fantasy.The idea that Labour Party meetings would debate whether the Holocaust had happened or declare that Hitler didn’t go far enough is inconceivable. Did Ms Lenga make any complaint about what had happened? If not, why not? 58. Why was Ms Lenga not questioned as to any specific details to establish whether in fact this happened? 59. Were the seven JLM members encouraged to make whatever allegation first came into their heads, however unlikely or fantastic? 60. Why were none of the seven Jewish ‘victims’ questioned about what had allegedly happened? 61. What kind of programme is it that allows those it interviews to simply make allegations without any attempt to verify them or subject them to scrutiny? 62. It would appear that supporters of Israel were given carte blanche to invent any allegation that came into their heads without ever being challenged. Do you agree and if not why not?
63. Ben Westerman, an investigator into the Riverside CLP stated that during the course of an interview he was asked if he came from Israel. A recording of the interview makes it clear that this was a lie and that Westerman was asked which branch of the Labour Party he came from. Johny Begg’s Facebook page, 64. Do you accept that Westerman’s assertion was untrue? 65. If not why not? 66. What attempts did John Ware and the programme’s researchers make to verify these assertions and was any attempt to interview those in Riverside CLP who were subject to Westerman’s investigation?The Zionists’ ‘Anti-racist’ Demonstration 67. The programme began with footage of the Zionist ‘Enough is Enough’ demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in March 2018. Why was no mention made of the JVL counter-demonstration. 68. Was it not thought important that there were hundreds of Jews and others who were opposed to what was seen as a racist, Zionist demonstration? 69. Would the opposition of anti-Zionist and non-Zionist Jews to this demonstration have spoiled Ware’s narrative? 70. Why was no mention made of the fact that Norman Tebbit of the ‘cricket test’ fame and Ian Paisley of the sectarian DUP were present? 71. Does this not run counter to the claim that this demonstration was about anti-racism and anti-Semitism? 72. Can you think of another ‘anti-racist’ demonstration that either of these two gentlemen have ever attended? 73. The BBC focussed on a group of far-Right Zionists in particular Jonathan Hoffman and Harry Markham of Young Herut. Were you aware of these people and their antecedents?
Kat Buckinham and Labour’s ‘Whistleblowers’
74. One of the ‘whistleblowers’ you interviewed was Kat Buckingham whose confessed to being frustrated at not being able to suspend people at will. This is the same Kat Buckingham who investigated Brighton and Hove Labour Party when it was suspended in 2016 over bogus charges of spitting at its AGM. Ms Buckingham refused to even watch CCTV evidence proving the spitting allegation to be false. Why did you not interview people who had been the sharp end of Ms Buckingham’s ‘investigations’? 75. Ms Buckingham and Sam Matthews denied they were Blairites out to exact revenge but it is common knowledge that their team suspended thousands of people on suspicion of being Corbyn supporters during the leadership elections in 2015 and 2016. Why did you not think that this was relevant? 76. Did the programme makers feel that mention of the ‘whistleblowers’ actual records of suspending and expelling people might undermine their stories of having only been concerned about anti-Semitism? 77. Were the ‘whistleblowers’ ever asked whether or not they had ever suspended or expelled Labour Party members for Islamaphobia or other forms of racism? 78. Were the ‘whistleblowers’ ever asked whether or not they had ever suspended or expelled Labour Party members for supporting Jeremy Corbyn? 79. Were the ‘whistleblowers’ ever asked why such a high proportion of those suspended/expelled for ‘anti-Semitism’ were Jewish and Black/Asian? 80. Were the staff ‘whistleblowers’ asked whether or not they had considered suspending John Mann MP, who harangued Ken Livingstone, for publishing a vehemently anti-Roma handbook on anti-social behaviour? 81. Why were the ‘whistleblowers’ not asked why they did not consider suspending Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, for having supported racist Labour MP Phil Woolas? Woolas was removed as an MP by the High Court in 2010 for having lied about his Lib Dem opponent in the General Election. Woolas fought a racist campaign to ‘make the white folk angry’ and Watson gave him full support confessing that ‘I’ve lost sleep thinking about poor old Phil Woolas’. 82. Why were the Labour Party ‘whistleblowers’ not asked why Tom Watson, who ran a racist campaign during a 2004 by-election in Hodge Hill where he claimed that‘”Labour is on your side, the Lib Dems are on the side of failed asylum seekers.” was not suspended? 83. Did Panorama not think of asking why there has never been any disciplinary action against racist White Labour politicians such as Tom Watson? 84. Could this be because ‘racism’ against White people is more interesting? 85. One of those prominent in the false allegations of anti-Semitism is John Mann MP. Mann brought out aBassetlaw Guide to Anti-Social Behaviour The contents list Travellers alongside Rubbish, Alcohol, Grafitti and Fireworks as an example of anti-social nuisances. Were Labour’s ‘whistleblowers’ ever asked whether they had considered suspending John Mann? If not why not?Alan Johnson of ‘BICOM’ 86. The second ‘expert witness’ that the programme dredged up was Professor Alan Johnson. Johnson is not Jewish and he has no special knowledge of anti-Semitism. He is the Editor of Fathom, the journal ofBICOM, the main Israeli propaganda organisation in Britain. He is a Zionist. Why was this information concealed? 87. Did John Ware deliberately set out to mislead viewers by not providing Johnson’s political and professional background? 88. If not how can Ware explain his parading of Johnson as a neutral expert when he was nothing of the sort?
89. Sam Matthews was allowed to explain his frustrations at not being able to expel at will anyone he deemed anti-Semitic. Why was Matthews not subject to cross-examination in: i. Suspending thousands of pro-Corbyn members for the ‘crime’ of supporting the ‘wrong’ candidate in 2015 and 2016? ii. the suspension of Glyn Secker, Secretary of Jewish Voices for Labour? iii. the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover in October 2017? This expulsion was retracted after a world wide campaign against the victimisation of this Israeli professor by renowned academics in Moshe’s field of mathematics. iv. Would this have run counter to the programme’s narrative of Labour ‘anti-Semitism’?
90. Why was no mention made of Matthews partiality in expelling or suspending Jewish members of the Labour Party for ‘anti-Semitism’? 91. I was the first Jewish member of the Labour Party to be suspended in March 2016. I was given no explanation as to what it was that I had said that merited suspension. Two weeks later, April 2 2016 I learnt from leaks to the Telegraph and The Times that I had been suspended because of the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign in the Labour Party. The details of my case and many other future cases were leaked by the Compliance Unit and Sam Matthews. Why was no mention made of the fact that Sam Matthews was a notorious leaker of confidential data despite this practice being condemned in the Chakrabarti Report?
92. John Ware has a history of hostility to Muslims and attempting to paint them as terrorists and terrorist supporters. His programme A Question of Leadership in 2005 attracted 600 complaints in its first week. Ware tried to link a Palestinian charity Interpal to Hamas, an allegation which had already led to a successful libel action against the Daily Mail and an apology and damages from the Board of Deputies of British Jews. In Panorama or Propaganda Faisal Bodi documented Ware’s Islamaphobic journalism. Arzu Merali also documented the Islamaphobia of Ware in The banality and boredom of anti-Muslim witchhunts. Or beware John Ware for Middle East Eye, 29.3.18. Madeleine Bunting in The Guardian described in Throwing mud at Muslims Ware’s journalistic method as being one of ‘Branding moderates as extremists’ and gave as an example his targeting of Sir Iqbal Sacranie of the Muslim Council of Britain. She described his behaviour as McCarthyite. Do you agree and if not why not? 93. The MCB described Ware as an ‘‘an agenda-driven pro-Israeli polemicist.’ Do you agree, given his attempt to describe Interpal as a terrorist supporting charity and his failure to make any criticism of Israel’s racist behaviour towards the Palestinians? 94. Does not John Ware’s repeated writing in the racist Jewish Chronicle, edited by far-Right former Expresseditor Stephen Pollard not suggest that he has a hidden agenda? 95. John Ware’s latest article in the Jewish Chronicle is entitled ‘If Labour wants a fight, bring it on,’ says Panorama’s John Ware. Leaving aside the Clint Eastwood rhetoric, is this the kind of neutrality that the BBC encourages in its journalists? 96. Perhaps you can explain why John Ware attacks even the most moderate Muslims as ‘extremists’ whilst defending racists and bigots such as Douglas Murray, author of ‘The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam’ in an article in the Jewish Chronicle (26.7.13.) Why the I-word has closed down debate on extremism 97. During the course of a one-sided attack on Ken Livingstone when recounting his statement that ‘Hitler supported Zionism’ John Ware described his view of history as ‘cranky’. Perhaps you can explain what qualifications in history Ware has which enables him to pass this historical judgement? Is he a trained historian? 98. Since when is it the job of a presenter to pass a view on a particular historical period as fact? 99. David Cesarani, a Zionist historian, wrote in his bookThe Final Solution p.96 that ‘‘The efforts of the Gestapo are oriented to promoting Zionism as much as possible and lending support to its efforts to promote emigration.’ Do you agree that John Ware, the former Sun journalist, had no right, still less qualifications, to describe Ken Livingstone’s views as ‘cranky’. Some believe that this adjective best applies to Ware’s views of Muslims. 100. In an article for a right-wing magazine Standpoint (27.6.17) Enough is enough of terror — but also of our self-doubt Ware wrote that ‘Western civilisation is itself based on Christianity, which enshrines individualism and freedom.’ This was in contrast to Islam which is an ‘ideology’.In making this contrast Ware demonstrates that he is a narrow minded bigot as well as historically illiterate. It was ‘Christian’ Europe which was the site of the Holocaust not the Arab or Muslim world. Anti-Semitism was strongest in the most devout Christian states such as Poland, Rumania, Slovakia and Hungary. During the second world war Christian anti-Semitism allied with Nazi anti-Semitism throughout Europe.Do you agree that in hindsight employing an arch bigot and Islamaphobe, as well as someone who is historically illiterate, to present a programme on ‘anti-Semitism’ was a mistake? 101. In the same article for Standpoint John Ware wrote that the Conservative Party’s‘family quarrel over Europe… risks letting in a Labour leader whose entire political career has been stimulated by disdain for the West, appeasement of extremism, and who would barely understand what fighting for the revival of British values is really all about.’These heavily prejudiced and ignorant remarks clearly mark out John Ware as unfit to comment on a greyhound race let alone the leader of the Labour Party. Do you therefore agree that John Ware was the worst possible choice of presenter for the recent Panorama programme? 102. Will you now rectify your mistake with a programme focussing on genuine racism in British society and Jeremy Corbyn’s role in having fought racism throughout his political life? 103. If not, why not? 104. What confidence can we have that John Ware will not be allowed to roam through the BBC studios in the future defaming all this imagined opponents? 105. It is difficult to imagine anyone less suitable than John Ware present a programme on anti-Semitism or any form of racism. If you continue to defend him, can you tell us if you have any plans to employ the Yorkshire Ripper to present a programme on the evils of violence against women
106. I am curious why those whom you deemed anti-Semitic such as Corbyn, Jackie Walker, Livingstone and Thomas Gardiner appeared with a grid or vertical lines superimposed on their images? Why were these special effects employed and was it in order to create an impression of them being disembodied and not quite human?I look forward to receiving your response and your explanation of how you intend to remedy your failings. Kind regards, Tony Greenstein
This is the BBC’s Standard Response to Complaints About Panorama’s – Is Labour Anti-Semitic?
Dear Mrs H
Thanks for taking the time to get in touch regarding ‘Panorama – Is Labour Anti-Semitic?’ broadcast 10 July on BBC One. We note you have concerns about the programme.
To allow us to reply promptly to your concerns, and to ensure we use our licence fee resources as efficiently as possible, we’re sending this response to everyone. We’re sorry that for this reason we can’t reply personally to you on each point which has been made.
The BBC stands by its journalism and we completely reject any accusations of bias or dishonesty.
Panorama, broadcast 10 July, explored a topic of undoubted public interest, broadcasting powerful and disturbing testimonies from party members who’d suffered anti-Semitic abuse. We also heard from former Labour officials, some of whom defied non-disclosure agreements to speak out about their experiences inside the Party and its anti-Semitism crisis. This shows the serious questions facing the party and its leadership on this issue.
The programme adhered to the BBC’s editorial guidelines, including a full right of reply for theLabour Party.
John Ware is a highly experienced and respected investigative journalist, whose track record includes critically-acclaimed and award-winning reports.
We reject any claims Panorama took any of the evidence out of context.
The significance of the email from Seumas Milne is that it showed one of the most powerful figures in the Labour Party expressing concern about the handling of anti-Semitism complaints and suggesting the wider process should be reviewed. This goes contrary to the Labour Party’s claims that this process was independent of the Leader’s Office. The impact of this email on those dealing with the complaints process was made clear in the eyewitness testimony shown in the programme.
As is the nature of such investigations, the BBC has relied on a significant body of evidence, some of which could not be included in the broadcast programme for reasons of source protection and space.