A BBC Radio anchor has quietly deleted a tweet in which he asked “Who are the Israel lobbyists that want David Miller fired?”. The Intifada article, shared by Nour Eddine Zorgui, was up on his Twitter profile for 11 days before quietly being removed last night. It’s not the first time Zorgui has uncritically shared contentious left-wing content, in 2016 posting a Jeremy Corbyn Facebook video professing Ken Loach to be “one of the greatest directors of our time”. Ken Loach is famously anti-Israel.
If readers think the BBC’s Westminster-facing content breaches standards on a regular basis, they’ll be amazed to see what the corporation’s Arabic-facing presenters have been getting away with recently. Last month the Jewish Chronicle published an investigation which found “a pattern of anti-Israel bias and inaccuracies” being broadcast from the department, accusing them of “ignoring the corporation’s own impartiality guidelines”:
“Alleged infringements include systematically downplaying terror attacks on Israelis; repeatedly using Hamas-inspired language; showcasing extreme views without challenge; and publishing a map in which Israel was erased.”
Perhaps the “Israel lobbyists” that are on the brink of getting David Miller sacked might want to turn their attentions to BBC Arabic next…
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Campaign Against Antisemitism says: “We have written to the BBC calling for disciplinary action. Anyone boosting the conspiracist Professor, David Miller, and suggesting that those who challenge him do so in service to an Israel lobby is not fit to be entrusted with the responsibility of working in a senior position at the BBC.”
Sayeeda Warsi is unhappy about The Times splash this morning, claiming “this article makes disturbing & disingenuous claims about British Muslims APPG report Islamophobia Defined. This is the latest in a line of attacks from the same sources which until now I have ignored as usual silly boy games but this is dangerous and needs challenging”.
She then goes on to have a go at the Policy Exchange think-tank:
As for Policy Exchange and their now two reports on @APPGBritMuslims report #IslamophobiaDefined
They have zero credibility on any initiative designed to protect British Muslims.
Much on this incl this from the University of Bath https://t.co/VvXoQ8XpWm
— Sayeeda Warsi (@SayeedaWarsi) May 15, 2019
The report Baroness Warsi cites here is The Cold War on British Muslims: An Examination of Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion written by David Miller – then of Bath University (now Bristol). The report was written “with the aid of a grant of £5,000 from The Cordoba Foundation”. The Cordoba Foundation was identified by former PM David Cameron as a “front for the Muslim Brotherhood”. The Government’s 2014-5 Review of the Muslim Brotherhood similarly described the Cordoba Foundation as being “associated with the Brotherhood”. Miller’s report is quite simply not a credible academic source.
Miller is a conspiracy theorist who is on record as having promoted the idea that chemical attacks in Syria were a false flag – perhaps involving British intelligence in some capacity – designed to force Western intervention in the country’s civil war. Miller has also defended the comments which led to Ken Livingstone quitting the Labour Party (about Hitler supporting a Jewish homeland) – he was suspended from the Labour Party over these comments before being subsequently reinstated. He has called the concept of Israel a “racist endeavour”. He even accused the Government of “state propaganda” over its reaction to the Skripals’ poisoning in Salisbury.
Miller’s suspiciously worried about the influence of “ultra-zionists” and the Israeli government:This should come as no surprise. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on Islamophobia, which produced the highly problematic definition that Baroness Warsi is so desperate to promote, itself took evidence from and cited the work of Professor David Miller. No wonder the government is looking to formulate a better working definition of ‘Islamophobia’…
Labour’s Diane Abbott and Lloyd Russell-Moyle were busy on Tuesday night speaking at the launch of a new report from ‘Spinwatch’ in Parliament. Spinwatch is one of the many projects of Bristol University Professor David Miller, a prolific conspiracy theorist who recently condemned Ken Livingstone’s treatment by the Labour Party as “absurd” and a “disgrace”, said there was nothing “historically inaccurate” about Livingstone’s comments about Hitler and Zionism and dismissed the fears of Jewish students on campus as “propaganda”. Miller himself was suspended from the Labour Party over anti-Semitism before being swiftly reinstated…
Miller has a range of different Wikipedia-style ‘watch’-sites profiling tens of thousands of people supposedly involved in “corporate capture, political spin and lies”, including Powerbase and the now defunct SpinProfiles. Miller’s websites seem to take a particular interest in the racial origins of people they profile. If they happen to be Jewish…
One of Miller’s other sites, Neocon Europe, published extensive writings from notoriously racist academic Kevin MacDonald, presented as an impartial analysis of “Jewish influence”. Spinwatch itself is funded by Islamist-linked organisations including MEND, Interpal and the Cordoba Foundation, which David Cameron described as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. What on earth is the Shadow Home Secretary doing associating with an organisation like this?
After Guido pointed out the inappropriate smearing of Gove and his links to a Jewish antisemitism Charity, carefully timed for Holocaust Memorial Day, the paper has backtracked and apologised. Not with due prominence in their paper, but in a quote to the Jerusalem Post instead:
“The story does not in any way suggest that the funding ofsecurity guards for Jewish schools was inappropriate, only that Mr. Gove should have stood aside from the grant giving process given his relationship with CST. It was scheduled for publication on Thursday but pushed back because of the volume of news that day. We should have spotted the unfortunate timing and regret any offense caused.”
A textbook non-apology, but interesting that they didn’t see fit to say sorry for including a quote from SpinWatch’s David Miller in the same story. The same David Miller who is rather fond of printing neo-Nazi essays and believes in vast “Jewish lobby” conspiracies. Perhaps the Guardian should have had a look through their own archives before giving Miller coverage. Here’s what they published about him in July:
“SpinProfiles and Neocon Europe are projects that, under the guise of academia, are used to carry out campaigns of smear and harassment by creating selectively produced profiles of people and groups with different political outlooks, often ignoring facts that do not support their agenda. This approach characterises both of Miller’s projects, and to treat them as academic endeavours is to do a great disservice to British academia’s long tradition of neutral and unbiased inquiry.”
One of these factors alone can be spun as an oversight. But two…