(January 4, 2022 / JNS) A rabbi who has worked for the BBC for decades has tendered his resignation with the British Broadcasting Corporation in response to their handling of a story about a Hanukkah night attack on a group of Jewish teens.
In a letter, Rabbi YY Rubinstein, who has worked for both BBC radio and television, said, “This is a very sad moment for me as I have been a BBC broadcaster for some 30 years. … The current crisis over anti-Semitism at the corporation and its attempts to turn the victims of the recent anti-Semitic attack on Jewish children in London and claim that the victims were actually the perpetrators, was and is inexcusable. The obfuscation, denial that followed, was and is utterly damning.
“ … I simply don’t see how I or in fact any Jew who has any pride in that name can be associated with the corporation anymore,” he continued.
His decision to leave follows a plethora of criticism stemming from a broadcast in which BBC staff attempted to paint the teenage victims of a Nov. 30 anti-Semitic attack on a busy London street during Hanukkah as the offenders.
Video clips of the incident show men attacking the bus carrying the teens to an event. In its on-air reporting, BBC stated that the Jewish teens made racial slurs against Muslims, despite there being no evidence to support the claim.
The broadcast led to a protest rally outside the BBC, organized by the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), with people demanding the BBC stop blaming the Jews and tell the truth.
A spokesperson for CAA responded to news of the resignation saying, “Rabbi Rubinstein’s courageous and principled decision to resign as a broadcaster at the BBC is just the latest sign of the collapse in the Jewish community’s confidence in the corporation. No self-respecting Jewish person wants to be publicly associated with the BBC after it yet again demonstrated its bias against Jews in its recent reportage of an anti-Semitic incident on Oxford Street in Central London.
“We have written to the BBC and held a rally …. But the BBC has only doubled down and refused to accept its error or apologize, adopt the international definition of anti-Semitism or accept anti-Semitism training,” the spokesman continued. The BBC “is once more attempting to bludgeon the Jewish community into silence by hiding behind layers of unaccountable bureaucracy. With the support of a furious Jewish community, we will continue to pressure the Corporation to change its ways and live up to its legal obligations.”
Just last week, the Simon Wiesenthal Center named the British Broadcasting Company in its “Global Anti-Semitism Top 10.”
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