… by Alan Hart February 1st, 2012
There was a moment in a report from Tunisia by the BBC’s Wyre Davies when I could not stop myself laughing. I was listening to it on the Corporation’s generally excellent World Service radio.
In my view this particular BBC service is generally excellent because unlike all other BBC news and current affairs outlets, radio and tv, it often reflects some of the truth about what is happening in and over Palestine that became Israel.
Davies was in Tunisia to find out how its remaining 2,000 Jews (down from 300,000 once upon a time) were responding to a call from an Israeli government minister for them to move to Israel.
The case the minister made was, apparently, that their security and wellbeing were no longer guaranteed in an Arab country with an Islamist government in place of what Davies called a “sectarian dictatorship”.
In other words, Tunisia’s Jews were in danger and would be safe in Israel.
My guess is that the greatest concern of the Israeli minister and his colleagues was less the fate of Jews in Tunisia and more the need for Jews from anywhere to go to Israel to help defuse the ticking demographic time-bomb of occupation.
The story as told by Davies for the BBC’s World (radio) Service was honest reporting at its best. Its explicit message was that Tunisia’s Jews have rejected the Israeli call.
One of those interviewed by Davies said to him and a listening world, “No one here is afraid.”
Another said, “Go to Israel?… I’m not crazy!”
That’s what made me laugh.
A subsequent development wiped the smile from my face.
A friend in Italy sent me a web link for the television version of the Davies report from Tunisia. I opened the link to check that it was the same report I’d heard on the World (radio) Service.
It started in exactly the same way so I assumed it was, and I tweeted it as “MUST WATCH: Tunisia’s Jews reject (Israel’s) call to leave,”
An hour or so later I made the time to view the complete television version.
The Jewish gentleman who said, “Go to Israel…? I’m not crazy!” had been edited out.
On past BBC form there are four possible explanations.
I have to say that I consider the fourth possible explanation as summarized above to be the least likely one. Why?
There are many very good journalists in the BBC and they know as well as I do that the single most revealing and therefore newsworthy statement in the original Davies report was that of the Jewish gentleman who said, “Go to Israel…? I’m not crazy!”
The censored (or edited) version of the Davies report can be found at : Tunisian Jews reject calls to leave
Editing: Debbie Menon