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No Great Loss

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

I blame my mother and her parents for my love of all things British. Eating dinner under the watchful eye of Edward VIII, whose picture and abdication speech hung on the wall, left quite an impression on me. I spent hours pouring over history books of the Royal Family, memorizing the line of succession, and imagined myself living in the England of Beatrix Potter, Jane Austen, or Agatha Christie.

This was in direct conflict, of course, with the Britain who expelled the Jews in the 13th century, wrote the White Paper, and rerouted Shoah survivors to Cyprus.

Living in London during my junior year of college was everything I had hoped. Renting a flat on Conduit Mews, taking the Tube to school, taking advantage of theatre, opera, and so forth. It was delightful. I learned firsthand, however, of the antisemitism that resides just below the surface.

So the news that the BBC World Service has been forced, by the current economic downturn, to close five of its 32 World language services, cut radio programming in seven language, and end short-wave transmissions of an additional six languages was shocking. And welcome news. Now less people will have the opportunity to hear the anti-Israel, anti-semitic pieces favoured by the BBC.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Former Reform Jew permalink
    Friday, 28 January 2011 1:24 am

    Many of my Reform friends listen to NPR in the car. As proud liberals, they say that since Air America folded, it’s the only left-wing talk station still standing.

    I can’t stand NPR and their anti-Israel vitriol.

    I’ve actually found that the BBC World Service, while still employing terms like “occupation” and “apartheid”, is actually more balanced than NPR is.

    Both of these radio stations are fed a steady diet of government tax dollars in their respective countries…..for now….

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 1 February 2011 3:05 pm

      I listen to NPR. I don’t find it to have a left-wing agenda. Nor have I found it to be anti-Israel. The reporting that IS anti-Israel that appears on NPR comes from the BBC.

      As for government tax dollars, any listener to NPR knows :

      “NPR receives no direct funding from the federal government. Less than two percent of the budget is derived from competitive grants from federally funded organizations such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Science Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts.”

      (Sorry, it’s pledge time for one of our local stations so I’ve been hearing this a lot!.)

  2. shoshana permalink
    Friday, 28 January 2011 2:36 pm

    Well it’s true that BBC is not exactly pro-Israel. But in most other aspects they provide a valuable international news service to those that might otherwise only hear propaganda. If I remember correctly, Anne Frank was one of the many, many inhabitants of Europe that listened eagerly to BBC broadcasts during WW2. I have friends throughout Asia that rely on BBC for their international news. I agree it’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 1 February 2011 3:06 pm

      It’s not better than nothing if the information is propoganda. Given how false and slanted their reporting on Israel is causes me to wonder about all of their reporting.

      What is sad is that the BBC of today is NOT the BBC that provided hope and information during the War.

  3. Friday, 28 January 2011 3:28 pm

    They love us, those wacky limeys and their mayor, Red Ken. Ok, that is not entirely fair nor balanced but it is in line with BBC standards.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 1 February 2011 3:06 pm

      You are terrible.

      • Wednesday, 2 February 2011 2:54 am

        Terrible. Isn’t there something more descriptive that we could use.

      • Frume Sarah permalink*
        Wednesday, 2 February 2011 10:23 am

        Would you prefer incorrigible?

  4. Wednesday, 2 February 2011 5:01 pm

    That is much better.

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