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Friday, 23 August 2013 00:00

More zionist bias at Beeb

BBC4 is screening a Nigel Kennedy concert this evening in which he speaks up for Palestinian rights, but the national broadcaster has decided to censor his remarks.

The August 8 Proms concert featured Kennedy and the Palestine Strings, a group of young Palestinian musicians from the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.

The violinist paid tribute to his fellow musicians, telling the audience: "It's a bit facile to say it, but we all know from the experience of this night of music that giving equality and getting rid of apartheid gives a beautiful chance for things to happen."

His comments were carried live on BBC Radio 3, but a pro-zionist campaign of pressure has led to this sinister act of censorship.

Prominent complainant Baroness Deech demanded an apology on the bizarre basis that what Kennedy said was "offensive and untrue."

She declared implausibly: "There is no apartheid in Israel. Apartheid was a system based on racial classification and denial of franchise. This is not the case in Israel or Gaza or the West Bank."

Can the baroness be unaware that the illegal Israeli colonies on the occupied West Bank are for Jews only built on land expropriated from the Palestinian people?

Doesn't she know that the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is furthered by Israel's apartheid wall built on Palestinian land and by Jews-only roads that criss-cross the West Bank?

South African anti-apartheid activists Ronnie Kasrils and Desmond Tutu both express the view that the racist military occupation imposed on Palestinians by Israel outdoes even that endured by black people in apartheid South Africa.

So Kennedy was right to tell the Israeli daily Haaretz in 2007: "I would think that the world learned something from South Africa. And the world should boycott a nation that didn't learn. That's why I won't perform in your country."

Nor is he alone in this laudable stance. Many musicians have resisted invitations to perform in Israel just as principled artists and sportspeople shamed British government collaboration with apartheid South Africa by declining to be bought by Pretoria.

Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox and Elvis Costello are part of a growing number of musicians to feel moved to take a stand for decency and human solidarity.

As always, their motives are demeaned, with some Israel apologists smearing the zionist state's critics as anti-semitic.

Were that so, Jews would not be so prominently represented in the campaigns to end Israel's colonisation of Palestinian land.

While voicing its support for Baroness Deech, the Jewish Chronicle also noted that a number of British Jews had written in support of Kennedy to the Daily Telegraph.

The signatories, "as Jewish campaigners for equality, justice and freedom for all in Israel/Palestine," urged the BBC to acknowledge that Kennedy's comments were "an integral part of a performance which was warmly received by an enthusiastic Proms crowd."

This is not the first political censorship by the BBC, which bleeped out Mic Righteous's Free Palestine lyric last year on the breath-taking assertion that to imply that Palestine is not free is "contentious."

Such Big Brother refusal to allow Britain's viewers to make up their own minds by having the full facts has to end.

People should protest to the BBC because, as the Jewish campaigners insist, "the BBC owes television viewers the right to see the event uncensored, in its entirety."

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