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BBC to censor violinist Nigel Kennedy’s statement about Israeli apartheid from TV broadcast

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Nigel Kennedy  (photo: Chris Christodoulou/BBC)

The BBC has confirmed that it will censor a statement made by violinist Nigel Kennedy from its television broadcast of his performance with the Palestine Strings at a prestigious music festival last week. In his statement at the Proms, Mr. Kennedy used the word “apartheid” to describe the world in which his Palestinian colleagues live.

Click here for a recording of the actual statement the BBC is excising from its broadcast[1]. The following is a transcript:

“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 amazing things to happen.”

According to The Jewish Chronicle[2], former BBC governor Baroness Deech called for an apology from Mr. Kennedy and said that “the remark was offensive and untrue. There is no apartheid in Israel.” Not only is there no apartheid in Israel, she claimed, but nor is there any in Gaza or the West Bank. (She made no mention of East Jerusalem.)

In fact, nearly all aspects of Apartheid, as defined by the UN, apply to Israel in all four of its guises: domestically, its military occupation of the West Bank, its military ‘annexation’ of East Jerusalem, and its siege of Gaza.

This legal definition includes [3]:

• Any measures including legislative measures, designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups, the prohibition of mixed marriages among members of various racial groups, the expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group or groups or to members thereof;

• Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognised trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association;

• Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups of the right to life and liberty of person;

• The infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

Arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups;

• Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part;

• Inhumane acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

1. The volume of Mr. Kennedy’s voice has been raised slightly for clarity.

2. Marcus Dysch, “BBC to cut Kennedy slur from Proms broadcast“, The Jerusalem Chronicle Online, August 16, 2013.

3. Source: UN, International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Bold emphasis added.

Tom Suarez

Tom Suarez is the author, most recently, of "Writings on the Wall", an annotated collection of Palestinian Oral Histories collected by the Arab Educational Institute in Bethlehem (2019)

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70 Responses

  1. Cliff on August 16, 2013, 4:20 pm

    Ruth Deech, Zionist Jew, censoring comments critical of Israel for the benefit of Israel.

    • Krauss on August 18, 2013, 12:04 am

      I’m a bit annoyed by Tom Suarez’ continued failure to do a proper article. The first one completely avoided the actual statement that Kennedy made, which was surprisingly disastrous if you centered the entire article around the reactions to it.

      Now this. How can you avoid even doing a little bit of commentary on the chairwoman of the BBC?
      She made it to a list of 1000 lawyers/scholars/academics, mostly right-wing Zionists(not all of them Jews, by the way), who wrote a piece where they essentially defended the legality of the occupation and even denied it exists.

      This was very recent. But none of this comes up in Suarez’ piece.

      • Tom Suarez on August 19, 2013, 9:15 am

        Hello Krauss, just to acknowledge your points, which are of course valid. I should have included Nigel’s quote originally. Ms. Deech was quoted because she was the one quoted by the JC, which at that time was the only source for the BBC’s move, though as others have pointed out, she is not presently part of the BBC.

  2. LanceThruster on August 16, 2013, 4:24 pm

    Beautiful, Nigel.

    In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. ~ Anne Frank

  3. justicewillprevail on August 16, 2013, 4:28 pm

    The BBC has been inundated with the usual zio apparatchiks’ abuse and, like nearly all mainstream organisations, has folded under pressure. They know it works, that is why they do it. But the point is, Kennedy said it, the Palestinians performed beautifully, and nothing will erase what was said, or the general support and sympathy of the audience. Simply by being there, and performing, is a victory for Palestine, in the face of the appalling coercion of the Israeli junta. Baroness Deech is an appeaser and liar. Kennedy was there and saw for himself the conditions and came to his own conclusions, whereas Deech who has probably never witnessed the full ugliness of West Bank apartheid and has no idea what she is talking about, is a mouthpiece for the lobby and spouts the usual inane nonsense, which will appease them and convince nobody else. Another example of their fear of free speech and thought.

  4. pabelmont on August 16, 2013, 5:02 pm

    Get Nigel Kennedy on that BLOG with Jimmy Carter, Alice Walker, Norman F, etc. We need that everyone Googling any of these people find them all — they are good company ! — and find there the stories of censorship, denial of free speech, application of bigg-buxx to keep the anti-Zionist message quiet, etc.

    Maybe pay Google to make it an “ad” so it appears high on the lists for these people.

  5. bintbiba on August 16, 2013, 5:02 pm

    This was to be expected. Unfortunately the tentacles reach far and wide! But I have a feeling Nigel kennedy has too much integrity and character (and ‘chutzpah!!!) to take this sitting down. Daniel Barenboim has said as much at the Proms with his “East West Divan Orchestra”. I don’t remember any similar’ brouhaha’ from the Zionist camp in UK. I don’t remember if he actually used the “A” word, but pretty much spoke out at length during the concert(s).

    • tree on August 16, 2013, 5:33 pm

      According to The Jewish Chronicle[2], BBC governor Baroness Deech called for an apology from Mr. Kennedy and said that “the remark was offensive and untrue. There is no apartheid in Israel.” Not only is there no apartheid in Israel, she claimed, but nor is there any in Gaza or the West Bank. (She made no mention of East Jerusalem.)

      Maybe we should start a petition to get BBC governor Deech to issue an apology since her remark was offensive and untrue.

      • annie on August 17, 2013, 9:08 am

        it’s a form of nakba denial. she should be ashamed and the bbc should be castigated for participating in this racism.

        imagine someone making this denial claim about the holocaust and the bbc folding. disgusting.

      • eGuard on August 18, 2013, 10:20 am

        Deech is not a governor.

    • Susan A on August 16, 2013, 5:43 pm

      I certainly can’t see him apologising! What are they going to do? Ban him from the appearance he’s due to make on the last night of the proms? After all, he may speak out again, particularly in response to the supposed ‘slur’ and the fact that the BBC have asked him to apologise. How I resent having to pay money every year for my TV licence. They’re such cowards!

      • Bumblebye on August 17, 2013, 11:36 am

        I looked at the BBC Watch website article on this, and it is followed by masses of ignorant comments. The damn thing is run from Israel by very far right immigrants, who doubtless pay no sodding licence fees at all. If the beeb responds to pressure from this extremist bunch we need to know (I’m thinking of their adoption of the Israeli preferred terminology relating to I/P, rather than legally correct terms they should employ), but how to find out?

    • eGuard on August 16, 2013, 7:31 pm

      Barenboim will not be censored. He is a liberal Zionist. “Liberal” means that you bomb civilians in Gaza just one week, no more.

  6. munro on August 16, 2013, 5:24 pm

    Baroness Deech, founding Trustee of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, may want to consult with her foundation’s namesake on conditions in Israel —

    Mandela Visits Israel With Praise but Rifts Linger
    The visit was marked by continuing undercurrents of distrust between Mr. Mandela, a staunch champion of the Palestinian cause, and a country that once helped arm the apartheid Government that Mr. Mandela drove out of power.
    Before traveling on to Gaza for an afternoon meeting with another ”good friend” — Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader — Mr. Mandela reiterated his unwavering opposition to Israeli control of Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon.
    ”Talk of peace will remain hollow if Israel continues to occupy Arab territories,” he said, sitting at a conference table in Israel’s Foreign Ministry, where such sentiments are rarely heard. ”I understand completely well why Israel occupies these lands. There was a war. But if there is going to be peace, there must be complete withdrawal from all of these areas.”
    And, leaving little doubt about his lingering resentment of Israel’s diplomatic and military ties to his former jailers, he tartly noted that upon his release from prison in 1990, he received invitations to visit ”almost every country in the world, except Israel.”
    Underlining the psychological distance he traveled to get here, he equated his meetings to his rapprochement with the leaders of the apartheid Government.

    • traintosiberia on August 18, 2013, 12:08 pm

      Israel is still looking for Arab Mandela Where is the Arab Mandela? Friedman has been wondering where the one is. The wondering does not die but leads to all kind of speculations taking the shape that Arabs dont have the culture and the supporting gene .That also upgrades itself soon to another wondering turned into confirmation that Arabs have a culture of death .Soon that morphs into the claim that Arabs love death .

  7. just on August 16, 2013, 5:25 pm

    Yo, baroness deech:

    Ever heard this? There’s none so blind as those who will not see.

    Or, you’re in denial.

    Or, suppression of the freedom of speech is not a hallmark of a democracy.

    (you’re a nut, woman! A dangerous nut of the peerage.) Shame on you and the BBC.

  8. bintbiba on August 16, 2013, 5:51 pm

    annie, where is Tom Suarez’s comment ? Did he forget to submit or something went wrong with the posting?

  9. Woody Tanaka on August 16, 2013, 6:03 pm

    If anyone expected fairness and justice for Palestine from Ruth Deech, he is crazy. Give a zionist power and she will abuse it. We see it in the US, we see it in the UK.

  10. JuliaNoel on August 16, 2013, 6:50 pm

    Voltaire – “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

    • Danaa on August 19, 2013, 12:35 pm

      JuliaNoel – that’s an excellent find. Thanks for the quote.

      • MHughes976 on August 19, 2013, 3:17 pm

        It may be a perceptive remark but I’m pretty sure that Voltaire never said it. I don’t think that there’s any French version or any chapter and verse. And surely it doesn’t have an eighteenth century feel – in those days the people who ruled you and the people you couldn’t ‘criticise’ stood there in a pretty obvious way. ‘Criticise’ didn’t have quite the same meaning in most Euro languages than it has now – ‘Critique of Pure Reason’ doesn’t mean ‘objection to pure reason’. The idea of hidden powers ‘whom you can’t criticise’ belongs to the world after the French Revolution when some hidden conspirators existed, some were imagined.

  11. Tom Suarez on August 16, 2013, 8:03 pm

    My sense of Barenboim is that he is vocal … to a point. My sense is that his concern is preserving Israel, not justice for Palestine, and so he is “outspoken” only because he knowns that Israel is on a self-destruct course. I would be happily surprised if he ever invoked the “A” word.

    • Daniel Rich on August 17, 2013, 5:43 pm

      @ Moderator, If you’re going to torpedo this reply, please have the decency to inform Mr. Suarez you’ve done so. If you’re not sidelining it and remove this line, my appreciation for you has just grown tenfold.

      @ Tom Suarez,

      Q: “My sense of Barenboim is that he is vocal … to a point. My sense is that his concern is preserving Israel, not justice for Palestine, and so he is “outspoken” only because he knowns that Israel is on a self-destruct course. I would be happily surprised if he ever invoked the “A” word.”

      R: According to Gilad Atzmon, the same can be said of this web site or at least of one of it co-founders.

      “Two years ago Jewish pro-Palestinian blogger Philip Weiss was brave enough to admit to me in an interview that it is Jewish self-interest that motivates his pro-Palestinian activism. For Weiss it wasn’t an “altruistic” concern for the oppressed—he actually believed that his activism was ‘good for the Jews.’” – LINK

      As this site monitors/moderates/censors every single entry, what’s the ff-ing difference between the BBC and North Korea doing the exact same thing?

      If you can rape one woman and get away with it, the whole system sucks.

      • annie on August 17, 2013, 11:41 pm

        the operative words being ” According to Gilad Atzmon” who also uses propaganda framing/crutches like “admit to me” as if it required some kind of bravery to say what phil said, which it doesn’t. first of all phil never said it was solely his self interest that motivated his activism, and when atz tried to corner him on that, twisting his words into ‘primarily’ self interest, which phil did not agree with, atzmon didn’t like that and claimed phil was ‘contradicting’ himself. however, there was no contradiction. so then it was atz who decided to disengage before things got “out of control”, implying phil was flustered. the only thing out of control was atz’s theory spinning off as he wasn’t able to pigeon hole phil the way he wanted to.

        “I believe all people act out of self-interest. And Jews who define themselves at some level as Jews — like myself for instance — are concerned with a Jewish self-interest. Which in my case is: an end to Zionism. A theory of political life based on altruism or concern for victims purely is doomed to fail.”

        so what does atz do with that last sentence? he picks up phil’s reference to altruism and claims “For Weiss it wasn’t an “altruistic” concern for the oppressed—he actually believed that his activism was ‘good for the Jews”. now, phil never said there was no altruistic concern, did he? and so what if phil thinks ending zionism is good for jews?

        but what i always find interesting is people who choose to drag atzmon into the thread (never mind atz doesn’t provide a comment section to discuss his ‘theories’) do not quote phil, they quote what atz claims about what phil said.

        anyway, there’s a big difference between what tom said , about “Barenboim ….. that his concern is preserving Israel” and a concern for what phil stated ” Jewish self-interest. Which in my case is: an end to Zionism. ”

        but of course you didn’t quote phil, you quoted atz trying to set phil up in his framing of the conversation.

        and notice atz use of rhetorical devices here:

        I guess that at that stage, Weiss started to feel irritated or even trapped, for he somehow turned sour, saying : “Primarily concerned with Jewish interests seems a stupid trap to me.”

        it’s an email exchange. why does phil’s quote indicate he was irritated or sour? he was just calling atz out for twisting his words/meaning. and who backed out? atz, he ended the exchange.
        i parse it more apart here.

        and as far as providing a format to trash phil and the blog? that’s not quite the same as what the bbc is doing. that would be akin to nigel kennedy trashing the bbc in a live bbc broadcast.

        we’ve had this same atz discussion here before (link above one example), numerous times. and there are constant attempts to revive it. i wish you guys would go hammer atz to open a comment section. and i think sean hosts one. it’s not as if you’re not allowed to trash mondoweiss, is it? we’re just not that into hosting it. there’s a big wide web out there.

      • seanmcbride on August 18, 2013, 12:11 am


        i wish you guys would go hammer atz to open a comment section. and i think sean hosts one

        Meta-conversation about Mondoweiss and issues raised in Mondoweiss that Phil and the crew would prefer not to host can be conducted here without moderation or delays in posting:

        Mondoweiss on Friendfeed

        The forum is both Phil Weiss- and Gilad Atzmon-friendly — they are both valuable writers and analysts.

      • tree on August 18, 2013, 1:44 am


        The moderation here needs a major overhaul. I appreciate the time and thankless efforts of those who moderate, but it appears your system takes the most recent comments made when a moderator starts his/her task rather than taking the oldest comments first. This leads to just what happened above with Daniel. Some people have their comments languishing for days while others seem to get their comments posted immediately. This blog desperately need to revamp it its system so that comments are moderated in the order in which they are posted, otherwise you are bound to have a lot of people thinking that their comments are being censored. And frankly, it makes any discussion of a topic well nigh impossible when the back and forth responses are separated by a day or more because of the backwards moderating queue.

      • annie on August 18, 2013, 2:19 am

        you don’t have to tell me tree. i’ve logged in at least 500 emails about it, and gave up a few months ago. how many have you sent in?

      • tree on August 18, 2013, 2:28 am

        I sent you one today. I kept hoping it would get better but its only gotten worse.

        Here’s an average example just today. I posted a response, “Priceless!”, about one of Elliot’s comments that made it past moderation. My comment has yet to be posted. No big loss for mankind, but in the meantime at least 13 comments made AFTER my comment have been posted. When this happens repeatedly to people they start to think they are being censored.

        So what do we have to do to get the problem addressed? Do we need to do a commenter’s intervention with Phil and Adam? Flood them personally with emails? Threaten to withhold funding? Bribe them with milk and cookies? We need guidance on what to do to get this problem addressed.

      • annie on August 18, 2013, 9:29 pm

        yes, obviously posters have to do something radical tree. depending on me to keep on keeping on endlessly is not a solution. sorry about your priceless comment. it’s hanging our with hundreds of other comments, so it’s in good company.

      • MHughes976 on August 19, 2013, 6:35 am

        I agree there’s some confusion, or so it seems, in the order of comments’ appearance but I just put that down the volume of stuff that the mods have to handle. We’ve benefited a lot from some of your recent comments, tree, so please don’t give up the good work.

      • Walid on August 19, 2013, 9:44 am

        ” According to Gilad Atzmon”

        Annie, whether or not Atzmon trapped Phil into something or other is not really important to most of us here. Not to take anything away from Phil’s great effort here, I get the same feeling about his crusade being inspired by his concern for the Jews rather than about justice for the Palestinians. While the blog claims it’s about the war of ideas in the Middle East, it’s really mostly about Israel, what Israel is doing to others and what others are doing to Israel; just look at the titles. No matter what’s really driving Phil, it’s still a great and informative blog.

      • seanmcbride on August 19, 2013, 12:29 pm


        If you are looking for fast-moving conversations and interactions on Mondoweiss articles, without moderation or delays in posting, and with the ability to edit your comments at any time, try Mondoweiss on Friendfeed:

        The volume of comments on Mondoweiss probably makes it fundamentally unmoderatable — at least without a big infusion of cash to pay for the services of full-time moderators.

        Conversations that don’t move quickly, in near real time, tend to die a quick death.

      • Danaa on August 19, 2013, 12:32 pm


        I have seen the same languishing of comments you mentioned and so have others. While i could understand my comments being moderated, languishing at times for more than 2 days, it’s hard to figure any rhyme or reason why yours would be, or many others’, who, IMO, can be counted on to be as dispassionate and circumspect as any human can be, given the provocations.

        You may have noted how quickly threads close down for comments altogether lately (4 days for some!); the more popular ones, the faster. I doubt this is a coincidence. rather, there’s a desire to cut down on the comments section and especially on back and forth discussions. There has been a concerted effort by some well known jewish sympathizers to the cause to eliminate the comments altogether and no doubt shutting down discussions after a few days and/or letting comments that may encourage discussion languish, is a compromise.

        personally, I don’t think it’s got to do with lack of available moderators either. While there may be few in number now, MW can easily have a fund raiser to pay a few more, if that’s what it takes to improve the flow (would any of us not be willing to shell a few more bucks/quids/shekels?). Rather it’s about policing the peripheries. I predicted before – along with many others – that the worse things get for the Palestinians, the more the established jewish community in the US goes into high gear to obfuscate and keep the goings on away from the public’s eye, the more difficult it will be for blogs like this to maintain its openness. The better and more cutting and important the blog is, the more the pressure to pull a veil over comment sections, which, after all, might feature non-jewish, non-palestinian posters (gevalt!), who may actually voice an opinion about jewish matters. Which then opens the door to you-know=what accusations against the blog.

        I am on record as having said several times that not only do I expect things to get tougher for blogs like this and forums like open Zion (which is not exactly so open!), but that we should not underestimate the pressure blog owners may be under to keep the comment sections “clean”. We know some of the people who ask for that cleanliness. But we don’t know all the behind-the-scenes. We know phil to be a courageous trail-blazer in bringing certain issues out front. But he is human, a man with a life to live and aspirations to follow, and we can’t expect him – or Adam – or annie or anyone involved to be martyrs. I trust they have been finessing the issues as well as they could for a while now, so holding up comments (mine, tree’s, many others’) is a price we have to pay for having a comment section at all.

        I wish I could believe that this is where things will be from now on.. But I doubt it. Just look at what happened to David Miranda! and what so many palestinians and leftists who tried to enter israel have gone through. Look at the pressure on Univ. of Michigan to dis-invite a distinguished author. Look at the administration effectively supporting a murderous coup, forced to dangle on wire, spewing platitudes that don’t pass the sound test of a congenitally deaf. the pressure mounted to achieve these aims will not get any less, especially as israel moves ever closer to its destination. One the majority of establishment jews know exactly what it is. And concern and fear about such pressures – aren’t they the reason most of us are annonymous in the first place?

      • annie on August 19, 2013, 1:52 pm

        sean, you just said that and linked a couple comments upthread.

        and danaa, tree, everyone else, would you very much mind taking your theories on why we are allegedly purposely hold up comments to the comment policy thread please? asfar as i know it’s the one thread that never closes.

        you can discuss it here:

        i am not going to be moderating anymore OT discussion of why comments are clogged on this thread. i’ve already explained it about 10 times.

        You may have noted how quickly threads close down for comments altogether lately (4 days for some!)

        all comment threads automatically close on the fifth day now. probably because we don’t have the staff to clear them all. i wasn’t given an explanation.

        oh, and since i have nothing better to do i think i’ll go mine page 23 of the back pages to clear the unmoderated comments stuck back there because that’s fun!!!/NOT

      • seanmcbride on August 19, 2013, 2:32 pm


        The heart of Danaa’s post, as I see it: Mondweiss has frequently reported on efforts by the Israel lobby to pressure and muzzle a wide variety of parties. Has Mondoweiss itself come under pressure of this kind?

        It would be reasonable for Mondoweiss readers and commenters to wonder about this issue.

        (Regarding MW moderation: no complaints. I am amazed that anyone has the patience to perform any moderation — it’s a difficult and thankless task. Thanks for all the hard work you and others have put in.)

      • traintosiberia on August 18, 2013, 12:48 pm

        Are you trying to say that Barenboim should have no love of and fear for Israel? Are you implying that P Weiss has to reject everything Israel says or does or has to offer or stand for?Does one has to criticize every aspect of Obama or Mc Cain or support Morsi or PLO? Shall we focus on repression of Falung Dang by China while bashing another “totalitarian regime” like Russia or Iran over their treatment of Gay/Lesbian while ignoring cult worship and the anti Gay attitude of Falung Don?
        Do we have to criticize everything NK does or believe everything is said about NK by its enemies ? The grey zone does not offer light.You have to get it to navigate .Politics in larger scale always becomes a grey zone.

        The idea of Devil took root in human mind through a type of motivated reasoning that stops accepting contradiction ,inconsistency and uncertainty
        making way for acceptance of genocide and mas victimization and closure of the door to rapprochement. Absolute justice like absolute security is a disaster waiting to happen .
        Open mind is a difficult beast that hurts itself as it hurts other .

  12. piotr on August 16, 2013, 8:15 pm

    I think that there is a VERY good case that Baroness is an authoritarian here. The standard of “untrue” should be rather high. As we know, agencies that SHOULD be very competent have a surprising level of difficulty ascertaining the truth, for example if a coup or a genocide happen in a country or not. An example that is culturally close to UK is USA where the government cannot figure out if a coup happen in Egypt this year or a genocide of Armenians happened in Turkey during WWI. Given such instances of admitted feeblemindedness on the side of Administration and the Crown, the citizens and subjects should be allowed to differ if they have a plausible argument supporting their views.

  13. munro on August 16, 2013, 8:16 pm

    Baroness Deech tweeting with “weird sisters” Melanie Phillips and BBC editor Sara Nathan about “ghastly Nigel Kennedy”

    • just on August 17, 2013, 9:41 am

      Baroness Leech appears to be comfortable with her tweets with her ‘sisters’ re Mr. Kennedy.

      Skimming further in your link:

      “Ruth Deech ‏@BaronessDeech 30 Mar

      Gaza flotilla inadvertent deaths, world outcry, Israel says sorry.On new UK Gaza aid trip, women raped in Libya, all barred by Egypt.Outcry?”

      Sound familiar? A genuine, grade A Zionist hasbarist.

  14. Bumblebye on August 16, 2013, 8:30 pm

    I was curious about Baroness Deech, so looked and found oh! maiden name Frenkel. Appears, to all intents and purposes, to be a committed zionist. BBC Watch (sister to CIF Watch, of Guardian notoriety), set up to attempt to control the narrative over I/P issues has this article, of which the only thing in its favor is the link to another program (inc time) on which Kennedy spoke out on Israeli apartheid:

  15. piotr on August 16, 2013, 8:33 pm

    Consider another example of “wrongness” as determined by Baroness Deech:

    1,000 Intellectuals from 30 Countries Protest EU Settlements Boycott The directive is discriminatory and based on a legal premise that is completely wrong. By: Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency Published: August 1st, 2013

    Read more at:

    The 1,100 signatures supporting the letter include lawyers as well as rabbis, senior ambassadors, and professors – both Jewish and Christian – from Australia, Britain, Bolivia, Greece, Norway, Mexico, Taiwan, France, Italy, Canada, the U.S. and India, among others. Israeli justice minister, Yaakov Neeman, former Israeli ambassador to the United States, Meir Rosenne and UK House of Lords member Baroness Ruth Deech are among those who signed the letter.

    Clearly, Deech, Baroness, professor etc. has wide qualifications, but so do the EU commissioners with whom she differs, but presumably the latter are not censored from BBC. Given that she has very strong views on Israel (and also family ties etc.) it is highly improper that she acts as a censor.

  16. Tom Suarez on August 16, 2013, 8:34 pm

    Hmmm, actually it’s quite clear-cut.
    Go down the list. Can I, a non-Jew, marry a Jew in Israel? No. Not a matter of opinion, not a gray area, but a categorical “no”. I’d have to leave Israel to do it. Does Israel divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos? Yes. No mystery, yes. Does Israel expropriate property belonging to a racial group? Yes. Etc., etc., down the list, no “opinion” involved.
    To address your examples, e.g., it’s not that the US “cannot figure out if a coup happen in Egypt” but that the US is pulling the strings and has to spin it the right way.
    But no matter, it’s irrelevant, the reality re Israel is simple fact, not judgement.

    • biorabbi on August 16, 2013, 9:40 pm

      Tom, can a Jew or Christian practice their faith in Saudi Arabia? Could a Christian marry a Jew in the Kingdom? Is there a division of population along religious lines in Cairo? Are the Copts ghettoized in Egypt? their Churches burning as we debate this post? How much Jewish, and now Christian property is being throughout the middle east? I would argue that ‘down the list, no “opinion” involved bodes true for more than Israel in ‘that’ next of the woods, or perhaps I’ve had too much wine tonight.

      • Ellen on August 17, 2013, 10:46 am

        Biorabbi, the subject is the practice of Israeli Apartheid and Kennedy’s censored statement after the concert with Palestinian musicians ” that giving equality and getting rid of apartheid gives a beautiful chance for amazing things to happen.” That the BBC is taking an unprecedented step in censoring an exchange during the concert.

        Kennedy is being silenced, and possible debate repressed.

        This is not about Saudi Arabia’s repression of religious practices. You are diverting away from the subject at hand.

        Try addressing the subject at hand instead of diverting to something completely different.

    • piotr on August 16, 2013, 10:15 pm

      I could make a case that the word Aparheid is untrue in that context. Frankly, I agree with you, but I am also familiar with counter-arguments. For example, it is customary in the region (e.g. in Lebanon) that only religious marriages are performed inside these countries, with limitations on interfaith marriages imposed by respective religious laws.

      The second frequent argument is rather specious, but raised nevertheless, namely that only a minority is affected by the restrictions. Importantly, a majority was restricted in South Africa, so the issue of majority/minority is given a large importance.

      The third argument is that Israel is so wonderful, much more so than SA.

      I suspect that some people may raise better arguments. But it is not the role of BBC to pick arguments that are allowed and disallow other opinions. “Apartheid” is not true/false statement but a complex conclusion.

      • Talkback on August 17, 2013, 6:32 am

        piotr says: “For example, it is customary in the region (e.g. in Lebanon) that only religious marriages are performed inside these countries, with limitations on interfaith marriages imposed by respective religious laws.”

        The question is, if this laws are designed to maintain a regime dominated by a certain ‘racial’ group or not. In the case of Israel I would say yes, beacuse being Nonjewish (because of intermarriage) is considered to be a “demographic threat” to the regime.

        “The second frequent argument is rather specious, but raised nevertheless, namely that only a minority is affected by the restrictions. Importantly, a majority was restricted in South Africa, so the issue of majority/minority is given a large importance.”

        But piotr, the majority is being even held expelled (segregated) and denationalized (disenfrenchized).

        I think there could not be a clearer case. Zionist do whatever they can to maintain a regime dominated by Jews, while they are a minority in the territory they control.

      • piotr on August 17, 2013, 9:45 am

        Just to make clear: I think that I am familiar with Hasbara arguments and obviously I think that most of them are specious. The minority/majority argument is of course irrelevant.

        For example, Nina Moradi got enough votes to become a council member of Qazvin as an alternate advancing to the seated position, but the council refused to admit her, founding her distractingly comely. We could debate if she is indeed very pretty but it really should not be relevant. (I can imagine that a city council with a majority of Israeli religious parties would do exactly the same, so it is not a specifically Iranian peculiarity.) Similarly, the regulations of the Pale of Settlement were not OK even though they affected only a minority within Russian Empire.

    • yrn on August 17, 2013, 3:38 am

      I those are your argument, go ahead you are more then welcome.

  17. Hostage on August 16, 2013, 8:37 pm

    Note: It looks like Tom only indicated the acts that are applicable on both sides of the Green Line. The ICJ findings of fact in the Wall case included several constituent acts of apartheid that are not highlighted on the list, like impeding the exercise by the persons concerned of the right to work, to health, to education and to an adequate standard of living (e.g. “With the fence/wall cutting communities off from their land and water without other means of subsistence,”) See paragraphs 132-134.

    There is also an act snipped-off Tom’s list that is implicitly mentioned in the Goldstone report about the killing of 19 demonstrators, including 6 children in protests against the apartheid wall of separation:

    (f) Persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid.

    I believe people have been persecuted on both sides of the Green Line during Land Day protests.

    Since then, Mondoweiss has reported on several killings or serious wounds received by participants in weekly demonstrations against the Wall. The nuisance lawsuits filed against individuals by Israel, its agents, or facilitators, fall into that same category of illegal persecution. See for example:
    *Israeli Foreign Ministry Sponsoring U.S. BDS Lawsuits
    * President Carter named in $5 million lawsuit over his “Palestine” book

    The Convention mentions several modes of criminal liability related to incitement, or aiding and abetting:

    Article III

    International criminal responsibility shall apply, irrespective of the motive involved, to individuals, members of organizations and institutions and representatives of the State, whether residing in the territory of the State in which the acts are perpetrated or in some other State, whenever they:

    (a) Commit, participate in, directly incite or conspire in the commission of the acts mentioned in article II of the present Convention;

    (b) Directly abet, encourage or co-operate in the commission of the crime of apartheid.


  18. JuliaNoel on August 16, 2013, 8:47 pm


    The following four distinct classes of “citizenship” can be found within the present borders of Israel.

    Class “A” citizenship : Jews.

    Privileged access to the material resources of the State and the social as well as the welfare services of the State. Are able to utilize the 93 per cent of pre-1967 Israel, controlled by the Land Agency. Note that no-one can actually purchase the Agency land and that it is leased to Jews only.

    Class “B” citizenship : Non Jews/Arabs.

    Taxpayers and citizens with voting rights. Are denied the right to utilize the 93 per cent of pre-1967 Israel controlled by the Land Agency. They are also denied equal access to water and social and welfare services. Are generally not permitted to serve in the military which means they are automatically denied the many social and welfare services available to those who complete compulsory (for Jews) military service.

    Class “C” citizenship : Non Jews/Arabs.

    Taxpayers and citizens with voting rights, but classified as “absentees”. Comprises some 200,000 persons. Are denied the right to utilize property in 93 per cent of pre-1967 Israel. They are also denied equal access to water and social and welfare services. They have also been denied all rights to their own property (lands, houses, corporations, shares, bank accounts, bank safes, etc.) that they owned until confiscated by the Jewish state. This theft was made “legal” by the Absentees Property Law of 1950.

    Class “D” citizenship : Non Jews/Arabs.

    Taxpayers, but without voting rights. Comprises some 3,000,000 persons. Are also denied the right to utilize or buy property anywhere in pre-1967 Israel. Have no access to social and welfare services. Many (mostly those who once lived in pre-1967 Israel) have had all their property confiscated by the Jewish state without compensation and have been forced to live in ghettos spread throughout two areas that today resemble concentration camps.

    Information From “Israel: An Apartheid State” (Zed Books, London and New Jersey, 1987) by Uri Davis.

    • MHughes976 on August 17, 2013, 5:44 am

      Very interesting: we don’t hear enough from you, Julia. The situation has been described more recently by John McCarthy, the former Beirut hostage, in ‘You Can’t Hide the Sun’. I have trouble in reading it, though, because the story is so miserable and distressing.

    • just on August 17, 2013, 9:20 am

      Thanks, Julia.

  19. Daniel Rich on August 17, 2013, 2:48 am

    @ Tom Suarez,

    Is there something like ‘good’ censorship and ‘bad’ censorship?

  20. amigo on August 17, 2013, 5:51 am

    Baroness Deech is married with one daughter. She was a member of the Jewish Leadership Council until 2010, (wiki)

    Surely her Jewish background has no bearing on this matter.

    Just asking?.

    • Stephen Shenfield on August 17, 2013, 10:07 am

      I think it depends on what it means for something to “have a bearing on a matter.” Clearly being Jewish (or of Jewish origin) does not predetermine this sort of indiscriminate knee-jerk defense of Israel as many Jews, including quite a few with a family history similar to hers, take a very different stance. But it may still have a bearing in the sense of affecting the probabilities. A Jewish background may be a predisposing factor, making such a reaction more likely.

      Whatever bearing Deech’s Jewish BACKGROUND may or may not have on the matter, her involvement with the Jewish Leadership Council is relevant. This body is part of the British Jewish establishment and has consistently defended Israeli interests. For instance, in December 2009 it sought and published a legal Opinion from Lord Pannick QC advocating a change in UK law to prevent the issuing of arrest warrants against Israeli leaders without prior consent of the Attorney General.

  21. upsidedownism on August 17, 2013, 6:03 am

    The Zio-Baroness tweeted “Imagine outcry if Proms conductor with Spaniards in the orchestra used platform to protest re Gibraltar occupation!”

    I bet if that had happened, it might not have been censored; the ZBC (sorry, BBC) would have explained that this was just one person’s opinion, with which it disagreed. Same as just about any other criticism of any other country. For precious Israel, however the Ziocrats at the BBC have to make sure that even one little critical sentence had to be censored.

    • MHughes976 on August 17, 2013, 11:26 am

      Yes, I rather think that if a Spanish conductor of works by Manuel de Falla had said ‘I look forward to conducting a Spanish Gibraltar symphony!’ the BBC would have gone all free-speech and stood out against protests in the right-wing press.

  22. Stephen Shenfield on August 17, 2013, 9:40 am

    It seems that Ruth Deech is an intelligent woman with some achievements to her credit in various fields such as bioethics and divorce law reform.

    I would like her to explain what exactly she means in denying that there is apartheid in the West Bank. The charge of apartheid is based on specific facts about restrictions on the movement and residence rights of Palestinians (permits, Jews-only roads and transport facilities, the Wall, etc.). Denying the charge may mean denial of these facts or it may mean denying the interpretation of the facts as apartheid. If she denies the facts, I would like to ask her what investigation she has undertaken of the matter. If she denies the interpretation, I would like to ask her how she defines apartheid. Is it possible to define apartheid in such a way that it applies to the old South Africa but not to the Israeli-occupied territories?

    In any case, to make such statements without any supporting evidence or argument and demand an apology from anyone who takes the opposing view is at variance with all the norms of democracy, free inquiry, and the rule of law (Deech is a lawyer). It is like a defense attorney saying that her client is innocent and demanding an apology from anyone who claims he is guilty.

  23. piotr on August 17, 2013, 10:05 am

    Just to make clear: it seems that Ruth Deech is a private citizen now, a FORMER governess of BBC: “and was appointed to a four year term as a Governor[2] of the BBC in 2002”, and she was merely quoted as some type of quotable authority, and not as representing the current management of BBC.

  24. seanmcbride on August 17, 2013, 10:26 am

    # Baroness Ruth Deech: notes
    1. “Deech is the daughter of the late historian and journalist, Josef Fraenkel, who fled Vienna and then Prague from the Nazis.”
    2. “In 1999, The Observer newspaper named her as the 107th most powerful person in Britain.”
    3. “In 2001, Deech was placed at no.26 in Channel 4’s “The God List”, which ranked “the fifty people of faith in Britain who exercise the most power and influence over our lives”.”
    4. “Several other members of her family were murdered in Nazi concentration camps in German occupied Poland during World War II.”
    5. age 70 in 2013
    6. Bar Standards board chair
    7. BBC governor
    8. bioethicist
    9. born in 1943
    10. Brandeis University alumna
    11. British Jew
    12. Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE)
    13. European Academy of Arts and Sciences member
    14. Gresham College professor of law
    15. House of Lords Crossbench life peer
    16. Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFAE) chair
    17. Jewish
    18. Jewish Leadership Council member
    19. Jewish nationalist
    20. lawyer
    21. Mandela Rhodes Foundation founding trustee
    22. née Fraenkel
    23. pro-Israel activist
    24. Ruth Deech Building, St. Anne’s College, Oxford
    25. St. Anne’s College, Oxford alumna
    26. Zionist

  25. alexseymour on August 17, 2013, 10:32 am

    Listen to what Nigel Kennedy said here:

    and the week before, also on the same subject, here:

  26. seanmcbride on August 17, 2013, 11:01 am

    # Jewish Leadership Council
    2. member=Assembly of Masorti Synagogues
    3. member=BICOM (Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre)
    4. member=Board of Deputies of British Jews
    5. member=Cross Communal Group
    6. member=CST (Community Security Trust)
    7. member=JCC for London (Jewish Community Centre)
    8. member=Jewish Care
    9. member=LEAD (Jewish Leadership Excellence and Development)
    10. member=Leeds Jewish Representative Council
    11. member=Liberal Judaism
    12. member=London Jewish Forum
    13. member=Maccabi GB
    14. member=Manchester Jewish Representative Council
    15. member=Movement for Reform Judaism
    16. member=Nightingale Hammerson
    17. member=Norwood
    18. member=Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation
    19. member=UJIA (United Jewish Israel Appeal)
    20. member=Union of Jewish Students
    21. member=United Synagogue
    22. member=WIZO uk (Women’s International Zionist Organization)
    23. member=World Jewish Relief
    24. member=Zionist Youth Council

    Three points:

    1. Is the Jewish Leadership Council the British equivalent of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations?

    2. Notice how thoroughly entwined Zionism and Judaism have become at the JLC — they have essentially merged.

    3. The JLC must exert considerable influence in British politics — and it is just one arm among many of the worldwide Israel lobby.

  27. Susan A on August 17, 2013, 12:16 pm

    Thanks Seymour, good to hear that Radio 4 piece again! Now kept for posterity! Sue x

  28. Susan A on August 17, 2013, 12:19 pm

    PS. Notice how his interviewer felt obliged to say “There are two sides to every story.” A sure sign that we’re listening to the BBC if we hadn’t known it already.

  29. Les on August 17, 2013, 1:33 pm

    She is one of 12 governors. Do we assume the other 11 agreed on her censorship of Kennedy?

    • eGuard on August 18, 2013, 10:17 am

      No. As the JC clearly says: former governor. The Board of Governors (for the BBC) existed until 2006. The Board of Governors was replaced by BBC Trust on January 1, 2007. There are trustees now, Deech is not one.

      So there are no current governors. Tom Suarez left out ‘former’, creating an error (a big one I may say). Today Deech is just a Zionist loudmouth.

      • Tom Suarez on August 19, 2013, 9:07 am

        eGuard, thank you for alerting me to the omission of the word “former” governor. The correction has now been made.
        – Tom S

  30. iResistDe4iAm on August 18, 2013, 9:17 am

    The BBC has form…

    Senior BBC official insists that all of Jerusalem is an “Israeli” city
    the BBC’s Senior Editorial Strategy Advisor, Leanne Buckle, has confirmed that the BBC is happy to refer to the whole of Jerusalem as an “Israeli” city. It sees no need for its journalists to make the facts of international law, or even UK government policy, clear to its audiences. […] Buckle writes: “a passing reference to Jerusalem as an Israeli city would not [give] listeners a misleading impression of the city’s status under international law.”

    Why is the BBC so afraid of the word “Palestine”?
    the BBC’s head of editorial standards for audio and music, Paul Smith, wrote that the show’s producer “did not edit out the word ‘Palestine’ because it was offensive — referencing Palestine is fine, but implying that it is not free is the contentious issue.”

  31. NickJOCW on August 19, 2013, 9:41 am

    Deech is not a governor of the BBC She was once but as far as I know is no longer associated with it at all. Nor is it clear to whom exactly she feels Kennedy should apologise. The Jewish Chronicle implication that somehow or other the BBC is demanding an apology is misleading as is the suggestion that the passage is being cut because Kennedy mentions apartheid. A lot of extraneous live stuff is edited from recorded broadcasts for reasons of length as much as anything. Would it be better to cut 20 bars of music? What I see here is an effort to hi-jack a perfectly normal editing decision by suggesting it is made in response to Zionist pressure.

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