for forthcoming uk programmes of jewish or israeli interest

Archive for May, 2014

The Talmud

tomorrow morning (thursday 29th), 9.00-9.45am, on bbc radio 4 (shortened repeat tomorrow evening, 9.00-9.30pm)
the talmud (in the in our time series) (more…)

Christians in the Holy Land: Part 2

yesterday afternoon (monday 26th), 3.30-4.00pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710) (repeated from 9.30am on
christians in the holy land: 2. newcomers (in the heart and soul series) (2nd of 2 parts)
john laurenson starts the programme by reporting on israeli indifference not only to their own elderly but also to the good hardworking indian catholics whose christian mission and ministry is to look after them – not even giving them enough food to eat (one wonders that they manage to send any money home to their families in india) – a suffering and hardship which their christianity enables them to bear
as father tojy, the indian catholic chaplain in the holy land, says (at 0:01:00) …

“We have around 6,000 Indian Catholics working as care-givers, the working conditions are hard, and difficult. The [care-receivers], they are elderly people to look after, and some of them are very sick, mentally not sound, very hefty people, like 130 kg [20 stone], and old people like that, they can’t able to lift, such cases it is difficult. So some of the employers are very rude, and they don’t even give food for these employees, and they pay them the minimum what is required by the government and sometimes the very minimum they give for eating.
I think the spiritual services, attending the spiritual activities enable[s] them to cope with all the sufferings and hardships. Also, like they are doing it as a mission or ministry, caring for the abandoned, nobody to look after, no families …”

this israeli indifference to the elderly is confirmed (at 0:05:40) by father david neuhaus, catholic patriarchcal vicar …

“They come in, and this is very important to underline, they come in, particularly the Asian Christians, come in as loving hands, because they come in as care-givers, our rich people don’t take care of their old people any more, nor of their sick people, nor of their handicapped …”

(already available at
bbc journalists seem to have worked out at last that the bbc’s middle east guidelines on balance do not apply to religious programmes, and no balance is required when reporting on how much worse israeli jews are than christians!

Sunday: Pope Francis in Israel

last sunday morning (25th may), 7.10-7.55am, on bbc radio 4
sunday includes (0:00:00-0:08:00 and 0:31:55-0:43:30) …

“As Pope Francis continues his three day pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Samira Ahmed asks if his trip will go any way to revitalising the peace process there?
The current state of interfaith relationships in Israel and the West Bank is discussed by Mohammed Dajani, Founder Wasatia Movement, Rabbi David Rosen, Director of Inter-religious Affairs at the American Jewish Committee, and Rev Father David Neuhaus, Latin Patriarchal Vicar.”


The Walter Benjamin broadcasts

tomorrow evening (saturday 24th), 8.00-9.00pm, on bbc radio 4
the benjamin broadcasts (in the archive on 4 series) (more…)

Woolf in the Jungle

tomorrow morning (thursday 22nd), 11.30am-12.00, on bbc radio 4
woolf in the jungle (more…)

Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism

tomorrow afternoon (wednesday 21st), 4.00-4.30pm, on bbc radio 4
islamophobia and anti-semitism (in the thinking allowed series) includes …

“Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism – similarities and differences.
Comparisons of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim sentiment are strikingly absent in British accounts of race and racism.
Laurie Taylor talks about a new study which attempts to remedy this omission with Nasar Meer, Reader in Comparative Social Policy at Strathclyde University, and contributor to Racialization and Religion: Race, Culture and Difference in the Study of Antisemitism and Islamophobia.
They’re joined by Rumy Hasan, Senior Lecturer at the Sussex Centre for Migration Research at the University of Sussex, and author of Dangerous Liaisons: The Clash Between Islamism and Zionism.”


Claudia Roden: Outlook

this evening (tuesday 20th), 10.15-10.25pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
outlook includes bbc food programme presenter sheila dillon interviewing claudia roden (more…)

Circumcision: Today

this morning (tuesday 20th), 6.00-9.00am, on bbc radio 4
today includes …

“Is it right to circumcise babies?… Israel is beginning to orchestrate a campaign in defence of male circumcision … Kevin Connolly reports …”
“The German campaigner Christian Buzz equates the circumcision of boys with the genital mutilation of girls: “It’s about the rights of the child, and religions only obfuscate the debate, because if you talk about religion you lose the focus on the child, you forget about the child, that’s why actually when we are talking about circumcision we are talking about the rights of the child to bodily integrity. I am not anti-semitic – but – we cannot forget about the rights and the boys whose voices are not being heard. So we stand by the boys and the girls, even though people might accuse us to have other hidden agendas”.”


Ivan Klima

yesterday afternoon (monday 19th), 12.33-12.45pm, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710) (repeated yesterday evening, 9.05pm)
ivan klíma (in the outlook series)

“The distinguished Czech writer Ivan Klima reflects on his biography Crazy Century – from a Nazi concentration camp, to persecution by the Communist government and the euphoria of the Velvet Revolution.”


Christians in the Holy Land: Part 1

last sunday morning (18th may), 9.30-10.00am, on bbc world service radio (freeview channel 710)
christians in the holy land: 1. bagpipes in bethlehem (in the heart and soul series) (2nd, final, part next week)
john laurenson presents essentially a propaganda piece against israel, failing to interview a single one of the over 80% of christians who have left bethlehem as to why they have done so
his interviewees include vivien sansour, who he fails to mention is an activist and organizer who has been involved in social justice issues and organizing communities in Honduras, Uruguay, Palestine, United States, and Egypt, who is frequently invited to participate in panels, shows, conferences, and civic events to speak about the military occupation in Palestine and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, who is currently is a producer and writer for ImaginAction, and is the co-creator with Hector Aristizabal of the play “In-tea-rro-r-gator”

“Bethlehem’s Christians have dwindled from 85% in the population in 1948 to around 15% today.”

Pope Francis will make a highly symbolic trip to the Holy Land, meeting his Orthodox counterpart, having talks with the Israeli prime minister as well as the Palestinian president. He will also say mass in Manger Square in Bethlehem, as the birth place of Jesus, the most significant place for Christians around the world.In the first of this two-part documentary, John Laurenson travels to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, to explore why this once overwhelmingly Christian place is losing Christians in droves.
It seems like the place where it all began looks more like a place where it’s al coming to an end. The Christians now represent less than 15% of the population. John explores the reasons for the exodus.

In the fields where the Angel Gabriel is said to have told the shepherds about the birth of Christ, a Christian returnee picks wild peas and wild barley and tells John about the land, her family in LA and how a foraging expedition with a 10 year-old nephew ended with Israeli tear-gas.
The spokesman for the Israeli PM says Christians are leaving because of the Muslims, but the Christians say there is little tension between the two faiths there.
John also hears from Bethlehem’s bagpipers as they prepare to honour a tradition that goes back to the British mandate – to parade with pipes and drums in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.”

for an analysis, and for a transcript of extensive parts of the interviews, see…
for the actual israeli order granting all west bank christians access to israel over easter 2014 and for the pope’s visit (subject only to “relevant security screenings”), contrary to laurenson‘s message, see
(if you missed it, available at

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