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UK: BBC's new drama McMafia under fire for anti-Israel tropes

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 01:24 PM PST

Via The Jewish Chronicle:
The BBC has been accused of resorting to "gratuitous slurs" in its new drama series, McMafia, over the portrayal of an Israeli character.

The influential UK Lawyers for Israel group issued a statement following the broadcast of the first episode on BBC1 on Monday evening, attacked the depiction of Semiyon Kleiman, a shady businessman and politician, played by actor David Strathairn.

The group also claimed that the much-hyped programme also made references to Israel which were not mentioned in the book by author Mischa Glenny, on which the drama was based.

In a further criticism, UKLFI also claimed that programme-makers had distorted the meaning of the motto of Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad.

In the statement, posted on UKLFI's Facebook page, the group wrote: "BBC 1 mini-series, McMafia, uses gratuitous slurs against Israeli businessmen and makes references to Israel which aren't mentioned in the original book, McMafia, by Mischa Glenny.

"Furthermore, the mini-series distorts the motto of Mossad which was quoted in the drama, as 'By deception we will do war'.

"The actual motto comes from Proverbs, 24.6 and says 'For by wise guidance you can wage your war'.  
"The use of the word 'deception' in substitute for the words 'wise guidance' attacks the integrity of Mossad and insinuates that Israel officially sanctions deception in its intelligence activities. (...)
Award-winning scriptwriters James Watkins and Hossein Amini are behind the series which and is co-produced by the BBC, AMC and Cuba Pictures, in association with Twickenham Studios.
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Europe: The NGO industry's terror trail

Posted: 02 Jan 2018 09:02 AM PST

Via Gatestone Institute:
Gerald Steinberg (NGO Monitor): (...) On the other hand, you have cases like Germany and the European Union, where the officials involved in NGO funding avoid dealing with the evidence. Their first response to anybody providing them information on NGO terror links and antisemitism is to attack by saying, "Ah, that's a right-wing fiction." At the same time, the tight secrecy on all aspects of NGO funding in these countries continues, even in preventing members of parliament from examining the process. In Europe, the images of Palestinian suffering, and the overall sympathy for Muslim victims in general, are so strong that it is very hard to cut through the myths and slogans surrounding them. This is true across the board, even in the British Conservative Party. It is so deeply embedded in the culture that any criticism, including of NGOs with links to terrorists, immediately becomes labeled "Islamophobic." Any time you even look into where money is going, you get hit with political correctness. This is why it is crucial to create visibility and generate concern.

Gatestone: Why is your main focus Europe, with little emphasis on North America?

GS: In the case of the United States – Canada a little bit less, but still more than in Europe -- transparency in government funding is an extremely important policy and practice. Congress is pretty careful about making sure that budgets for NGO-funding frameworks are scrutinized before they are approved. Although some proposals for problematic organizations have slipped through, there is at least genuine openness and debate about the whole mechanism; discussion is routine. In Europe, on the other hand, the first time that a parliamentary debate was even held on such funding was after NGO Monitor published a report. (...)

Gatestone: To what do you attribute this difference?

GS: American culture is characterized by transparency and scrutiny. Also, in America, there is less naivety about NGOs than there is in Europe. After WWII and the Communist period, the concept of "civil society" – later called "NGOs" by the UN -- became holy in Europe. Civil society was supposed to be the antidote to manipulative democracy, like that of the Weimar Republic. But they forgot to ask what happens when civil society is itself the manipulating force. The answer is that there are no checks and balances imposed on it.
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