BBC draws outrage for including anti-Israel activist in Nazi documentary

British-Jewish television presenter Rachel Riley called it “upsetting and downright insulting.”

By JNS.ORG
September 5, 2019 04:51
1 minute read.
A pedestrian walks past a BBC logo at Broadcasting House in central London

A pedestrian walks past a BBC logo at Broadcasting House in central London. (photo credit: OLIVIA HARRIS/ REUTERS)

BBC Two has come under fire for featuring in a new documentary an activist who defended the anti-Semitic spray-painting of a Warsaw Ghetto wall.

Novara Media senior editor Ash Sarkar is included in the three-part program “Rise of the Nazis,” which premiered on Monday. 

In September 2018, the self-proclaimed Communist and BDS supporter expressed “solidarity” with those who spray-painted “free Gaza and Palestine, liberate all ghettos” on one of the last remaining parts of the Warsaw Ghetto wall. She denied the defacement was anti-Semitic.



Jewish historian and professor Sir Simon Schama called Sarkar’s inclusion in the documentary “really appalling.”



British-Jewish actress Tracy Ann Oberman told Patrick Holland, BBC Two’s channel editor, “as someone who lost famiky [sic] during The Rise of The Nazis I am deeply disturbed that of all knowledgable [sic] experts/historians, you use Ash Sakar a woman who endorsed the spray painting of the remaining WatsawGhetto [sic] wall-an open grave for our families. Why?”



She labeled Sarkar “a momentum propagandist” and told BBC to “rethink your ‘experts’ please. Too much insensitivity and lack of diligence on this. I’m sure @BBCTwo didn’t mean to cause offence with this Sakar booking but it has and it makes a mockery of the subject matter.”



Board of deputies’ president Marie van der Zyl blasted the “insensitive and provocative” inclusion of Sakar in the program. British-Jewish television presenter Rachel Riley called it “upsetting and downright insulting.”



Sarkar said on Tuesday that she rejects “wholeheartedly claims of anti-Semitism,” noting that she has received racist abuse for her program appearance.


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