NBC slammed for 'anti-Semitic' TV show

Law and Order episode seems to claim Israel, Jews have "Criminal Intent."

law and order 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
law and order 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A popular US television series is coming under fire after a recent episode portrayed Israel in a harsh light and appeared to promote anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews as disloyal citizens. The plot line of the February 27 installment of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, a fictional police drama broadcast across America on NBC, centers on a journalist who is poisoned after his girlfriend uncovers a foul-up by Israeli intelligence. The show depicts Israeli bulldozers destroying Palestinian schools, with at least one character referring to "Israeli brutality." It also includes a Jewish police captain who agrees to cover up for Israel by shutting down a criminal investigation at the urging of the head of the local pro-Israel group. In one scene, after Captain Danny Ross tells his officers to halt their investigation, Detective Mike Logan confronts him and asks, "Are you a Jew first and a cop second?" After the episode was broadcast, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) launched an e-mail campaign urging people to protest to NBC over the content of the program. In a report appearing on the group's Web site, CAMERA noted that, "Damaging misinformation is being conveyed about Israel not just in news stories, but in popular culture items as well." Asserting that the episode "fosters negative stereotypes of Jews as disloyal Americans and Israelis as brutes who demolish Palestinian schools and kill innocent civilians," CAMERA said that, "during this time of escalating anti-Semitism and anti-Israel animus, the show's executives have shown extremely poor judgment to promote such an anti-Jewish, anti-Israel storyline." The group encouraged people to write to NBC President Jeff Zucker, as well as the program's executive producers, to voice their concerns over its content. Contacted by The Jerusalem Post, NBC sent a statement via e-mail, which said, "As you know, the program material on Law & Order: CI has traditionally addressed provocative, contemporary issues. Its 'ripped from the headlines' stories often spark debate on many controversial subjects. As noted on air, the program is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event." An NBC spokesman declined to respond to questions concerning allegations of anti-Semitism in the show's dialogue and plot.