The BBC must be confronted for a “joke” about Israel’s coronavirus vaccine campaign that was actually a thinly veiled, updated version of a classic anti-Semitic blood libel.
The BBC, which is no stranger to accusations of anti-Israel bias, parroted a disgraceful two-month-old joke from an American program that was blasted as anti-Semitic.
In February, NBC’s long-running “Saturday Night Live” program aired a “joke” claiming Israel only vaccinates its Jewish citizens against the coronavirus, echoing a centuries-old blood libel about Jews killing members of other faiths.
The BBC broadcast an eerily similar vaccine joke recently on its “Have I Got a Bit More News For You” show, with the punchline claiming that Israel “ignores its Arab population.”
The BBC and NBC are promoting lies with these jokes. The truth is that all Israeli citizens over the age of 16 are eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, regardless of religion, ethnicity or national origin.
Israel has even sent vaccines to the Palestinians, although it has no obligation to do so under the Oslo accords.
After the BBC’s latest anti-Israel episode, the Israeli Embassy in London commented, “Arab citizens in Israel have been offered vaccines, and special campaigns in Arabic have targeted these communities in order to prevent misinformation and address any concerns that they may have in order to increase uptake.”
A BBC spokesperson responded, “The comments were satirical and in keeping with audience expectations of this well-established topical entertainment show.”
A joke that claims Israel denies Arab citizens a vaccine for the coronavirus, which kills people, is actually an updated version of the classic anti-Semitic blood libel, which falsely accuses Jews of killing non-Jews. While blood libels generally include a ritualistic dimension, the BBC’s version insinuates the Jewish state is so ruthless and hate-filled that it denies its own non-Jewish citizens lifesaving medical care.
Demand that the BBC tell the truth about Israel and its vaccine program!
Sign the Campaign Against Antisemitism’s petition against the BBC by clicking here.
Send the BBC your own message telling them to tell the truth about Israel’s vaccine program and to stop spreading falsehoods about its treatment of Arab citizens: Dear Sir or Madam, I am writing to demand that the BBC correct David Tennant’s suggestion on “Have I Got a Bit More News For You” that Israel does not vaccinate its Arab citizens. This is a lie. All Israeli citizens are eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or national origin. Tennant’s so-called “joke” is reminiscent of anti-Semitic blood libels. Correct this error now and stop permitting taxpayer funds to be used to promote anti-Israel and anti-Semitic messages.
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