Dateline London editor hints of Jews being responsible for weekend news show’s axing.
By Pesach Benson, United with Israel
Dateline London, a BBC news program, is going off the air after a 25-year run, and the show’s editor has hinted his blame for the Jews.
Nick Guthrie, who has been editor since Dateline London’s inception, criticized the BBC brass for the cancellation.
Speaking at a farewell party for the show, Guthrie said, “Just because a particular group, government, lobby groups, whatever, object to views expressed by others does not mean the BBC has to kow-tow. All the more important it has to stand up robustly for freedom of speech.”
The Sunday morning program was cancelled among a series deep cost-cutting measures. Since September, hundreds of BBC employees have been laid off and ten of its foreign language broadcasts were axed. The BBC is funded by taxpayer money through an annual television license fee.
In response to Guthrie’s comments, the Campaign Against Antisemitism said in a statement, “Perhaps Mr Guthrie would care to enlighten us as to who it is who exercises such power over the BBC. British Jews could then direct our concerns, which the BBC seems routinely to dismiss, to them.”
The show was frequently criticized by Jews for regularly featuring Islamist pundit Abdel Bari Atwan, editor in chief of Rai al-Youm, an Arab news and opinion site.
Atwan, who was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza, has praised Palestinian terrorists as “martyrs,” defended the 1972 Olympic massacre and gloated over the deaths US and French military personnel killed in a 1983 Hezbollah truck bombing in Beirut.
In 2007, Atwan insisted he would “go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight” if Iran fired missiles at Israel.
More recently, the 72-year-old Atwan sympathized with Hadi Matar, who stabbed author Salman Rushdie in August, and according to the Jewish Chronicle, claimed that the Palestinian Nakba was worse than the Holocaust.
YouTube also removed Atwan’s channel for praising Palestinian terror in April. However, he launched a new YouTube channel in August which already has 824,000 subscribers.
While Jewish activists have long called for Dateline London to drop Atwan, none are known to have sought the show’s cancellation. Dateline London had an estimated 10-15 million weekly viewers globally.
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