(JTA) — British Jews protested what they perceived to be a BBC reporter’s claim that the Holocaust has distorted Israelis’ perception of reality and the occupation of Palestinian land.
The rebuke Thursday by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Campaign Against Antisemitism and the editor in chief of the Jewish Chronicle was over Orla Guerin’s report Wednesday on the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp’s liberation.
Against the background of soldiers visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, Guerin, who has faced numerous allegations of anti-Israel bias, including by Israel’s government, said: “The State of Israel is now a regional power. For decades it has occupied Palestinian territories. But some here will always see their nation through the prism of persecution and survival.”
Guerin’s “attempt to link the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the horrors of the Holocaust was crass and offensive,” Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman wrote in a statement. She said British Jews expect an apology.
The BBC’s press team has not responded to numerous requests for a comment on Twitter.
Guerin served as BBC’s Israel reporter between 2001 and 2005.
“Her lack of partiality on the Israel-Palestine conflict has long been a matter of concern,” Bowman wrote.
Gideon Falter of the Campaign Against Antisemitism watchdog group wrote: “Few could imagine perverting what is supposed to be an educational piece about the Holocaust to instead fuel the very antisemitism that such education is supposed to prevent, but that is what the BBC has done.”