BBC rabbi quits over media giant’s antisemitism, ‘I was never quite part of the club’

After 30 years, Rabbi YY Rubinstein said he “doesn’t see how any Jew who has any pride in that name can be associated with the Corporation anymore.”

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A rabbi who for three decades was a regular commentator for the BBC has quit over the network’s blatant antisemitism, British-Jewish paper The JC reported Tuesday.

Rabbi YY wrote in his letter of resignation, “I simply don’t see how I or in fact any Jew who has any pride in that name can be associated with the Corporation anymore.”

The most recent egregious example of anti-Jewish bias he cited was the network’s report on an attack in December on a bus full of religious schoolchildren in London. When the bus was halted near a bus stop, several men banged on and spit at the bus windows, yelled at the passengers, put up their arms in a Nazi salute, and showed them the middle finger.

The BBC reported that anti-Moslem slurs could be heard from inside the bus, which was categorically proven to be untrue by an exhaustive investigation carried out by the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Yet the network has steadfastly refused to retract or apologize for its reports on the incident.

Rubinstein wrote “The obfuscation and denial that followed, was and is utterly damning.”

In a separate article for The JC, the Orthodox rabbi wrote about his 30-year career as a regular on several religious and news programs on the radio and television, and had found almost everyone he worked with to be kind and professional.

“Yet all through my years…. I was aware that despite my many friends there, I was never quite part of the club,” he wrote.

One of the unofficial symbols of being a member was always carrying a copy of The Guardian, into work, he noted.  The left-leaning paper is highly critical of Israel, and has been accused by many Britons of accepting an antisemitic slant in its articles regarding both Israel and Jews.

“Those ubiquitous folded copies of The Guardian under so many BBC arms, rather like the presence of certain markers that appear in blood tests, point towards something more worrying, in this case, the widespread cancer of anti-Semitism” at the corporation, he wrote.

The Orthodox rabbi added that he has “scores” of stories of arguments among editors and writers around the wording of scripts that showed them to be far more worried about offending Moslems than Jews.

The BBC denied that the network was antisemitic when commenting on the resignation.

“We are sorry to hear of Rabbi YY Rubinstein’s decision as he has always provided thoughtful and compassionate contributions to our programs, which have been deeply appreciated by our listeners,” the spokesperson said. “Antisemitism is abhorrent and we strive to serve the Jewish community, and all communities across the UK, fairly.”