Conflict in the Middle East often brings unprecedented condemnation of Israel in the UK and European media.
The subsequent public outpourings of hate on the streets of Manchester, London Paris and Berlin has brought Anti-Semitism out in public.
Sadly many politicians have also been quick to be opportunistic and jump on the bandwagon.
In the summer of 2014 a meeting was called in Manchester for the Jewish Community in the North West of England, to address the issues of what we can do individually and together to answer the accusations… whether they be made on Facebook, Twitter, newspapers, radio, TV or in Parliament.
The meeting was addressed by a leading figure in the community, a journalist, and prolific Social Media commentator.
The meeting highlighted the problems we face when:-
– our “friends” on Facebook accuse Israel of being ‘apartheid’, or of committing genocide. Or they just keep sharing and posting articles and stories that are full of hate.
– radio or TV commentators say something we disagree with
– inaccurate articles appear in the press
Here is how the meeting addressed these concerns:
DON’T wring your hands, wail and cry “lies lies lies”
DON’T reply with venomous hate language
DON’T repeat, share or quote stories/articles that you haven’t verified thoroughly
DON’T go back in history quoting the Balfour Declaration
(its too long you’ll bore the pants off them, and people only want to hear about the here & now)
DON’T tell them it’s always been our land anyway
DON’T brand a whole race, or nation, as terrorists
DO keep a respectful, calm and tempered tone in what you say
DO make sure any stories/quotes are Powerful, True and Credible
DO be compassionate
DO take time to consider your answers, do not rush your thoughts
All incidents of Hate Crime should be reported to:-
The Social Media or News channel where it has occurred.
Shimon Peres (before he became President of Israel) once addressed a meeting in England where he was heckled.Peres spoke with authority. He said to them “You have one big weapon on your side. The biggest weapon you have is ignorance.” They shut up.
There are many things you see on Facebook that are demonstrably untrue, or at best inaccurate in a way that makes them untrue.
Naturally we are tempted to counter them.
The better option is simply to report it, using the reporting system of that particular Social media channel.
To wade into a debate on Facebook or Twitter you will have to be both brave and very prepared… its not for the feint of heart.
If you do wish to counter or attempt to correct what a ‘friend’ has said on social media –
– Make it connected to you
– Don’t waffle
– Tell them your personal story
– Tell them how it affects YOU
– If you quote facts, make sure those facts stand up to scrutiny
One person in the audience gave this example:-
He was in Israel on the beach at the outbreak of the conflict. An air raid siren went off and they had find a bomb shelter. He sent a text to Radio 5 Live, saying he was in a shelter in Israel during an attack and was willing to speak on radio.
They phoned him straight back and interviewed him, live on air, for 2 minutes. The interview was repeated during the day.
A similar thing happened a few days later, and this chap was on the radio again.
BBC Radio 5 Live has a rolling live news agenda. If something is happening at that moment they will break into whatever else is on air at that time and go straight to a news report.
Just send a Text to 85085 with a brief message.
See also – http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live/shows/606/get-in-touch/
Don’t say to a journalist “it would be great if you did a story on XYZ, I know people would lap it up”.
You really need to go to them with the whole story. Explain its significance. Tell them your involvement.
Don’t expect a Jewish journalist to be able to carry your story in the national press.
Jewish journalists will probably be marked out as biased, so will be bottom of the heap for getting Israeli or Jewish stories into the publication.
BBC, ITV, CHANNEL4, SKY
Don’t think its a waste of time
The BBC regularly receives over 40,000 messages in support of each Palestinian issue – compared to just 2,000 from the Jewish community.
That’s why they changed their minds and agreed to screen the Gaza Appeal recently.
More recently there has been a letter writing campaign, from the Jewish community, to point out that casualty figures given by Hamas were being quoted by the BBC and others without any hint that they had not been verified.
As a result of that pressure, the BBC are now back tracking and saying these figures may be incorrect.
SO COMPLAINTS COUNT !!!
REGISTERING A COMPLAINT with the BBC is easy and painless.
Just phone them up
You will be asked why you are complaining, and the person will make a note of everything you say (so be to the point).
They will not question you, or enter into a debate.
Once you have given your details they will say thank you and hang up.
ALL complaints are logged and the totals are reported to BBC management.
LETTERS OF COMPLAINT to press journalists are important too.
It gives them feedback. It may make them uncomfortable
They may wish to ignore your voice, or dismiss it. But it may just make them reconsider, or vary their view just enough to have been worthwhile.
• Make it your story.
• Make sure your facts are robust.
• Say why its important to you.
WRITE LETTERS OF SUPPORT
Those who support Israel’s case need to know their efforts are appreciated.
So write and thanks those MPs and journalists, and others who are prepared to stand up and take the flak.
11,000 LETTERS CAMPAIGN
We want everyone to write letters. And it’s important. Not just now in the current conflict, but also as a regular thing the Jewish community does.
It’s important to remind MPs and the media that anti semitism is close to the surface and will change this country, and the rest of Europe, if it’s allowed to take hold. Not just changing the world for Jews, but destroying the tolerant fabric of society that Europe has embraced and fought for since the Second World War.
See – https://www.facebook.com/11000Letters
EVEN A ONE LINE LETTER COUNTS
Don’t worry if you’re not the sort to write long considered letters, or just don’t have the time.
All letters count.
But if there are no letters, we have no voice at all and the other side has won.
ONE IMAGE EQUALS A THOUSAND WORDS
Well meaning articles are appearing in the national press. However despite this it seems that what Israel is fighting is a telegenic war ie one where images score time and again over common sense. So if you have stuff which is pictorially powerful, true, credible and says far more than any words of protest can then send to news desks/television stations etc and alert them to your story.
CONTACTING MPs MEPs Local Councillors
General advice about letter writing to your representatives.
The website below provides an easy way to contact all your representatives.
Another all-in-one web site directing you to your MPs
The Independent firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The Daily Telegraph firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sunday Telegraph email@example.com
The Times firstname.lastname@example.org
The Guardian email@example.com
The Financial Times firstname.lastname@example.org
Daily Mirror email@example.com
The Sun firstname.lastname@example.org
Daily Mail email@example.com
Daily Express firstname.lastname@example.org
Manchester Evening News email@example.com
The Observer firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday Times email@example.com
Belfast Telegraph firstname.lastname@example.org
Birmingham Post email@example.com
Evening Standard firstname.lastname@example.org
Edinburgh News email@example.com
The Economist firstname.lastname@example.org
New Statesman email@example.com
The Spectator firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC BREAKFAST NEWS email@example.com
BBC – DIRECTOR GENERAL firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC – HARDTALK email@example.com
BBC – NEWSNIGHT firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC – NEWSROOM email@example.com
BBC – PANORAMA firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC – PM email@example.com
BBC – RADIO 1 firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC – RADIO 4 – YOU & YOURS email@example.com
BBC Radio 5 LIVE http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live/shows/606/get-in-touch/
BBC – TODAY firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC – TODAY COMPLAINTS email@example.com
BBC – WORLD SERVICE firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
BBC GENERAL firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC COMPLAINTS WEBSITE www.bbc.co.uk/complaints
CHANNEL 4 viewer_liaisonC4@itn.co.uk / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
CHANNEL 4 WEBSITE www.channel4.com/4viewers/contact-us
CHANNEL 5 viewer_liaisonC5@itn.co.uk / email@example.com
SKY NEWS firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com (Viewers Editor – Adam Harding)
ITN – GENERAL firstname.lastname@example.org
ITV viewer_liaisonC3@itn.co.uk / email@example.com
ITV WEBSITE www.itv.com/viewerservices