BBC 'Laying Holocaust to Rest' Saga Heats Up

BBC responds to petition saying it didn't call to forget but to 'reconcile', forgive Nazi genocide - petitioner takes case up a level.

Ari Yashar ,

BBC building in London (file)
BBC building in London (file)

One intrepid student is continuing his quest to demand the BBC redress its offensive TV show broadcast last month two days before International Holocaust Memorial Day, in which it asked "is it time to lay the Holocaust to rest?"

Joshua Eibelman, a junior at Maimonides School in Brookline, Massachusetts, launched a petition demanding the BBC renounced the controversial episode of its debate show "The Big Questions." The petition has been endorsed by CAMERA, as well as Christians and Jews United for Israel (CUFI), and just this week it finally got a response from the British media giant's complaints team.

Eibelman told Arutz Sheva that the response included the following explanation by Jill Robinson, editor of the program.

"We did not suggest that people should stop actively remembering the Holocaust but asked whether the time would come to lay it to rest - as will be done with World War One after the centenary of its end," claimed Robinson. "Laying to rest is not the same thing as forgetting, it is something that is done with respect and with a view to striving towards reconciliation with the traumas of the past."

Robinson's response continued "that doesn’t mean you don’t remember it at all but how you remember it and whether you widen the day to cover other victims and other genocides becomes very relevant, as do religious ideas of forgiveness, truth and reconciliation."

The response calling for forgiveness of the genocidal Nazi regime and relegating the Holocaust to the annals of history in the background of other atrocities was unacceptable for Eibelman, who has taken his case to the next level by appealing to the BBC Trust Editorial Committee.

In writing the Committee, Eibelman pointed out that his complaint "made the case that the question has an anti-Semitic nature to it, and that posing a question such as this two days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day is insensitive and dishonors the memory of eleven million lives lost during the Nazi genocide of Jews, roma, homosexuals, and the disabled."

"The question that was asked on the BBC’s ‘The Big Questions’ was suggesting acceptance of the Holocaust as something of the past," he argued. "The question was suggesting normalization of the Holocaust. Such a question proposes the acceptance of mass murder as simply one part of history."

But making the issue all the more damaging according to Eibelman is the timing of question, coming as it does "at a time when anti-Semitic attacks and rhetoric are on the rise in Britain, Europe, and all around the world."

"Asking whether the world should normalize the Holocaust at a time when Synagogues in Germany are being firebombed, and Jews are murdered because of their religion in Copenhagen and Paris is more than disconcerting: it is frightening. The process of forgiveness can only begin to occur when anti-Semitic attacks cease to be the reality, at least in Europe," he stated.