London (archive)
London (archive) Nati Shohat/FLASH90

A popular Jewish BBC contributor has resigned after three decades with the public broadcaster due to concerns over antisemitism, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

In a letter explaining his decision, Rabbi Rabbi YY Rubinstein – a regular presence on shows such as BBC Two religious affairs program “Good Morning Sunday” and Radio 4’s “Thought For the Day” – said that “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.”

He added that the BBC’s coverage of the Jewish community is “simply inexcusable.”

Pointing to the broadcaster’s recent reporting on the antisemitic attack on a bus full of young Jews celebrating Hanukkah, which the Board of Deputies described as a “colossal error” due to the BBC falsely alleging that victims had provoked their attackers with an anti-Muslim slur, Rabbi Rubenstein said: “The obfuscation and denial that followed was, and is, utterly damning.”

Jewish community organizations and leaders have urged the BBC to retract the claim of the anti-Muslim slur, especially after the Board of Deputies hired an independent investigator who found no evidence to support the BBC’s allegation.

Community leaders, along with several MPs, have also called on BBC to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism in the wake of increasing concern over problematic reporting on Jews and Israel by the public broadcaster dating back years.

With the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) ranking the BBC third on its yearly “Global Antisemitism Top Ten List,” behind only Iran and Hamas, the Campaign Against Antisemitism rallied outside BBC headquarters in London, calling on the BBC to “stop blaming Jews.”

Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, castigated the BBC for its reporting of the Hanukkah attack.

“The BBC falsely reported that a victim on the bus used an anti-Muslim slur,” he told the Daily Mail. “But what was heard on tape was a distressed Jewish man speaking in Hebrew appealing for help.”

Jewish leaders, including the president of the Board of Deputies Marie van der Zyl, are reportedly set to meet with the head of the BBC in the coming weeks to speak about their concerns over its coverage of the Jewish community and Israel.

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