WE NEED YOUR HELP.
We urgently need you to write in support of the SBS series “The Promise”
I am sure that most of you watched the SBS series “The Promise” shown just before Christmas and found it a refreshing change to see the Palestinian predicament given fair treatment in this political thriller.
The director, Peter Kosminsky took eight years to research and make the film for the British Channel 4 network which follows the Israeli-Palestine conflict from the end of British mandate Palestine to the present. A letter from a British army veteran had sparked his interest because no one had ever paid any attention to the 100,000 British soldiers stationed in Palestine between 1945 and when Israel was created in 1948. Kosminsky, who is of Jewish background, says: “The almost universal view among the soldiers we interviewed was that they were intensely sympathetic to the Jews when they arrived. But in the three-and-a-bit years that followed, their attitudes changed. They were attacked by Jewish fighters, they were increasingly confined to quarters, their families were sent home, they were kidnapped and in one case, two sergeants were hanged. The soldiers began to see the Arabs as the underdogs and sympathy for them increased. The soldiers also felt aggrieved about what they felt was the ingratitude of Palestinian Jews, whom they felt they had helped in the Second World War.”
We have had many people write to say how much the series opened their eyes to the historical background of the Israel-Palestine conflict, something that is rarely presented or discussed in our media. Naturally, it also aroused the ire of the Israel apologists much as it did in the UK where the UK regulator, Ofcom, received more than 40 written complaints about anti-Semitic depictions in the series. Hoping to stop the series from being shown in Australia, WA Labor Senator Glenn Sterle wrote to the SBS Ombudsman claiming that the program “would be viewed as anti-Semitic by any reasonable person.” His letter is attached as published by Vex News, a Zionist blog. Unable to stop the program from being shown, numerous members of the Jewish community wrote to the Senate Complaints committee which is now holding a hearing in February at which the Managing Director of SBS Michael Ebeid must defend his decision to run “The Promise”.
Although people had written to SBS commending it for showing “The Promise”, Mr Ebeid received only one supportive letter addressed to him personally from Anisa Hamood in Adelaide. Many more are needed in defence of the series for the hearing.
If we want SBS to run more programs that give a fair and balanced depiction of the Israel-Palestine conflict and a human representation of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice, then we ask you please to write to Mr Ebeid commending SBS for the four-part series of “The Promise” and asking for it to be replayed. We are writing to those of you who have expressed a desire to help in the past and who have seen “The Promise”. Without a groundswell of support from people wanting to see the Palestinian narrative get a fair run, we may well see the Israel apologists once again dominate what can and what cannot be shown, aired or written. Please write to:
Mr Michael Ebeid, Managing Director, SBS Locked Bag 028, Crows Nest, NSW, 1585 and mark it “Private and Confidential”.
Since SBS funding is currently being reviewed, it would also be worthwhile to write to Wayne Swan MP, Senator Penny Wong and Prime Minister Julia Gillard suggesting that extra funding be allocated to SBS so that more quality programs will be shown, especially those that provide an even-handed representation of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Senator Penny Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Hon Wayne Swan MP <Wayne.Swan.MP@aph.gov.au>
The Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia, PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600, Fax No (02) 6273 4100
Attached is our letter to Mr Ebeid
Gareth Smith & Maxine Caron
14 Cumbebin Park
Tel: (61)02 66858410
MOB: 0422 298 165
“The sleep of reason produces monsters” Goya
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” Voltaire
“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian Archbishop