The BBC has come under fire for allowing four non-Jewish panel members to hold a debate titled, “Should Jews count as an ethnic minority”.
Jo Coburn, the presenter of BBC Politics Live, is Jewish herself, but has suggested that because Jewish people have succeeded in politics, they: “don’t need to be seen as a group needing recognition in the same way as others”
Originally, a tweet from Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner prompted the discussion, after she congratulated Anas Sarwar on becoming the new leader of Scottish Labour and the UK’s first Muslim to lead a party.
The Deputy received criticism for calling Sarwar the: “first ever ethnic minority leader” when she was elected under Ed Miliband, a Jewish leader.
Benjamin Cohen commented under her tweets and was invited to talk during the debate on the BBC.
When the idea was passed over to the non-Jewish panel, viewers took to Twitter to complain, including British journalist Hadley Freeman.
21-year-old Lily Collins is a student and member of the Jewish Society at the University of Sheffield. She described the BBC’s debate as ‘irresponsible’ saying: “With arguing against the existence of a Jewish minority, comes the implication that such a group is privileged with the status of a non-oppressed group, which simply isn’t the case”.
Another issue unveiled by the debate is the use of ‘Jew’ during the broadcast. Miss Collins added: “the BBC should be tentative with the terminology as it is often aligned with pejorative implications. If they want to make the choice to say Jew instead of Jewish, they should make sure that they have multiple Jewish voices in the room, and that they are open to criticism”.