The fourth and final part of The Promise, if possible, was even worse than the previous three put together in it’s demonisation of the Jews.
Anyone who defends the programme as “balanced” and really believes that all Jews are as evil as they are portrayed in it, must either be a. ignorant, or b. antisemitic.
This is just beyond anti-Zionism and any defence of it as such, as opposed to antisemitic, is just laughable.
I am not at all saying that some of what the Israelis and Jews did in The Promise didn’t happen; it did, and I would not defend the actions of the Irgun, some of what they did was disgusting.
But looking at The Promise from the perspective of someone who has no knowledge of Israel now or then, what they would think is that the Jews are totally evil.
In modern-day Israel, the Israeli brother tells Erin that “you can do anything you want to the Palestinians” with no consequences, and we see Israeli soldiers stand by as Jews scream abuse and throw glass and rocks at defenceless Palestinians - and this is portrayed as the norm – whilst the Palestinians in The Promise never do anything like this.
The reality is very different, not least because much as people like to pretend it isn’t, Israel is a democracy and Jews, just like Arabs will face the consequences if they are involved in violent behaviour. And that includes Israeli soldiers who are punished if they act against the IDF's strict code of conduct.
Meanwhile in The Promise’s version of the late 1940s the Jews are not only murderers but traitors as well – Clara, the Jewish woman who Erin’s grandfather was involved with, and his British-Jewish soldier friend both betrayed him leading to the deaths of British soldiers and Arabs.
The Promise completely ignores the other side to all this: that a. the majority of the Jews condemned these attacks – and not only condemned, but the Haganah, the original Israeli Defence Forces who worked alongside the British, captured and turned in Irgun members to the British; and b. at that time the Arabs attacked and killed hundreds of unarmed Jewish civilians.
The Promise fails to mention that the UN proposed the partition plan to create a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, and that the Jews accepted this but the Arabs rejected it.
It also throws in a large dose of sympathy to a Palestinian family whose daughter was a suicide bomber, and whose brother, a member of Hamas “says it’s his job to protect the family” – as though that’s in their charter and not to kill all the Jews or anything like that.
Finally, at the end of the programme, the director dictates to the viewers exactly what he aimed for them to think:
- About the creation of the state of Israel, Erin’s grandfather: “embarrassed and ashamed”.
- About present day Israel, Erin on the idea of returning: “Why, what’s the point?”
I have never seen such an obvious attack of delegitimisation of Israel on every level like this. With it's sympathy of Palestinian terrorists, and deliberate distortions and omissions of Israelis' and Jews' actions, The Promise is against both Israel’s right to existence and it’s right to self-defence, without both of which all the Jews would die. If that’s not antisemitism I don’t know what is.