The blog of Eric Lee - web design and internet consulting for the trade union movement.

"Spooks" and the Jews: The BBC crosses a red line

The BBC has just aired a special two-part episode of the hit television series "Spooks" in which the villains -- a team of terrorists -- turn out to be agents of the Israeli government.

In the episode, the Israelis (who are Mossad agents) pose as Al Qa'eda terrorists, and seize control of a Saudi Arabian building in London, taking hostages, several of whom they murder in cold blood. One of their confederates, a British agent whose Israeli wife was killed in a terrorist blast in Tel-Aviv years before, stabs to death a female, blonde MI5 officer who suspected that he was helping terrorists.


Israeli agent posing as Al Qa'eda terrorist tells MI5 agent Ros, "You're next" (to be shot).

In scenes in which the top MI5 boss, Harry, confronts his Mossad counterpart in London, it is made clear that this is no "rogue" outfit, but an official (albeit deniable) Mossad operation.

Now, I don't know if anyone else has a problem with this, but a couple of things come to mind.

First of all, Israel has never carried out an operation of this kind. Not in London, not anywhere.

It is unimaginable that an Israeli government would do such a thing.

Previous episodes of "Spooks" have focussed on Arab terrorists, so presumably someone decided that for balance, Israelis would also have to be shown as insane, sadistic murderers.

In a sense, it is not surprising that this sort of thing comes from the BBC, whose anti-Israel bias is well-documented.

This is all scary enough, considering the recent report of a Parliamentary committee which discussed the rise of anti-Semitism in Britain. This show will do little to help combat that.

Furthermore, one wonders how Muslims in Britain and abroad will see these episodes.

Clearly if Israelis can pretend to be Al Qa'eda terrorists and carry out an attack like this, maybe in real life they do similar things?

Maybe it really was the Mossad behind 9/11, or 7/7?

With this episode of "Spooks," the BBC has crossed a red line, and one hopes that the Jewish community and all those who want to combat anti-Semitism will raise hell over this.


LEE: "First of all, Israel has never carried out an operation of this kind. Not in London, not anywhere."

Have you heard of the Lavon Affair
or are you simply naive or lying?

Excellent, Eric - that's the best parody I've read in ages. There were a couple of moments when I thought the paranoid hysteria about a fictional drama series was genuine, but when you came out with "the BBC, whose anti-Israel bias is well-documented", I knew you were taking the piss.

Excellent, Eric - that's the best post I've read in ages. There were a couple of moments when I thought the paranoid hysterics in the comments box were genuine, but when one implied that the BBC have an anti-Palestinian bias, I knew they were taking the piss.

Gosh, Dave, as recently as 1954! And how about actually reading that Wikipedia entry:

'They did little damage to the targets and caused no injuries or deaths.'

'The trial was criticized as a show trial, and there were credible allegations that evidence had been extracted by torture.'

(not a problem for you in this instance?)

'In 1980, Harel publicly revealed evidence that Elad had been turned by the Egyptians even before Operation Suzannah. If true, this would imply that Egyptian Intelligence was aware of the operation from the beginning.'

Yes, this is an excellent post. And the real mischief here is clear: this 'fiction' will, for a significant section of the Beeb's audience, have confirmed the beliefs about the real world which they already held.

Eric, I can see you're concerned, but I'd advise against objecting too strongly. Put simply, it's fiction and clearly labelled as such. I mean, OK it's not nice, but sometimes you have to take this sort of stuff on the chin. Cheers, AG

A Mossad agent posing as Al Qaeda has been on the US TV programme 'NCIS' (shown or mentioned in a few episodes).

You spoilt it for those of us who won't have seen the second episode (shown next Monday on BBC1).

This is my favourite prog. but I watched it with disgust. It was VERY Anti Israel, but in an intelligent vicious way! #whihc is the MOST effective way !

The Mossad agent was portrayed as a cynical bad, man , and was - of course fat, middle aged and badly dressed, a beard and a very hooked nose, was all that was missing!- and all the MI5 agents are good looking, and elegant..

Thank you for bringing this out in the open. I agree with all your points and was looking for an outlet to vent about this anti-semitism.

I also watched with utter disgust as:

- The "Mossad" agents deliberatly executed civilians and allied operatives in order to carry out their ruse. Obviously there never was and never will be a mission carried out by the Mossad as portrayed in this episode. This is how Muslim terrorists work, it has nothing to do with Israel It reinforces the bloodthirsty-killer jew myth that the Arab world holds so dear.

-The SAS barged into the room and killed all the immobilized "mossad" agents while they were clearly unarmed and posed no threat to anyone.

Jewish lives seldom seem to matter in the realm of international opinion, rather, how proportionate the Israeli response is to murderous Muslim terrorism are of prime importance.

-How the Israelis let their own agent disappear to Guantanamo Bay without even batting an eyelash for a hinted eternity of torment at the hands of the bloodthirsty Americans.

The Israelis have a long history of doing anything possible to retreive captives including the dubious practice of releasing hundreds if not thousands of terrorists and murderers for one or two Israelis. This would not definitely not happen and again this device serves this 2 episode series' obvious demonizing message about the bloodthirsty Israelis.

While it is true that it is fiction, it truly seems to show a strong desire by the writers to defame Israel by pinning ridiculous,sadistic and brutal practices as routine on the Jewish State.

I was not impressed...


When the Muslims take over the UK (and their doing a good job)I suppose you'll blame that on the Jews as well

having just watched this i was intrigued as to the reaction and not surprised to read a post such as yours.

given that they opened the series with a right-wing coup and that even the 'heroes' are majorly flawed - i.e. they have a go at everyone - maybe you're being overly sensitive?

you seem to find the very idea that israelis could possibly do the same sort of double-dealing on display elsewhere in the show anti-semitic?

the concept in spooks is preposterous but the venality is equal opportunity. or are israelis a special case?

I watched - and enjoyed - the prog. My only concern was that it was so anti Moslem. This whole series has featured Moslem terrorists. Even the one you complained of showed the 'pseudo' terrorist Moslems that were revealed eventually to be Jewish, but still opposing Moslem terrorists.
Next weeks episode shows Christian crazy fundamentalists. But still trying to save London from even more crazy Moslem terrorists.


Did anyone else notice the surname of the MI5 traitor...?

The BBC's fervent jew hatred continues. It finds a nice soil in Britain's congenital anti-Semitism. Repulsive. I'm glad I live in America. Keep up the good fight.

I didn't notice the surname of an MI5 traitor - what was it?

I have posted the following complaint on the BBC's complaints website, and suggest others do the same:

Having watched a number of episodes of 'Spooks', I find I cannot take it seriously since one of its main aims is to challenge the public's view of current affairs (that Islamic terrorism is a reality) by dramatically pulling back the curtain to reveal the 'real' threat, i.e. the 'nasty' security services, men in pinstripe suits, the Americans, et al. Now, apparently, it is the turn of Israel. If so many people - not least Israelis - had not died at the hands of terrorists, this would be laughable. As it is, it is obscene. Of course, we get the point - state terrorism is 'just as bad' - but is this the correct forum for such views? They can hardly be 'discussed' in a drama, even given its attempts at nuance, such as the sub-plot that the Israeli agent's wife had been blown up by terrorists; to suggest that such situations might lead to a full-blown embassy siege is truly ridiculous. The programme appears to be blaming the victims of terrorism for terrorist acts, in which case, why not suggest that a relative of the 7/7 victims was 'behind' the siege? Too sensitive? I will not go into the ludicrous scenario of a British government helping an arab country build a nuclear power station for some reason I have forgotten. To repeat - this sort of glossy but ham-fisted drama is not the appropriate vehicle for political discourse. Given the present political climate, to aim for realism by including real countries and organisations and then using them as pegs on which to hang political biases, is dangerous in the extreme. What you risk doing is replacing reality, i.e. the threat from real terrorist groups, with your own political fantasy, unless of course next week's episode reverses this theme in the interests of dramatic variety. Worse still, however, the programme appears to have fallen for the oldest prejudice, anti-Semitism, in this case regarding the state of Israel. You may (should) know that in arab countries the notorious anti-Jewish forgeries, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, are selling like hot cakes. For people who are culturally awash in anti-Semitism, even if they watched it, the fact that 'Spooks' included a 'good Jew' as well as a bad, bullying Israeli Jew, would be completely overlooked. More to the point, Western viewers are being subjected to a mild form of the same anti-Semitism - that Jews are 'behind' everything - especially the terrorist attacks upon them. it comes dangerously close to the bonkers conspiracy theories that Israel/Jews were 'behind' 9/11 and 7/7 - or at least, their American allies. In the 1930s it was easier to blame the Jews than confront Hitler, simply because Hitler was scary and the Jews were expendable. The result was that they very nearly were, in fact as well as in theory. Now we all (and I am not Jewish) are confronted by just as great a threat from terrorism; once again, it appears that Jewish sensibilities are expendable, as we seek to 'explain' terrorism by pinpointing its 'real' cause - Israel. When another terrorist outrage takes place, and the TV awards for courage and realism have been collected, and this episode of 'Spooks' has been forgotten, it will have played no small part in disabling the fight against terrorism, by dodging the real issues and romanticising those whose only object is death and destruction. In that sense, I suppose that the terrorists are in fact the only real realists.

"I didn't notice the surname of an MI5 traitor - what was it?"


Oh, and the surname of the British "court Jew" who wishes to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia and who thinks that Israel brings the suicide bombings on herself..?


This story is my "Reason #457 Why the Beeb must be forcibly pried from the public teat."

Nothing wrong with a fictious show like Spooks conjuring entertaining conspiracies, but the constant slant in one ideological direction is obnoxious. Perhaps these are the episodes the BBC commisioned.

US TV shows tend to have a varied viewpoint but BBC material is so slanted it grates.

I'm working on my own (purely fictitious) plot for a BBC thriller that goes something like this:

Hezbollah is enmeshed in a viscious war with the Israelis and wants to garner sympathy from the international community.

It sends one of its apparatchiks off to Tyre wearing a green tin hat and driving an old Red Cross ambulance. At the local morgue, he picks up around 30 corpses and takes them across to Kafr Qana where the boss has been firing missiles and rockets into northern Israel from an apartment building that's been emptied by fleeing townspeople. The bodies are piled inside the building and then they wait for an Israeli missile strike.

That's as far a my plot goes at the moment and I'm interested in finding out if the BBC are interested in the plot as it stands at the moment.

I should state again that this is fiction and should be clearly labelled as such. I mean, OK it's not nice (in fact it's sick and and it's gory), but sometimes people have to take this sort of stuff on the chin.

A much better, and far more realistic, plotline would have involved a Mossad hit-squad in London, in a kind of "Munich" style operation, going after the loads of Londonistan Islamic organisations. Maybe in the wake of a mini-nuke attack on Tel Aviv i.e. an Israeli 9/11.

innocent people getting killed in the cross fire, bombs going off at the wrong time - that sort of thing. In effect, MI5 become embroiled in a cat-and-mouse game, trying to stop Mossad , but at the same time , trying to stop the Islamo loons. While this crossfire is going on , in the background social tensions erupt into full scale riots, if not wholesale pogroms...

it would be a very interesting plot - with lots of double-agents and intrigue and not knowing who is who.

but then, that involves an IQ level of Jack Bauer and a plotline as deep as "24" - something that the braindead morons at BBC are clearly unable to accomplish.

It seems quite obvious that the BBC is bias and is run by a pack of soft-cock leftists, who have an ideological bent.
As punishment for not standing up to this crap, you will forego any chance of winning the Ashes.
Can't believe that these buttholes can weave a sense of S11 conspiracy for the dunces who smoke to much drugs and believe Islamic Extremist propaganda.

And I used to think the UK had balls!!
Wake up England !!
Sell the BBC!!


But Israel is not fictitious. Mossad is not fictional. The makers of Spooks could have created a conspiracy involving fictional players, rather than the real-life intelligence agency of an actual country. Especially when that country has a lot of previous with the BBC. Spooks is a soap opera with guns that takes place in an imaginary world, in which spies look like television actors, and the British security services are at least minimally competent. The baddies are usually fictitious, picked so as to only offend people whose opinions do not matter to the BBC. The implication behind this programme is that the scriptwriters and editors etc are as unconcerned about offending Israelis as they are about offending right-wing madmen, neo-Nazi types, and Americans. Perhaps the BBC's editors are still annoyed at the Israeli government giving the corporation the cold shoulder back in 2003:,,988767,00.html

Mind you, these people think that the BBC is in the pocket of the Israeli government, so perhaps these charges of bias are nonsense:

The way it is:

Anyone who says anything against Israel is antisemitic.

Any Jew who says anything against Israel is self-hating.

Arabs and Muslims and Christians can be portrayed in fiction as crazed fundie psychopathic loons. But Jews must never be portrayed as anything other than kind and heroic and brave and wise.

To question any of the above statements is to be antisemitic.

A fair point roGER.

Israel's recent actions in lebanon certainly took the shine off their white hat's.