The historical vandalism of Peter Kosminsky


This review of Peter Kosminsky’s “The Promise” was written by CiF Watch reader, D. Gold

Channel 4’s The Promise, its dramatization of the events leading up to the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948, juxtaposed with a portrayal of the current situation, was captivating viewing. In terms of a gripping story, excellent acting and directing, as a production it had the full package. There was just one thing that let it down – the film’s brazen attempt to re-write history, in what could be characterized as a daring ideological raid against facts, context, and history.

Towards the end of episode three it descends into its most flagrant abuse of history, as it depicts Israeli children throwing stones at Palestinians. Of course there is some element of truth to accusations against Israel as well as against Palestinians, but the sheer audacity of the programme to imply that children throwing stones is an Israeli phenomenon would be amusing were it not so serious. Palestinians have been known for years not to just give their children stones to throw, but guns and detonation devices.

As the final episode begins, the civil war of 1947-1948 comes into focus, naturally without perspective or facts to accompany it. The historical record shows that when the Arabs rejected, and the Jews accepted, the two state solution proposed by the UN in 1947,  violent actions were launched by Israel’s enemies.  Among the first victims of this assault were Israeli passengers of a bus massacred by a group of Arabs from Jaffa.

Yet as Erin’s grandfather tries desperately to save a Palestinian family and a child in particular, we are reminded that the Arabs are nowhere near Israel and that the Israelis are trying to take strategic sites such as ports. As it is said during the episode, “if we don’t leave there will be nothing left to defend by the time the Arab armies get here.”

This was of course a strange portrayal of a conflict in which Israel was attacked first. Who does Kosminsky think attacked Israel – the invisible Arab army of Jaffa? Once again, the show finds itself fighting against history itself. Not a surprise though when you consider that the first episode recounted the history of Arabs and Jews living side by side in the area for a thousand years without mentioning that Jews were the indigenous population of the land which later became known as Palestine.

Incredulously, during one scene, the programme dramatizes an Israeli soldiers taking a girl from her home to be used as a human shield. The irony here is obvious but requires repetition. Hamas place missiles and rocket launchers near schools, hospitals, and other highly densely populated areas, in order to maximise the impact of Israeli self-defence against their rockets. Israel’s army, portrayed in this drama as unspeakably evil, are the only army in the world who have long practised warning civilians in advance of the areas and places that will be bombed. In fact, Israel goes to incredible lengths not to cause civilian casualties; such as sending in soldiers to fight hand to hand rather than launch air strikes against targets, as in Jenin in 2002. Yet there are scenes where Israeli soldiers fire into a home unannounced and without warning. To suggest that Israel uses Palestinians as human shields is the epitome of the programme’s inversion of reality.

Perhaps most chilling of all is the sight towards the end of an innocent Palestinian child being killed trying to escape the fighting – a sight that would shock anyone, but, due to the lack of context or any supporting historical context , seems to have been created in the imagination of Peter Kosminsky, and is, perhaps, the lowest point of the film, one which evokes the historical narrative of Jews who delight in killing innocent non-Jewish children.

Indeed, the cause of the historical falsehoods are enunciated by Kosminsky himself. In a long list of groups and people consulted, Kosminsky cites Palestinians and Israelis, but only Israelis from groups such as Breaking the Silence, who have a stated agenda to expose corruption in the Israeli army. By his own admission he has only sought the views of those who will be critical of Israel, and none who will defend it.

Ultimately my post is not a defence of Israel as such.  Rather, it is a defence of history, without which justice – a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – is unlikely to ever be realized.

Kosminsky’s “drama” is in conflict with history itself. We are all entitled to our views, regardless of how far-fetched or implausible, but no one is entitled to rewrite the historical record. The Promise is a well produced, superbly acted and elaborate work of historical vandalism.

73 comments on “The historical vandalism of Peter Kosminsky

  1. Hoi,

    “Employing the same logic the Allies could have used gas chambers”

    What the hell does that mean? Please explain that one.

  2. Ever notice the pressure in the West to be Politically Correct?

    Do the islamist [islamo]fascist “progressive” enemy feel the need to be Politically Correct???

  3. Hoi Polloi, I think Reith was antisemitic and if you read about Churchill you will see that the Colonial Office was far more favourable to the Jewish national home than the Foreign Office.

    As far as I know the now FCO runs on Lawrence’s Arab fantasia.

  4. Smtx – found it for you at last!

    http://www.iba.org.il/media/Media.aspx?topicCode=928&pageCode=252&siteCode=152&tabNum=3

    It really is a wonderful series.

    As it happens, my daughter is a film maker. Whilst we were in the UK she tried to interest production companies in taking on some of her work, including a script she had written for a short film about the Intifada days.

    Unfortunately, it seems that the industry is only interested in putting money into films which show Israel from certain (you can guess which) perspectives. I’ve heard this from established UK-born film-makers too.

    Even in Israel it is easier to find funding for films which will succeed abroad because they show us in a none-too attractive light. When it all boils down, film and TV are commercial fields and people produce what sells. Showing the Israeli point of view is not a commercially profitable position to adopt today.

  5. Anon, Israel did not ‘colonize’ the land as you claim. Most of the Jews who moved to Israel during the period bought land from Arabs who were happy to sell it to them to make a bit of money. Is there something wrong with moving to a country and settling there legally? Are you going to campaign against immigration in Britain and elsewhere as well? Or is this just a double standard? And secondly, Jews lived in Palestine before there was such thing as a Palestinian.

    Btw, on the other points, I did say Israel is probably guilty of some of the things it is accused of, it is not perfect, I’m sure some soldiers have done some terrible things. But Kosminsky blatantly exaggerates the extent to which that is true. And as for you having been in one place where Israelis used a human shield and two where houses were destroyed without warning, what a coincidence that you have witnessed so much of this! What are you – a Hamas operative?

  6. later this month, the weinstein company will be releasing miral, a movie based on a novel that tells the isaeli/arab situation from the eyes of an arab living in jerusalem

    the movie has played a few festivals…most notably cannes…and hasnt wowed critics

    weinstein is trying to hype the film by saying its mired in controversy….uhhh…no it aint

    the critics just didnt like it….and no one thinks it can sell in america

    i may go and see it, cuz that hottie from slumdog plays the lead…and there is a great scene with her shirt off as shabak tortures her….

    im a sicko

  7. “Hoi Polloi, I think Reith was antisemitic and if you read about Churchill you will see that the Colonial Office was far more favourable to the Jewish national home than the Foreign Office.”

    768 men, women and children murdered as a direct result of British policy:

    The Struma Tragedy

    http://www.turkishjews.com/struma/

  8. “i may go and see it, cuz that hottie from slumdog plays the lead…and there is a great scene with her shirt off as shabak tortures her….

    im a sicko”

    Yes.

  9. dang….i totally missed anon’s smash and bash

    so his grandma was born in jaffa in the 30s? where was his great grandma born?

    my mom was born in america in the 30s….does that make my family indigenous to america?

    orange groves for generations? how many years? where?

    never mind that the last aliyah began in the 1880s….check that….50 years before grandma was born…that would make any jew born between 1880 and 1930, indigenous…..WE WIN

    no one denies that individual idf soldiers used human shields….and were punished….but it was never idf policy

    of course israel enters homes unannounced….wanna tell an armed terrorist….HI…WE ARE COMING IN NOW

    i love the israel haters argument

    “sure the jews were there…but rome kicked them out….so they have no right to return…as everyone would want to go back to claim their original lands”

    “the arabs are indigenous to the land….therefore they have the right to return”

    cant win against a two headed coin

  10. honestly people…why jump through hoops?

    at the potsdam conference…the czheck people were given the big thumbs up to commit ethnic cleansing

    500,000 ethnic germans were expelled from their borders….all who had resided for generations….and not all were connected to the nazi party or ww2

    there is a definite double standard in the world….

  11. Hoi Polloi

    i used nam to compare the us to britain….not about the founding of the state of israel

    there have been many films about nam….none recently done to whitewash what america did there

    kosminsky goes out of his way to relieve the brits of the responsibility regarding their colonialist policies in the middle east

    and has been rightfully ripped to shreds for doing so

  12. D Gold

    the scenes in hebron were taken directly from the btselem video project

    all vids produced were done during 2007

    they were specific events, not repeated

    not one of the vids is put into context….most of them show out of control children (a problem that i have with most chareidi families)

    many of the vids were taken on purim…and why one would allow a child under the age of 16 to drink is beyond me

    you can find one with a kid who is definitely drunk attacking an arab holding a cam….and then see his father dragging him away

    if these were repeated actions…then btselem would have posted the vids…they didnt

    and there are none past 2007

    in fact…because they can no longer make vids showing “settlers behaving badly” they have taken to using pallywood stunts

    google, “11 year old palestinian boy arrrested for throwing rocks”

  13. Hoi Polloi, I know about the Struma but Britain had the Mandate a long time before that and you can’t actually claim that you got nothing.

  14. Hoi,

    “Employing the same logic the Allies could have used gas chambers”

    What the hell does that mean? Please explain that one.

  15. Perhaps Israel could distribute free copies of Palestine Betrayed by Efraim Karsh. I am reading it very slowly. It is very densely-packed with information and references.

    What it shows is that nothing is what the Arabs and their supporters claim. After Britain banned the sale of land to Jews except within severely restricted areas Bedouins complained about the loss of income they really needed. Very funny in relation to al Arakib now. And whom was AKUS writing about when he said they sell the land and then still claim it as theirs?

    Karsh’s is certainly not the only account that shows what a deceit the claims of Israel (or Jews) the coloniser(s) are. Ben Gurion could in 1937 or 1938 assume that the Mandate had meant what it said. But after the war there was no doubt that as far as Britain was concerned it didn’t. Weizmann seems to have been too gentle a man and too decent to comprehend how low the British could be.

  16. “Ben Gurion could in 1937 or 1938 assume that the Mandate had meant what it said. But after the war there was no doubt that as far as Britain was concerned it didn’t.”

    “after the war”

    Do you mean “after the war” as in post-1945 or after the war as in “as a result of what Britain had done/not done during the war”?

    ————–

    White Paper of 1939

    “Jewish immigration to Palestine under the British Mandate was to be limited to 75,000 over the next five years, after which it would depend on Arab consent”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Paper_of_1939

  17. “Hoi Polloi, I know about the Struma”

    You might but there are people reading the posts here who do not

    “but Britain had the Mandate a long time before that and you can’t actually claim that you got nothing.”

    Yes, they were wonderful:

    Why was almost 80% of the Mandate territory of Palestine given to Arab Jordan?

    http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_ww1_british_mandate_jordan.php

    In any event, nothing but nothing could possibly compensate for Britain’s (or America’s) filthy conduct during and before the war to the Jews of Europe. As I’ve stated elsewhere, as far as the Jews of Europe were concerned both Britain and American might as well for the most part have been fighting under the Swastika.

  18. Ariadne writes:

    “you will see that the Colonial Office was far more favourable to the Jewish national home than the Foreign Office.”

    You mean like this?

    “A statement on “British Policy in Palestine,” issued on 3 June 1922 by the Colonial Office, placed a restrictive construction upon the Balfour Declaration. The statement included “the disappearance or subordination of the Arabic population, language or customs in Palestine” or “the imposition of Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole”, and made it clear that in the eyes of the mandatory Power, the Jewish National Home was to be founded in Palestine and not that Palestine as a whole was to be converted into a Jewish National Home. The Committee noted that the construction, which restricted considerably the scope of the National Home, was made prior to the confirmation of the Mandate by the Council of the League of Nations and was formally accepted at the time by the Executive of the Zionist Organization.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Mandate_for_Palestine

    And this (see Struma link above):

    “The loss of Struma provoked heated debates in the British Parliament. Sir Harold Mac Michael, the High Commissioner for Palestine, was blamed for deliberately delaying the information to the Turks in regard to the admittance of the children to Palestine, and was transferred to Malaysia.”

    http://www.turkishjews.com/struma/

  19. Hoi Polloi, I know but we had Churchill who was a Zionist for a long time. And rather important.

  20. Hoi,

    “Employing the same logic the Allies could have used gas chambers”

    What the hell does that mean? Please explain that one Hoi.

  21. Pingback: A Rare Glimpse of Reality in the Guardian | Solomonia

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