By Justin Cohen
Police have launched an investigation into an on-air phone call to a BBC London Radio programme in which a man spent nearly 13 minutes denouncing Jews and their “rule” over British society.
During the Simon Lederman show on 22 December, the caller, introduced as ‘Andy from St Margaret’s’, said: “The Rothschilds, the people who own the Bank of England, the people who own the Federal Reserve, they’re all Zionist Jews. The people who own corporate America, the media, you’ll find if you just do a little bit of research, they’re all Zionist Jews. We are ruled by Zionist Jews.”
The caller’s comments continued with a long and bad-tempered rant in which he complained of an obsession with the Holocaust and repeated: “We are dominated by the Jews’ system, the financial Jewish system.”
The Campaign against Antisemitism said the caller was given quarter of an hour to spout his views without “counter argument, correction or condemnation of his views that Jews control money, banks, commerce and the media”.
A police spokesperson: “Police in Barnet are investigating an allegation of anti-Semitism made by a caller to a London radio talk show. No arrests have been made. Enquiries are ongoing.”
But BBC Complaints, while apologising for “any offence caused by the caller’s views”, said Lederman is an experienced journalist “with a good understanding of BBC editorial policy which he made every effort to follow by robustly challenging the caller”.
In an email to a complainant, it added: “The listener called saying he wanted to talk about his belief the UK is a plutocracy not a democracy. That was the reason he was put on air in the first place, but it soon became clear he had another agenda about Zionism and simon chose to explore and challenge those opinions.”
CAA add that they will appeal against the response of the BBC.
CAA and the Board of Deputies called for the BBC to hand the caller’s details to police but the BBC said last month it had received no formal request from officers.