This post is off-topic from this blog’s normal subject matter, for reasons explained below.
My father was a dispatch rider for the Royal Army Ordinance Corps, in Palestine, between 1946 and 1948. During that time a terrorist organisation called Irgun planted a bomb at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which was then the headquarters of the British Army and the Palestine government. It killed 91 people.
One of the perpetrators of the bombing was a lady called Sarah Agassi. On 27 February 2012, an interview with Ms Agassi (conducted by Jeremy Paxman) was aired on BBC1, as part of the series Empire. Mr Paxman conducted the interview in a way that outraged my father (who colloquially referred to Ms Agassi as “that dreadful little terrorist woman”).
Several weeks later, when he visited London, we discussed the interview. We then searched the internet to see if anyone else had approached the BBC to point out that the tone of the conversation between Mr Paxman and Ms Agassi had been innappropriate, but were unable to find anything.
I volunteered to write to Mr Paxman on my father’s behalf. He also asked me to put a copy of the letter on the internet, for the benefit of other British Army veterans stationed in Palestine at the time, who may have had similar feelings.
A link to a video of the Paxman-Agassi interview is at the bottom of this page.
A PDF copy of the letter can downloaded here: Letter to Jeremy Paxman re Sarah Agassi interview
Copies of the letter were sent to the producers of Empire at the BBC, to Jeremy Paxman via his agent, Performing Artistes, and to the Royal British Legion. One month later, neither Mr Paxman nor the BBC have responded.
We’re using my blog to host this open copy of the letter so other veterans of the British Mandate in Palestine, or those with an interest in the subject, can comment (below).
Anyone who wishes to contact by father can do so through me at: thejollypilgrim [AT] yahoo [DOT] co [DOT] uk.
Click here to see relevant the episode of Empire containing the interview with Ms Agassi on BBC iPlayer. The video was not working at the time of posting. Her interview was towards the end, at around 50 minutes.
Click here to see the Wikipedia page dealing with the King David Hotel bombing.
Click here to see the website providing an overview of British involvement at the time, told from the point of view of its armed forces.
Click here to see the website giving the story of British Mandate in Palestine from 1945 to 1948.
Click here to see Wikipedia page giving the political background to the situation in Palestine at the time.