LONDON – A well-known Irish broadcaster has referred to Israel as a “cancer” in
foreign affairs as it “stole land from the Arabs.”
In a topical
discussion about the final American presidential debate last week – which
focused on foreign policy – Vincent Browne, the host of Ireland’s TV3 “Tonight”
program, complained that the “issue of Israel” was hardly
“Israel,” he said. “Is the cancer in foreign affairs.” He
added that Israel “polarizes the Islamic community of the world against the rest
of the world.
“Unless you deal with the problem of Israel and the
Palestinians, there’s going to be conflict and disharmony. It’s a massive
injustice, they [Israel] stole the land from the Arabs,” he
His remarks led to a sharp rebuke from Israel’s deputy
ambassador to Ireland Nurit Tinari-Modai, who said that the embassy received
numerous emails and phone calls from people outraged by the 68-yearold
“My grandparents were brutally murdered on
European soil during the Holocaust. I would have never believed that the day
would come when a presenter on Irish TV would make racist, anti-Semitic
remarks,” Tinari- Modai said.
The deputy ambassador said that the embassy
had approached TV3 and offered a pro-Israeli guest to appear his show but they
Defending his remarks, Browne said it was an “infelicitous use”
of the word but maintained his comments were justified, and he “did not mean
Israel should be eliminated.”
He also refused to apologize stating again that
Israel was founded by taking land from the Arabs.
“The reality is the
Israeli state was founded by confiscation of land previously occupied by Arabs.
That injustice is at the center of the conflict,” he said.
the deputy ambassador, Browne said it was “blackmail” to brand those critical of
Israel as anti-Semitic.