A pedestrian walks past a BBC logo at Broadcasting House in central London.
(photo credit: OLIVIA HARRIS/ REUTERS)
The BBC apologized on Wednesday for including an imam that has been accused of being antisemitic on a leadership panel set up to question potential Tory leaders.
In a tweet in 2014 that can be seen on the website Guido Fawkes, Imam Abdullah Patel shared an image of the map of Israel superimposed onto the United States, with the headline "Solution for Israel-Palestine conflict - relocate Israel into United States."
"FOUND THE SOLUTION!" the imam wrote above the picture. "America wants to look after Israel? I've got a way to make them neighbours! (Until Israel attack)"
Another tweet by the imam that has been published by the website reads: "Every political figure on the Zionist's payroll is scaring the world about Corbyn. They dont like him. He seems best suited to tackle them!"
The imam has since deleted his Twitter account.
British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has also been called an antisemite by numerous Jewish organizations, leaders, and politicians within the UK and beyond for comments he has made about Israel.
The BBC apologized on Wedneasday morning for including the imam on their program, saying they should have checked into his history before including him on the panel.
"I would like to apologise," wrote BBC presenter Nicky Campbell. "We had the Imam from the BBC Tory leadership debate on our programme this morning. His social media comments have been extremely disturbing. We should have checked. We didn’t. I’m sorry."
Patel argued that accusations that he was antisemitic were unfounded and that he was merely being critical of Israel.
"The criticism was not of the Jewish community because if you go through my tweets, you'd see support for the Jewish community," he told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
"They're our brothers and sisters, and the Jewish community and I - especially in Gloucester - work very closely together. We actually visited a synagogue just a while ago."
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