BBC reporter defends tweet that Netanyahu played 'the Holocaust card'

Jeremy Bowen says claims he's an anti-Semite or a denier of the Holocaust are "untrue and offensive."

March 5, 2015 18:36
1 minute read.
Elie Wiesel and Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with author Elie Wiesel after speech to US Congress in Washington. (photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)

The BBC's Middle East editor defended himself Wednesday against charges of anti-Semitsm after he was scrutinized for a tweet he sent out as part of his coverage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the US Congress on Tuesday.

After Netanyahu pointed out author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel as a living reminder that the Jewish people can never be passive again, Jeremy Bowen tweeted: "He acknowledges Elie Wiesel in audience. Once again Netanyahu plays the holocaust card. don't repeat mistakes of the past."

After receiving numerous tweets assailing him for the comment, Bowen defended himself via Twitter on Wednesday: "Have been reading some recent tweets sent my way. Suggestions I'm an anti semite, or a denier of the Holocaust, are untrue and offensive."

British daily the Guardian quoted a spokesperson for the BBC as saying in response to the criticism of Bowen that "Jeremy was using Twitter and journalism shorthand whilst live-tweeting PM Netanyahu’s speech. The context of his comment is that a major part of PM Netanyahu’s critique of the proposed Iran deal was based on the specter of another holocaust. Jeremy’s tweet was designed to reflect that context. He absolutely refutes any suggestion of anti-Semitism.”

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