Irish TV host brands Israel as a ‘cancer’

Vincent Browne says Israel "cancer in foreign affairs;” remarks draw sharp rebuke from Israel.

October 31, 2012 03:42
1 minute read.
Jewish Museum in Ireland

Jewish Museum in Ireland. (photo credit:


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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 mentioned.

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“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 maintained.

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 broadcaster’s remarks.

“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 declined.

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.

Responding to the deputy ambassador, Browne said it was “blackmail” to brand those critical of Israel as anti-Semitic.

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