BBC apologises after radio host tells listeners ‘Israel hasn’t really worked out'

By Josh Jackman, March 17, 2016

The BBC has apologised after one of its radio presenters said on-air that Israel “hasn't really worked out” as a country.

BBC Radio London host Chris Rogers was hosting a phone-in on Tuesday about the refugee crisis when a caller asked: “Why can’t they put a load of them (refugees) in Africa?”

The presenter replied: “Is just dumping families from all over the world, with lots of different cultures and reasons for fleeing - is just dumping them in a new state, if we do Israel all over again, is that really the answer?

“I mean, Israel arguably hasn't really worked out, has it?”

A Board of Deputies spokesman called on Mr Rogers to clarify or apologise for remarks which he said were “off-hand, politically-loaded” and “most unfortunate”.

In response, a spokeswoman for the BBC explained that “Chris Rogers was trying to challenge the caller's point by finding a historical comparison and in the heat of a live programme discussion he picked the example of Israel.

“He accepts that his words might have implied criticism of the creation of the state of Israel which was not his intention. BBC Radio London apologises if any listener was offended.”

In 2014, Mr Rogers apologised after he was filmed making a Nazi salute and goose-stepping with one finger under his nose while creating a BBC documentary about antisemitism in Poland and Ukraine.

Last updated: 12:09pm, March 17 2016