A renowned Irish broadcaster has referred to Israel as a “cancer”.
Speaking about the US presidential debates on Tuesday night, Vincent Browne lamented the lack of discussion of American support for Israel. “Israel is the cancer in foreign affairs,” he said, adding: “It’s a massive injustice — they stole the land from the Arabs.”
The comments were made on Mr Browne’s show on Ireland’s TV3 channel, Tonight with Vincent Browne.
Defending his remarks, Mr Browne said that by calling Israel a cancer “I didn’t mean it should be eliminated. It was an infelicitous use of the word.
“The reality is the Israeli state was founded by confiscation of land previously occupied by Arabs. That injustice is at the centre of the conflict.”
Israel’s deputy ambassador to Ireland Nurit Tinari-Modai said: “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 station would make racist, antisemitic remarks,” she claimed.
“We today received phone calls and emails from outraged Irish people who intend to complain about Mr. Brown’s ongoing hateful comments towards the Jewish people and the Jewish state.”
Ms Tinari-Modai said that the embassy had approached TV3 and offered a pro-Israeli guest to appear on Tuesday’s show “but regrettably the show declined.”
Responding to the deputy ambassador’s criticism, Mr Browne insisted: “I’m not antisemitic and will not be blackmailed.
“We have said we will accommodate that person in the near future.”