Lineker well wide of the mark in sharing anti-Israel activist’s video

The Match of the Day presenter may mean well - but he should realise his response is part of a meticulously orchestrated process

December 12, 2017 12:55

Gary Lineker, the Match of the Day presenter and former England international striker, is not one to shy away from offering his perspective on issues which are not sports-related – as he has every right to do.

But, as in football, while some shots will curl into the back of the net, others will sail far wide of their intended target. And with his latest musings on the Israel-Palestine conflict, Mr Lineker hasn’t just missed the goal, he’s almost hit the corner flag.

Yesterday, he shared a video promoted by Ben White, a notorious anti-Israel activist. It showed Israeli soldiers arresting Palestinian children and putting them in a holding cage. In response to a number of tweets calling Mr Lineker out on his apparent endorsement of Mr White, the former footballer responded saying “don’t know the fella [Ben White]. As far as I’m concerned I’m retweeting a video of kids being put in a cage. Nothing makes that right”.

As pointed out by a number of people on social media, it would not be considered a defence for Donald Trump to argue that he shared videos published by Britain First because he “didn’t know” the group. So why should it be an excuse for Mr Lineker?

Mr White has written about how he “understands” why people are antisemitic as a result of the “state of Israel, its ideology of racial supremacy and its subsequent crimes committed against the Palestinians.” He also attempted to explain Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s infamous Holocaust denial, saying that the Iranian president’s use of the word “myth” to describe the Holocaust was not necessarily referring to something untrue, but to something that has become “imbued with symbolic meaning.”

Mr Lineker doubtless means well. There is nothing wrong with watching a video like that and being upset about seeing young people being arrested - – even if, as has been pointed out, showing a video of the arrests and not the preceding activities is a bit like giving a book to someone with the first hundred pages ripped out.. Furthermore, a subsequent video, filmed from a different angle, strongly suggests that what was described as a "cage" and referenced by Mr Lineker as such was not, in fact, a cage at all - though there is no doubt that he shared it in good faith. 

However, what he may not realise is that his outraged response is the result of a meticulously orchestrated process.

Here’s how it works. Firstly, young Palestinians are urged to throw rocks, Molotov cocktails and other things at Israelis – both soldiers and civilians. A number of Israelis have died as a result of such attacks.

Soon afterwards, Israeli soldiers arrest these youths for their actions – right in front of the suddenly active cameras of “human rights” groups like B’Tselem.

Videos of the arrests are then distributed around social media by pro-Palestinian activists, in the hope of getting people – celebrities in particular, to bite. And with Mr Lineker, they hit the jackpot.  

December 12, 2017 12:55

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive