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Gary Lineker criticised over sharing video from anti-Israel activist

The Match of the Day presenter accused of bias after retweeting a clip posted by Ben White, a virulent critic of Israel

    Gary Lineker has been accused of bias after retweeting a video from an anti-Israel activist .

    The former England footballer and Match of the Day presenter shared a video promoted by Ben White, a UK-based anti-Israel speaker and author, which showed Israeli soldiers arresting Palestinian youths. Mr Lineker described the video as “sickening”.

    One social media user described the fact that Mr Lineker had retweeted Mr White's post as "sickening". Others accused the former Tottenham Hotspur striker of lacking "wisdom" and urged him to "find out the facts".

    Others praised him for sharing the video.

    Mr Lineker responded by saying he was unfamiliar with Mr White. “Don't know the fella," he tweeted. "As far as I’m concerned I’m retweeting a video of kids being put in a cage. Nothing makes that right.”

    The Sussex Friends of Israel group responded by saying that “If Trump had said about Britain First ‘I didn’t know the fellas,’ would that have made his posting of their videos ok?”

    Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, the former spokesperson for the IDF, tweeted: “Sorry, Gary, you've completely missed the point. When kids throw stones they are a public menace. They need to be stopped. Yes, the video is unpleasant but it conveniently shares only a glimpse of what happened, the aftermath of their actions. You should be wiser than this.”

    Mr Lineker responded: “I stress I’m not taking sides, but locking a bunch of youngsters in a cage is wrong. I ask you in return do you think that is the right way to treat them? I’ve tweeted vehemently against fascism, bigotry, terrorism etc but you don’t seem as interested in those tweets.”

    Mr Lineker also went on to say that he has “done many tweets condemning abuse, particularly when it involves youngsters. I will continue to do so, wherever that may be”.

    He did not respond to a request from tweeters asking him to show examples.

    Mr White has previously written that he can “understand” why some people are antisemitic, as a result of the “state of Israel, its ideology of racial supremacy and its subsequent crimes committed against the Palestinians”.

    This article has been amended to remove the incorrect statement that Mr White has compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews.

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