BBC dismisses complaints after Gary Lineker endorses academic who described Israel's Gaza operation as 'textbook genocide'

The corporation said ‘presenters of flagship programmes are free to express opinions about the issues that matter to them’


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The BBC have dismissed complaints after Gary Lineker appeared to endorse an Israeli academic who described Israel's operation in Gaza as a ‘textbook genocide’.
The Match of the Day star said a commentary by Raz Segal, an Israeli associate professor of Holocaust and genocide studies, was “worth 13 minutes of anyone’s time.”
Segal was interviewed by Guardian columnist Owen Jones to discuss the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. 
Several individuals complained to the corporation about Lineker’s post on X/Twitter on November 21.

However, the BBC said in a response on their complaints page: “Our social media guidance outlines that within certain parameters, presenters of flagship programmes on the BBC are free to express opinions about the issues that matter to them. This includes issues that may be the subject of public and political debate.”

Explaining why the conflict was a ‘textbook genocide’ in the context of the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Segal had claimed: “We have both the intent and dynamics of violence on the ground [in Gaza] and because the intent is expressed so explicitly and so directly [by Israel] in such unashamed ways and it’s continued to be expressed in this way then I do think that what we’re seeing in front of our eyes is a 'textbook case' of genocide.

“That now in the last six weeks have created, in the language of the convention, conditions calculated to bring about the destruction of the group [Palestinians].”
Segal, who is employed by Stockton College in New Jersey, has previously written for The Guardian asserting that Israel, which he calls a 'settler state' was misusing the legacy of the Holocaust to win sympathy from Western leaders like US President Joe Biden.
Earlier this year, Lineker was criticised when he tweeted that the language used around the UK’s immigration policy was “not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 1930s.”
He stepped back from his Match of the Day presenting duties “until an agreement was reached on social media use”.
Several days later, just days later, the BBC reversed its position and announced that Lineker would return to air and would initiate an independent review of its social media guidelines. 

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