Sky News reporter Mark Stone who covered the May conflict between Israel and Hamas has apologized for suggesting that antisemitism in the United Kingdom was “actually the consequence of the current Israeli government’s policies” toward the Palestinians.
The original comments, came in an exchange with Twitter user Walter Merrick, who alleged that “we constantly see unbalanced reporting not just Sky but also BBC, ITV and Channel 4.”
“This is resulting in such Jew hatred in the UK. My children have to hide who they are I’m not sure they have a future in this country it’s got that bad,” Merrick continued.
Stone responded, “I am so sorry your children have to hide. Unacceptable. It’s interesting that so many *Israelis* tell me that the ‘Jew hatred’ you experience is actually the consequence of the current Israeli government’s policies; their prolongation of an untenable occupation.”
The remarks were followed by furor from Jewish groups and social media users, which included calls for Stone’s resignation.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center called it “unconscious antisemitism,” tweeting, “@Stone_SkyNews blames Israel for #antiSemitic attacks targeting European Jews by pro-#Hamas thugs on streets of UK. Is Jew-hatred justified when a nation defends her citizens from Hamas’ 4,000+ missiles?”
The UK-based Campaign Against Antisemitism commented, “The International Definition of Antisemitism, states ‘Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions Israel’ is antisemitic. This way of making Jew hatred ‘understandable’ is a cause of surging antisemitic crime. @SkyNews, get this man off our screens. Complaint to follow.”
Later on Tuesday, the Sky News presenter apologized after deleting the offending tweet.
“I’m very sorry if my last Tweet suggested that antisemitism is in anyway imagined or that it exists because of the actions of the Israeli government. It is not and it does not,” he wrote.
“I was pointing out that some Israelis I have spoken to do feel the actions of their government is damaging the image of the State of Israel and fueling anti-Jewish sentiment. These are not my views, they are those of people I have spoken to in my reporting from Israel. I am sorry.”