An Irish TV station has been ordered to apologize after one its anchors described Israel as a "cancer in foreign affairs" on a weeknight program.
Vincent Browne, a veteran journalist and host of TV3’s 'Tonight with Vincent Browne,' made the remarks on October 23, 2012, during a news segment about the conflict in the Middle East.
The frequently outspoken pundit said that Israel was a "cancer in foreign affairs".
He said: “It polarizes the Islamic community of the world against the rest of the world.”
“Unless you deal with the problem of Israel and the Palestinians in that part of the world, there’s going to be conflict and disharmony. It’s a massive injustice - they stole the land from the Arabs.”
The complaint was upheld by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), which stated the host's remarks "failed to meet the requirement for fair, objective and impartial treatment of news and current affairs,” the Irish Independent reports.
The Independent TV network now has three weeks to apologize on air.
However, the BAI dismissed the claim that the presenter made anti-Semitic remarks during the show.
The complaint was made by Paul Rossiter who found the comments to be “deeply offensive”, regarding them as “anti-Semitic and indefensible coming from a journalist who is supposed to show objectivity”.
After the broadcast Browne expressed regret for using the word “cancer."
“What I resent is the suggestion that because you’re critical of Israel, you’re automatically anti-Semitic,” he told the Irish Independent. “I don’t think that’s acceptable.”
The BAI also ruled that a discussion on abortion on 'Ireland AM' on August 22, 2012, was not balanced.