Infamous Irish broadcaster Vincent Browne has slammed claims he is anti-Semitic – after branding Israel as a ‘cancer’ in foreign affairs.
Former newspaper editor Browne now presents a controversial late night political debate show on the independent TV3 station.
He was forced to clarify his stance after Israel’s deputy ambassador to Ireland told media outlets that she never believed the day would come when an Irish TV presenter would make ‘racist, anti-Semitic remarks’.
Browne had complained on his show of the lack of discussion of Israel during the last US presidential debate between Republican nominee Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama.
He said: “Israel is the cancer in foreign affairs. It polarises 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.”
Browne later admitted to the Irish Independent that his choice of language could have been better but insisted that the criticism was justified.
He added: “What I resent is the suggestion that because you’re critical of Israel, you’re automatically anti-Semitic. I don’t think that’s acceptable.”
The notorious presenter then refused to apologise for his remarks and said that Israel was founded in 1948 by taking land from the Arabs.
Browne stated: “It is blackmail to try to brand everyone who was critical of Israel as anti-Semitic. I don’t think I differ too much from Irish or European foreign policy.”
Israel’s deputy ambassador to Ireland Nurit Tinari-Modai has taken grave exception to Browne’s remarks after revealing her grandparents were brutally murdered during the Holocaust.
She said: “I would have never believed that the day would come when a presenter on an Irish TV station would make racist, anti-Semitic remarks.”