Channel 4 News levels baseless charge that Israeli politician used “racist tropes”

The Channel 4 News presenter's unsubstantiated allegations against both Sa'ar and Gantz represent yet another example of the British media promoting the "Israel is moving dangerously right" narrative regardless of the facts.

An April 10th Channel 4 News report on the Israeli elections by Inigo Gilmore included a very brief exchange between the presenter and Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar during the party’s victory celebration in Tel Aviv.  Before showing the exchange, Gilmore described Sa’ar’s reply to his question about Netanyahu’s promise to annex some West Bank settlements as repeating “familiar racist tropes”.

Here are the comments by Sa’ar that Gilmore describes as racist (the 2:16 mark of this video):

Sa’ar: “Never in the history [was there a] Palestinian state, and the future will be the same”.

Gilmore: “So, the re-election of Netanyahu means the end of any hopes for a Palestinian state. Is that right?”

Sa’ar: There are enough Arab states in the region…and the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria will continue to enjoy full autonomy”.

Whilst you can of course reasonably find Sa’ar’s opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state objectionable, it’s unclear how such views can be characterised as evoking “familiar racist tropes”.  

Further in the report, Gilmore casually claimed that Benny Gantz, who led the rival Blue and White Party, has “boasted about killing Palestinians”. This is extremely misleading, as the presenter is likely referring to  campaign videos put out by Gantz, the former IDF Chief of Staff, in which he took credit for killing terrorists and destroying Hamas military targets during the 2014 war.  This is a far cry from “boasting about killing Palestinians“. In fact, Gantz has expressed pride in IDF’s efforts to avoid civilian casualties, and repeatedly said during the campaign that “seeking peace with the Palestinians is not shameful”.

The Channel 4 News presenter’s unsubstantiated allegations against both Sa’ar and Gantz represent another example of the British media promoting the “Israel is moving dangerously right” narrative regardless of the facts.

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