British media has long been accused of a strong anti-Israel bias, and even generating anti-Semitism.
Those claims have surfaced once again when during an interview with UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis for International Holocaust Memorial Day on Tuesday, a TV anchor with Sky News went as far as to suggest that Israel "fuels anti-Semitism."
The anchor, Adam Boulton, began by asking whether the fact that "people revisit this issue" of anti-Semitism is "because of Israel." In response, the rabbi explained that anti-Semitism far pre-dates the establishment of the renascent Jewish state, and in fact can be observed from the beginning of Jewish history roughly 3,800 years ago.
Boulton then responded that "many people would say that the behavior of the state of Israel, unfortunately its attitude to the Palestinians...has poured fuel on anti-Semitism," in an apparent attempt to blame Israel for the hatred of Jews.
Rabbi Mirvis responds that many events in the Middle East are a result of anti-Semitism, rather than being something provoked by Israel, with one example being attacks on Israel by the Hamas terrorist organization that has the genocide of Jews written into its very charter.
Pushing his accusation even further, Boulton asks "you don't think that the policies of the present Israeli government is (sic), to a certain extent fuels (sic) anti-Semitism?"
In response, the rabbi pointed out that Israel is a "robust democracy" with ongoing debate about its policies, and is the only real democracy in the Middle East, at which point Boulton cuts him off with yet more criticism of Israel.
"It's a democracy within (the Middle East), but then it's engaged in the settlements and occupying land that the United Nations said it shouldn't be occupying," injected Boulton.
Despite the allegations, the 2012 Levy Report in fact debunked those claims, proving conclusively that Israel's presence in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem is legal under international law, and that the areas were never the sovereign territory of another state thereby warranting the term "occupied."
After Boulton's statement, a visibly stunned Rabbi Mirvis returns to the topic, noting that Hamas's terror war against Israel has caused misperceptions and a vilification of Israel, and emphasizing that some of the hatred of Israel is a result of anti-Semitism and not the other way around.