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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

‘Israel has deep pockets, controls media’: Pakistan FM accused of anti-semitism in CNN interview

During the segment on CNN International, Qureshi told Golodryga, who is Jewish herself, that Israel “controls the media” and has “deep pockets”.

By: Express Web Desk |
May 21, 2021 12:06:26 pm
When Golodryga asked him to clarify what he meant, Qureshi responded that the country had “deep pockets”. A visibly perturbed Golodryga asked, “What does that mean?” (Screengrab: CNN)

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has been accused of propagating anti-semitic tropes during an interview with CNN.

During a segment on Israel-Palestine conflict, Qureshi told CNN anchor Bianna Golodryga, who is Jewish herself, that Israel “controls the media” and has “deep pockets”. “Israel is losing out,” Qureshi said. “They’re losing the media war, despite their connections…The tide is turning,” he added.

When Golodryga asked him to clarify what he meant, Qureshi responded that the country had “deep pockets”. A visibly perturbed Golodryga asked, “What does that mean?”

“They’re very influential people,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister replied. “I mean, they control media.” When Golodryga accused Qureshi of making an anti-semitic remark, he retorted: “Well, you see, the point is, they have a lot of influence, and they get a lot of coverage.”

He went on to speak about the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip for about a minute, before the CNN anchor pushed him to address his earlier comments. “I will not justify any rocket attacks…and I cannot condone the aerial bombardment that is taking place,” Qureshi said, describing Israel’s attack on Hamas as “genocide”, “ethnic cleansing” and “war crimes”.

The heated seven-minute exchange was aired just shortly after Qureshi spoke at a United Nations Security Council session earlier in the day. In a short clip of the interview shared by CNN, Qureshi claimed that the responsibility to stop the violence in the region lay with Israel. Hours later, Egypt was able to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas after 11 days of fighting.

“I had planned to speak with Pakistan’s foreign minister about paths towards a peaceful resolution between Israel and Hamas. Instead, he began the interview by invoking an anti-Semitic slur,” Golodryga tweeted after the interview.

The ceasefire was due to take effect at around 2 am on Friday, just over three hours after the decision was announced.

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