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January 12, 2015 10:19 am

BBC Reporter’s Apology for Anti-Semitic Question at Paris Unity Rally Fails to Convince (VIDEO)

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A photo of Tim Willcox and his anti-Semitic comment is being widely circulated on Twitter

BBC reporter Tim Willcox left campaigners against anti-Semitism unmoved with an apology for causing “unintentional” offense after he made an anti-Semitic comment on live television yesterday. Willcox told a Jewish interviewee attending Sunday’s unity march in Paris that “many critics of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.”

Willcox’s disturbing comment came in the middle of an interview with a woman in the crowd who expressed concern that Jews in Europe were now facing a situation similar to that which prevailed in the 1930s. “We have to not be afraid to say that that the Jews, they are the target now,” she said, before Willcox interrupted her with his remark about Palestinians suffering at “Jewish hands.” When the woman objected to the comparison, Willcox informed her, “But you understand, everything is seen from different perspectives.”

The reporter later took to social media platform Twitter to offer an apology of sorts. “Really sorry for any offense caused by a poorly phrased question in a live interview in Paris yesterday – it was entirely unintentional,” Willcox wrote.

Campaigners against anti-Semitism were unimpressed, however. “Tim Willcox is right to have apologized for the question, but the thinking behind it was just as problematic as the way he phrased it,” Dave Rich, Deputy Director of Communications for the Community Security Trust, the official communal security body of British Jews, told The Algemeiner. “There are simply no grounds on which to suggest that random Jewish shoppers in a Paris kosher grocery might be responsible for the fate of the Palestinians.”

Michael Salberg of the Anti-Defamation League accused Willcox of engaging in “anti-Semitism, plain and simple,” describing the reporter as “a proponent of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and stereotypes.” As The Algemeiner reported last November, Willcox caused a separate furore during a BBC television panel discussion when he suggested that Jewish voters uncomfortable with British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband’s stance on Israel were motivated by financial concerns. “A lot of these prominent Jewish faces will be very much against the mansion tax,” Willcox said, referring to a Labour proposal for an additional tax on properties worth $3.5 million or more.

Several Twitter users responded to Willcox’s apology by highlighting the November incident. “It wasn’t at all poorly phrased, you have a proven track record of antisemitic statements,” said Shmuli Brown, a Chabad rabbi who serves Jewish students in Liverpool. Other users highlighted the fact that Willcox made his remark less than a month after Danny Cohen, the head of television at the BBC, admitted at a conference in Jerusalem that he had “never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months.”

Other critics of Willcox included the historian Simon Schama, whose recent BBC/PBS series “The Story of the Jews” won critical acclaim around the world.

“Appalling of @BBCTimWillcox to imply any and all JEWS (not Israelis) responsible for treatment of Palestinians by hectoring lady in Paris,” Schama said on Twitter. “Then he had gall to patronize her at the end – ‘you see people see it from all sides.’ That Palestinian plight justifies anti-Semitic murder?”

Watch BBC reporter Tim Willcox ambush a woman at the Paris unity rally with an anti-Semitic question:

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  • Christians are suffering at the hands of Muslims around the Arab world. Does that mean Christians should kidnap and murder random Muslims living in Christian countries? During the 1991 Gulf War the BBC gave equal time to Saddam Hussein to reply to any statements made by the UK Govt, winning itself the title ‘Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation’. Not a lot seems to have changed.

  • bea green JP BA

    I escaped Nazi Germany in 1939. I’m nearly 90 years old and know about antisemitism.

    Antisemitism is a disease.
    Is there a cure? Well, yes – if one could go into a pharmacy and ask for some medication that produces REASONABLENESS.

  • Marie Dellatola

    Dear Mr Wilcox, The Jews are God’s Covenant Chosen People, you touch the Jews you touch the apple of God’s eye, that is in the Bible Zechariah 2:8. And in Genesis 12:3,In you all families of the earth shall be blessed and in Numbers 24:9 Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you. So, Mr Wilcox, I urge you to be careful what you say about the Lord’s People, they are protected by God and soon you will see the total destruction of all wicked people [sinners] as God pours out His Wrath at the end of this world.

    • We Christians have stolen enough from The Jewish Faith without adding fundamentalism to that! That does not speak highly of the Crusades, Pogroms through History or what imperialism poses!

  • Stuart Hersh

    Reflections of “Lord Haw Haw” and “Axis Sally.” He just keeps sticking his foot in his mouth right up to his ass.

  • Lynne T

    It is a compulsion with Willcox and his ilk. French Jews are either survivors of the Nazi genocide or Sephardim forced out of North Africa, either by edicts stripping them of property and citizenship in the name of the Palestinians (Egypt and Libya), or from Arab ultra-nationalist movements (Algeria, Morocco), etc.

    And the Beeb’s sister corps, the CBC has plenty of these. This morning, David Common, the hourly radio news anchor, described the burial of the four Jewish kosher grocery store victims in Israel as an act of “vindication” in the 5 a.m. broadcast this morning!?!

    • It is rather simplistic! But it is far easier for a commentator to get it wrong about the Jews! They do not fly into a rage, strap a suicide belt on and launch an attack against free speech!

      Je suis Patrick!

  • Fred

    Wilcox is most satisfied that he was able to provoke, by his insensitivity at this occasion. He works for the BBC
    he is paid by the Arab advertisers. Anti Semitism is good for any occasion. If he feel so much for the Philistines poor “professional sufferers” he should do
    a stint under HAMAS the owners of Gaza ,they will embrace him. The Jews are still suffering because thanks to British mess they caused in the Middle East and elsewhere.

    • Are you sure the BBC has ‘Arab advertisers’? The BBC income is based on the licence fee we pay to operate a t.v. The BBC may sell their programs to Arab broadcasters. ‘Thanks to the British mess they caused in the Middle East…’ From the Balfour Declaration to the League of Nations Mandate to the various attempts to partition the region of Palestine, no one did more to build the foundations for the Jewish National Home than Sir Winston Churchill, in various British Govt positions. See Sir Martin Gilbert, Winston Churchill and The Jews, Simon and Schuster 2007.

  • Ron

    No surprises here. Just another journalist from the Left dominated BBC who has swallowed the “Palestinian victim” narrative. In 1967 I was a student in Paris when the 6 day war occurred. I remember the convoys of cars, blowing their horns and waving Israeli flags driving up and down the Champs Elyses. what a difference now! The PLO and others realised they had to swing world opinion in their favour, and since then have conducted a huge propaganda campaign to portray Israelis as the aggressors, despite all the terrorist attacks against them, despite the attempt toverun and wipe Israel out in 1973, despite the thousands of rockets launched at Israel from Gaza since the 2005 “peace” deal. Set aside the fact that the original “palestinians” were Jews and Samaritans, since it was Rome that renamed the province Palestine. Since 1948, when many arabs were told to leave Israel by the front line Arab states, so that they could come back after the Jews were eliminated, none of those states have allowed the “palestinians” to integrate or become citizens. They kept the “palestinians” deliberately in camps, so as to provide propaganda and a source of combatants.

    The BBC has not been impartial for many years.

  • Stephen Kohn

    I moved to Israel from NY 24 years ago. In NY the response to his ‘apology” was plain and simple: BS!

  • Leah B

    Please fire him from his job. He is incompetent, biased, has poor judgement and is the antithesis of what a journalist should be. He is a disgrace. I have heard him a few times sprouting his anti-semitic statements and slanted interpretations, as though it were the gospel. It is dangerous as it spreads vicious views and contributes to what is happening worldwide. Time for journalists to have moral courage to say the truth and nothing but the truth. Eg. when you hear lies all the time, you think it is the truth. Look at what happened in Germany, falsehoods swallowed by the population as a whole, which led to shocking outcomes.

  • jack40

    Jews ! Keep you weaponned and efficient with your guns, and wait for The D Day with these antisemitic future “Mitläufer” who will at best, stand by the Murderers…So don’t be Pacifist nor pacific and keep you threatening these cowards like Wilcox to restrain their wickedness….so far…

  • Helena

    “There are those who see that Palestinians are suffering from Jewish hands.” Those, he mentions are muslims firstly and secondly, people who have been brainwashed by them.

  • The BBC is institutionally antisemitic.

  • Anglojew

    The BBC are directly responsible for the very social milieu that justifies violence against Jews and conflates Jews and Israel all the whole demonising both Israel and Jews. They do their best to link all Jews to any claimed misdeed of Israel (real or imagined) yet take exactly the opposite approach with Muslims always minimising any links between Jihad terrorism and Muslims. They’re enablers of Jihad terrorism and directly responsible for violence against Jews because of this constant demonisation of Israel.

    It must never be forgotten that the BBC made the US ambassador to cry on British television just after 911 by claiming the USA had it coming.

    Would Willcox justify 7/7 because of UK foreign policy? Probably privately but never publicly because he’s not just a leftist Jew-hating English-traitor but a cowardly one at that.

  • One would like to have asked Wilcox how he would have rephrased his statement – it was very well phrased and it’s meaning was explicit. His apology however condemns him further as it’s deliberate deflection reflects a personality who is insincere as well as racist.

  • charlie johnson

    His mouth should be declared a weapon of mass destruction and a handyman should be hired to close it permanently with a quart of Superglue.

  • steven L

    Adding insult to injury or Danny Cohen “est un con”!

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    I knoow that the incident occurred in Europe and maybe they are less senssitive about insulting, degrading, and lying about Jews. After all Europe has a long history of anti semitism, whether spicy or mild, but in the US such would not be tolerated or would it? See NY TIMES Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, NBC. I have seen how the bowels are turned inside out when something off kilter is said about Blacks, Hispanics, Woman, Gays, Transgenders but when it comes to Jews the ball game has different rules.

  • Michael Fox

    I don’t get it. Why would anyone be surprised that a BBC reporter took an anti-Semitic position while interviewing a French citizen at the rally in France? The BBC has a long standing reputation of opposition to Zionism, Jews and the state of Israel. You who are offended obviously don’t watch BBC….and why would you if you wanted a fair and unbiased perspective of newsworthy current events.

    • tony

      So the TRUTH is anti-semitic now? What a deluded and narcissistic bunch

  • judithg

    looking forward to hearing that anti-semite wilcox’ arab muslim bff’s have ripped out chunks of his flesh, leaving it bloody and rotting on the ground around him. prior to chopping his head off, that is.

  • Yussi

    Not surprising from a bbc talking head..has he been fired yet?

  • Tim Wilcox wants a high paid job at Aljazeera,like many of his previous colleagues at the BBC,who now work at this Arab propaganda TV station.

  • Mr Wilcox ignores the most basic problem with his statement. He ignores the Palestinian leadership, who have avoided coming to an agreement with Israel. Exchange of land is the clue. Not going to the ICC or the UN. They have to compromise. They are not willing. Israel will wait for them to give up the right of return which they made up as a sticking point to an agreement.

  • Tony Rice

    The B B C should sack the man. Simple as that.

  • art frank

    Another brit twit.

  • Bongo

    Poorly phrased? What a crock. No surprise. British civil society has no problem with anti semitism and Wilcox is the poster boy. Wilcox is a Jew hater pure and simple.

    He makes no attempt to hide his contempt for the Jews or his promotion of Jewish stereotypes.

    You have to give him credit for exposing the antisemitic thoughts he thinks (and elucidating the position of the organization he works).

    Dis you read the official BBC apology? ” … ‘Tim Willcox has apologised for what he accepts was a poorly phrased question during an in-depth live interview with two friends, one Jewish and of Israeli birth, the other of Algerian Muslim heritage, where they discussed a wide range of issues affecting both the Muslim and Jewish communities in France. He had no intention of causing offence ..”

    Wide range of issues? Poorly phrased question? Really? Really? That was no question; that was a statement.

    Congrats Mr. Wilcox for channeling your inner Helen Thomas.

  • Wm. J. Levy

    Is any Jew going to punch him in his face?

    If not get over it.

    Look how the Jews are being hunted down in France and the Jews do nothing to protect themselves.

    A Jewish couple in NYC on E. 63rd Street was recently attacked by Arabs waving a Palestinian flag. Are they going to run away too or fight?

  • This guy is not very dangerous. The one who keeps paying for his salary is.

  • Bella Ceruza

    I was sickened by Wilcox’s interview not only because of the inappropriateness of the question which was so out of context that it was blatantly anti-Semitic – ie a Jew in Paris marching for peace and unity was faced with a accusitory statement biased against Israel and asked to justify Israeli politics, but also –

    1. Wilcox showed his absolute bias against Israel, citing out of context without any regard whatsoever for the fact that Palestinians suffer primarily becasue of tehir own leadership,

    2. It was worse than if an Australian in Israel was asked to justify Aboriginal alcoholism and its effects- ie two separate groups of individuals were being blamed for something unfortunate that has complex roots and is not caused by either….. Palestinian suffering, much to the annoyance of the bleeding hearts is not caused primarily by Israel. It’s caused by Palestinian leadership… something that the world refuses to understand because (among a lot of other factors), Jews and Israelis:
    -are small in number,
    -small in voting influence,
    -don’t have the oil,
    -don’t murder in response to offense,
    -have being maligned for centuries, so the roots of antiSemitism smoulders internationally, even among individuals who have never met a Jew.

    I wonder (!!!) why Wilcox didn’t interview a Nigerian – In Nigeria this week, 2000 have been murdered at the hands of Boko Haram…yes, in one week…the same week as the Parisian slaughter. That might have been more topical, but oh, yes, Jew bashing under the polite guise of politically correct criticism of Israel is so much more fashionable.

    • Bella Ceruza

      PS – Wilcox should not be sacked – he (and the many many others like him) should be educated.

      It’s time the Israeli government learned to do just that….use charm and to educate the media.

  • Jack Holan

    This “Reporter” Advocate NOT journalist is the picture perfect poster boy of an Anti-Semite fraudulently using his professional position to advance his ideology through surrogates. He is the type of individual that the entire Jewish Community should use their weight to take down (at least from the well-known BBC or lower position within the BBC like copy boy where he can’t do any damage.
    I hope if someone from CRIF, The Community Trust, and/or ADL is reading this comment they heed the advice and take collective action. Yes he appears over his station but he can still do a lot of damage to Jews and Israel. I avoided his ridiculous straw discussion since it is an easy argument to win by fact however if you were there I’m sure he would not stick to facts and pull an emotional hot button out having nothing to do with the discussion.

  • Eliot Schickler

    The one way this POS Tim Wilcox can sincerely apologize is if he agrees to go into a circle and voluntarily allow people to take swings at his head with a baseball bat! To make that comparison is bush league and he deserves to be repeatedly punched with him not being allowed to defend himself!

  • art

    He knew what he was doing, unless he is really stupid in which case he should be fired. He is supposed to be a journalist, words are his craft. The damage was done the libelous claim of brutality against Israel. No one pays attention to apologies, The imagery was drawn, He tried to humiliate A Jew. The muslims would kill him. A moral coward

  • Wilcox is only following the line of the BBC! All their anchors are the same, they wouldn’t get a job if they were Pro Israel! It’s fortunate that they didn’t have Jeremy Bowen on !!

    • Wrong! That would suggest a BBC bias. That would be unfair of the many true journalists who work there!

  • Portia

    Tim Wilcox’s comment was simply Ignorant. He needs to go to Israel and see the 20% Muslim population doing well. When Palestinians are sick or injured or their Children are the same the want Israeli hospitals, not those under Palestinian Authority.
    What an utterly ignorant political tool this Tim Wilcox is. Shouldn’t be given any recognition as a thinker – because he is not.

    • He might be ignorant or just plain stupid. It is essential before one speaks to know what it is they wish to say! To later say it was somehow misconstrued or un-intentional is a poor excuse!

  • BBC is poor man’s Der Sturmer. Wilcox wishes he could have worked for Der Sturmer. Antisemitism is foundational to Wilcox and everyone who works at BBC.

  • Barry

    It’s amazing that many of the worst commenters come out of Britain, you know, the place that had a mandate to settle Jews in Palestine and then reneged on the deal and deceptively made under the table agreements with those who wanted to kills Jews.

    It’s time Britain was called out for their “original” sin of screwing up the mideast. Those self righteous Brits, like this reporter, should be put in their place nicely, with a reminder that their nation is largely responsible for the chaos in Israel and surrounding areas.

  • Mohammed’s Keffiyeh

    Disgraceful. Smirking, Jew-hating dhimmi is too dumb to understand that his country has been handed over to the jihadists without a shot being fired. Because of cowards like him.

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    Wilcox works for the BBC. That says it all!!!

  • The British-English Island is being overrun with Muslims. Soon they will take it over completely. That way the British will get what they deserve a Muslim culture that restricts Democratic freedom and enforces Sharia laws.

    If Israel was in existence as a sovereign state from 1935 on millions of Jews could of been saved from the Holocaust. The
    British in order to appease the Arabs violated the Mandate for Palestine and restricted Jewish immigration at a time when it was most critical until 1948 when Israel as an independent country was re-established. I hold the British complicit to the death of over a million Jewish people, men, women and children. It is also the British government violation of the Mandate and their bias towards the Jews as it is today, that the Middle East is in such turmoil. The French are right behind the British in their complicity and their Vichy Nazi government during WWII.
    The British MI5 blew up Jewish refugee ships to prevent Holocaust survivors from reaching Israel – it was called Operation Embarrass.
    YJ Draiman
    YJ Draiman

  • Sofia Bain

    Wilcox’s remarks were anti-semitic disgusting remarks were extremely unprofessional from the point of being a journalist, he should have kept his mouth shut, if that is his opinion.
    Palestinians have been creating their own sad situation for years now – and instead of having peace and prosperity, their leaders make them suffer, and create hate from birth to death.
    First Intifada in Israel, I asked the jewellery shopkeeper why his store was shut? He answered, we were ordered to do so. I said, but you are the ones that are losing, tourists and people aren’t buying anything. I was on a trip visiting a tree I planted in Yad Vashem for my Mother and Sister in 1988. Returning, I was walking through the old section of Jerusalem to shut shops.
    So who is making who suffer??
    Journalists like Willcox should be fired!

  • He is a nasty little Jew-Hater and deserves the contempt of anyone with a moral compas. His fake apologies should not be accepted. BBC, itself nothing more than another whore in the harem of AlJezeera, should be bombarded with complaints because this little creep is nothing more than their porte-parole.

    I am nauseated by this 5th Column which the left media has become – so I am suffering not only from Islamo-nausea but also from BBC-nausea. In fact the suffix of “phobia” as in “Islamophobia” should be replaced by “nausea”.

  • shelley Witz

    Sad that a journalist can use such a tragedy to showcase his anti semitism, but then again he does represent the BBC, so what do you expect. Tim Willcox has no substance and no integrity

  • Bernard Ross

    the more “journalists” like wilcox spread lies and libel the jews the more that “journalists” heads will be chopped off by those they support, its ironic justice.
    The same with the BDS churches who spread lies and every libel they utter causes a christian head to be chopped off by those they support.
    I am waiting to see wilcox head roll with baited breath. Libels precede pogroms and genocide, therefore these liars are attempting genocide and murder.

    • EthanP

      Unfortunately Bernard, these so called journalists do this again and again knowing that the bosses will accept their phony apologies. BBC, NY Times and the rest of the usual suspects do this all the time. If they ever actually meant it maybe they wouldn’t do it so often!

    • steven L

      Lies work: 6 Million Jews pay the prize.

    • Sonia Willats

      Fortunately we don’t receive BBC anymore. In the past we labled Tim Willcox weak, and, frankly, a ‘twit’ for his spewing of anti-semitic rhetoric in live news reading. He’s clearly one of the “sheeple” in journalism who simply spew what the general population buys into and wants to hear.

      We have found Stephen Saccur arrogant too in his interviews regarding Israel and her (necessary for defence) policies. It’s easy to be wise and clever when you sit in your interview chair so far away from the rockets, mortars etc.

      You make an interesting connection to journalists who cause the anti-journalist reaction and christian churches who cause christian heads to roll. Never thought of it that way…

      In as much as the media whips up the public, including the churches and the politicians, it becomes a fire that continues to feed itself. The element of self-congratulatory self-righteousness in opposing Israel is huge.

      “FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.” Again, the ‘christian’world self-righteously condemns the Jews, thinking they are championing liberty, fraternity.

  • Sharbano

    Why isn’t he fired from being a journalist. Obviously his credentials as a “journalist” are in doubt. To counter his claim, there would be no “Palestinian suffering” if it weren’t for their OWN hands. It’s people like Wilcox who actually fan the flames of the Arabs.

    • EthanP

      As I pointed out to Bernard, this IS editorial policy. Bash Israel at every opportunity, make a false apology and move on. This hapens constantly. So no one will be disciplined let alone fired.

    • Efram

      Because he works for the B(British)B(Bigotry)C(Corporation).

    • Lauren Goldman

      The reason Timmy is not fired is because his statement is in line with the BBC’s general anti-Semitism. They never miss an opportunity to berate Jews.

  • victoria brandeis