Irish Jews Come to Defense of Journalist Fired Over Antisemitic Article
Ireland’s Jewish Representative Council came out on Monday in defense of journalist Kevin Myers, the author of an antisemitic article in last weekend’s Sunday Times newspaper that led to a fulsome apology from the paper’s Irish editor and a promise from the paper’s owners that Myers will never write for them again.
In a column on gender pay gaps, Myers acidly suggested that Vanessa Feltz and Claudia Winkleman, two well-known presenters on the UK’s BBC networks, are well paid because they are Jewish. “Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity,” Myers opined.
But the Irish Jewish leaders said in a statement that Myers had “inadvertently stumbled into an anti-Semitic trope,” Irish broadcaster RTE reported.
“Yes, Kevin ought to have known that his bringing the religion of the two BBC presenters into his writings on Sunday would cause concern and upset and that it was both unnecessary and bound to be misunderstood,” the statement continued. However, the statement adamantly rejected the charge that Myers is an antisemite and a Holocaust denier as “an absolute distortion of the facts.” Myers, the statement said, had written “more than any other Irish journalist” about the Holocaust.
The statement did not, however, refer to an article that appeared in the Irish Independent in 2009 – and was abruptly removed from its website in the midst of Sunday’s furor – in which Myers declared, “There was no holocaust (or Holocaust, as my computer software insists) and six million Jews were not murdered by the Third Reich. These two statements of mine are irrefutable truths.”
Vanessa Feltz, one of the Jewish presenters named by Myers, said on Monday, “The apologies are all very well but how did it end up in the paper in the first place?”