Sky News apologizes after anchor compares idea of relocating Gazans to Holocaust

In on-air apology, UK network recognizes ‘complete inappropriateness’ of comparing Likud MK Danon’s idea of allowing Palestinians to leave amid war to extermination of Jews in WWII

Likud MK Danny Danon is interviewed by Sky News presenter Belle Donati, January 26, 2024 (Screenshot, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Likud MK Danny Danon is interviewed by Sky News presenter Belle Donati, January 26, 2024 (Screenshot, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Sky News issued an on-air apology late Friday following an interview with Likud MK Danny Danon in which the interviewer likened his comments in support of voluntary relocation of Gazans amid the war to the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.

During the interview on Friday, Danon was discussing an idea he had outlined in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece he co-authored in November, urging “countries around the world to accept limited numbers of Gazan families who have expressed a desire to relocate.”

The host, Belle Donati, claimed that he had “suggested the ethnic cleansing of some of Gaza’s population,” to which he clarified that he was speaking only of “voluntary emigration.”

“I think anyone in the world who voluntary [sic] wants to move to another country should be eligible to do that,” he said.

Donati, who appeared impatient and seemed to scoff at Danon’s comments as he spoke, retorted: “Yes, the sort of voluntary relocation of many Jewish people during the Holocaust, I imagine.”

“How can you compare that, shame on you for that comparison,” Danon said. “That is a shameful and antisemitic equation… This is pure antisemitism.”

Donati attempted to quickly move on to another question, but Danon would not.

“I will not allow you to speak about the Holocaust and compare it to what’s happening today in Israel when we defend ourselves,” he said.

In Sky’s apology, a different anchor said Donati “made a comparison between Mr. Danon’s comments on Israel’s war with Hamas and the treatment of Jewish people in the Holocaust. Sky News recognizes the complete inappropriateness of this comparison and the offensive nature of those comments.

“Sky News would like to apologize unreservedly for the comparison and to Mr. Danon personally for making the comparison.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier in January that Israel “has no intention of permanently occupying Gaza or displacing its civilian population,” though Danon, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, told The Times of Israel at the time that “the prime minister told me two weeks ago in this room that it’s a good idea.”

The MK’s comments seemingly confirmed an earlier report that the prime minister had informed a Likud faction meeting that he was working to facilitate voluntary migration.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, after the interview, Danon called Donati an “insolent interviewer.”

On Saturday night, he said he had seen the Sky apology but was seeking a personal apology from Donati.

War erupted in Gaza after Hamas’s October 7 massacres, which saw some 3,000 terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Strip by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people, most of them civilians slaughtered amid brutal atrocities, and seizing over 250 hostages, over 130 of whom are still held captive in Gaza.

Vowing to destroy the terror group, Israel launched a wide-scale military campaign that the Gaza health ministry says has killed over 26,000 people. The UN estimates that some 1.9 million Gazans are currently displaced due to the war, with many being forced to find shelter in tent cities or makeshift camps and slums sprouting up in parts of the Strip.

The figures issued by the Hamas-run health ministry cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires. The IDF says it has killed over 9,000 terror operatives in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

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