NEW YORK: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was accused of using an anti-Semitic slur by an anchor for his remarks against Israel.
While discussing Israel’s actions in Gaza, the foreign minister received pushback from CNN anchor Bianna Golodryga who accused him of “anti-Semitic” remarks for claiming that Israel had “deep pockets” and “control media.”
“Israel is losing out,” Qureshi told Golodryga, who is Jewish, in an interview. “They’re losing the media war, despite their connections. … The tide is turning.”
The anchor who was interviewing Qureshi about Israel’s actions in Gaza inquired, “What are their connections?” Qureshi responded, “Deep pockets,” prompting Golodryga to ask, “What does that mean?”
“They’re very influential people,” Qureshi replied. “I mean, they control media.” Golodryga opined, “I mean, I would call that an anti-Semitic remark.”
“Well, you see, the point is, they have a lot of influence, and they get a lot of coverage,” Qureshi said. He spoke for about a minute about conflict in the region — which has included Israel’s military response to missile attacks from Gaza.”
The anchor attempted to return to the topic, asking, “I mean, can we not separate the fact that there are calls for peace … for both sides, for Palestinians and for Israelis, without anti-Semitic talk and rhetoric?”
OMG, this is a must-see: Discussing Israel’s actions in Gaza, Pakistani FM said Israel has “deep pockets” and “they control media,” prompting an impressive pushback from CNN’s @biannagolodryga 👇 pic.twitter.com/BuxqtsDpo1
— Noa Landau נעה לנדאו (@noa_landau) May 20, 2021
Qureshi deflected once more, saying, “I will not justify any rocket attacks, and I cannot justify, and I cannot condone the aerial bombardment that is taking place.” He described Israel’s actions against Hamas as “genocide,” “war crimes” and “ethnic cleansing.
This began a testy seven-minute exchange between the two, which aired shortly after Qureshi spoke at a United Nations Security Council session in New York.
CNN aired a clip of Qureshi’s speech in which he said the responsibility lay with Israel to stop the violence on its border with the Gaza Strip.
I see some people trying to defend the Pakistani foreign minister’s remarks as anti-Israeli & not anti-Semitic but let’s be clear: if you are accusing Israelis of having ‘deep pockets’ and ‘controlling’ the media, then yeah, you’re invoking some pretty anti-Semitic slurs. Sorry. https://t.co/aBKvkcDRj7
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) May 20, 2021
Golodryga, who was born to Jewish parents in what is now Moldova and immigrated to the US in 1980, repeatedly brought up Qureshi’s statements about what he called Israel’s control of the media.
Golodryga also pushed Qureshi to condemn China’s actions against its Uyghur population. After noting that Pakistan is a close ally of China, Qureshi pivoted to talk about the India-Pakistan clashes in Kashmir.