BBC reporter Tim Willcox has apologized for a “poorly phrased question” after telling a woman, who was later identified as Chava, an Israeli who is the daughter of Polish Holocaust survivors, that the Palestinians “suffer hugely at Jewish hands” during an interview at Sunday’s anti-terror rally in Paris.
Willcox interviewed a Jewish woman who said that Jews were targets of religiously motivated hatred in France, describing the situation as “going back to the days of 1930s Europe.” Willcox then asked the woman, “Do you think that can be resolved before it is too late?”
The woman replied that “we must not be afraid to say that Jews are a target now,” after which point Willcox said that critics of Israel’s policy “would suggest the Palestinians suffered hugely at Jewish hands as well.”
Willcox added, “You understand everything is seen from different perspectives?” The woman replied, “Of course.”
Following its airing, the report caused outrage across social media, with many people calling for Willcox to be fired. On Monday, Willcox tweeted an apology, saying he is “really sorry for any offense caused by a poorly phrased question in a live interview in Paris yesterday-it was entirely unintentional.”
A BBC spokeswoman defended the reporter, saying, “Tim Willcox has apologized 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 offense.”