Jewish community leaders have criticised a decision by media watchdog Ofcom not to pursue complaints against a journalist who asked an Israeli woman if anti-Semitism was due to “Palestinian suffering”.
The regulator confirmed it would be taking no further action against BBC reporter Tim Willcox for questions asked during his live interview on the streets of Paris last month.
His suggestion that Jews were now “the target” because “Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well” led to widespread anger from community leaders, who this week said Ofcom had “missed the point entirely”.
An Ofcom spokesman said: “After assessing complaints about alleged anti-Semitic comments made by Tim Willcox at a Paris rally, Ofcom ruled that, while the comments had the potential to cause offence, they were justified by the context in which they were presented.”
Board of Deputies’ Vice-President Jonathan Arkush said: “The objection to Willcox’s interview was his suggestion that French Jews could expect to be targeted by terrorists because of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.”
He added: “Ofcom seem to have missed the point entirely. Ofcom also seem to have forgotten that Willcox himself admitted he had got it wrong and apologised.”