(JTA) – The host of a BBC news program suggested that anti-Semitism isn’t as bad as other forms of racism.
Justin Webb, host of Radio Four’s “Today” program, later apologized for his remarks on Tuesday during an interview with American pollster John Zogby about the controversy over U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s tweets and statements about the pro-Israel lobby in the United States.
A BBC spokesperson told the London-based Jewish Chronicle that Webb acknowledged that he “should have phrased his question better.”
“He intended to highlight a growing trend among U.S. Democrats of suggesting that anti-Semitism is not comparable with other forms of racism. He was certainly not expressing any personal view,” the spokesperson said, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
Webb asked Zogby: “If the party decided to say to its supporters, ‘look we think that anti-Semitism is a bit like the way some of our people might regard anti-white racism, that actually it’s a different order of racism. It’s not as important – it’s still bad – but it’s not as important as some other forms of racism. … What impact do you think that might have?”
Webb was called out on Twitter by the British comedian David Baddiel, and the two continued the conversation in a thread in which Webb apologized “if I phrased in a manner that made it seem positive.”