BBC strikes again: Top presenter under fire for promoting sporting boycott over Gaza ‘genocide’

BBC’s highest-paid host Gary Lineker shared a tweet urging the international soccer body to exclude Israel from tournaments.

By World Israel News Staff

The BBC’s highest-paid presenter, Gary Lineker, drew ire from British lawmakers and Jewish leaders after he reposted a tweet Saturday urging FIFA and the International Olympic Committee to join a global pro-Palestinian boycott of Israel which called for Israel’s exclusion from international soccer events over its “apartheid rule” and “genocide.”

The since-deleted post, from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel, advocated for Israel’s suspension from all global tournaments and games “until it ends its grave violations of international law.”

The statement also called for public and official pressure on FIFA and the IOC to suspend Israel’s membership.

The incident has prompted responses from several British politicians. Andrew Percy, a Jewish MP for the Conservative Party, criticized Lineker as “ill-informed” and “ignorant” on Middle Eastern issues.

The BDS [Boycott Divestment and Sanctions] movement [to boycott Israel] is a racist, antisemitic campaign and nobody who receives taxpayers’ money working in the BBC should be endorsing a campaign that is widely understood to promote Jew hate,” he told the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.

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MP Stephen Crabb said: “This is a deeply inappropriate tweet for any BBC figure to endorse, and especially for someone of Lineker’s prominence.”

“The BDS movement is riddled with anti-Semitism from top to bottom, and deepens the divisions in our own society. Given all the problematic questions that have been raised previously about BBC bias during the Gaza conflict, they must not allow high-profile presenters to freelance on these incredibly sensitive issues,” added Crabb.

Jonathan Gullis, Tory MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, also weighed in, pointing out the actions of Hamas, such as using civilians as human shields and persecuting LGBT+ individuals. Gullis sarcastically referred to Lineker as an “international diplomat and foreign policy expert,” urging him to address these issues as well.

In March, Lineker was suspended from the BBC, after he compared the launch of a new Conservative policy to Nazi-era rhetoric. He was reinstated a week later.

This incident occurs amidst broader criticism of the BBC’s coverage of the war in Gaza.

On December 24th, the BBC aired a radio news bulletin which carried claims promoted by the Hamas terrorist organization, accusing Israel of ‘summarily executing‘ at least 137 Gaza civilians during the war in the coastal enclave.

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The broadcast, which appears to have been based off of an unverified AFP report, noted that the source of the claim was the Hamas terror organization, but, as the BBC acknowledged this week, the accusation itself had not been properly scrutinized.

“In overnight output we ran a story about Hamas accusing the Israeli army of carrying out summary executions in the Gaza Strip,” the BBC wrote in its “Corrections and Clarifications” section.

In July, the BBC issued a statement walking back claims by anchor Anjana Gadgil accusing the IDF of being “happy to kill children.”

Following the October 7th invasion of Israel, the BBC again apologized over its coverage, acknowledging that the broadcaster mishandled coverage of the explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, inappropriately speculating that the explosion could have been the result of an Israeli air strike.

Speaking without evidence, BBC correspondent Jon Donnison said that the hospital explosion was likely caused by an Israeli strike.

Shortly thereafter, evidence emerged implicating a misfired rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization.

A news anchor also mistranslated an IDF report regarding events at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital. While the original statement indicated that the “IDF’s medical team and Arabic-speaking soldiers were on the ground at the hospital” to ensure the delivery of supplies to those in need, the BBC translation translated the statement as an “IDF operation targeting medical staff and Arabic speakers in Shifa.” The BBC later apologized.

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