ISLAMABAD (Dispatches) – Pakistan has strongly reacted to the western media labeling its foreign minister as “anti-Semitic,” saying his interview with the U.S.-based CNN cannot be construed as anti-Semitic by “any stretch of the imagination.”
A CNN news anchor accused Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi of anti-Semitism after he said the Zionist regime has lost the media war in the latest aggression against Palestinians.
During a live interview with CNN on the latest war by the occupying regime, Qureshi was accused of “invoking an anti-Semitic slur” after he simply said Israelis “control the media,” and have influential “connections”.
“Israel is losing out. They’re losing the media war despite their connections. The tide is turning,” the Pakistani foreign minister told CNN anchor Bianna Golodryga.
An apparently outraged Golodryga, who is Jewish herself, put aside her supposed journalistic impartiality, pouncing on the remarks to accuse Qureshi of anti-Semitism.
“Any twist given to his (Shah Mahmood Qureshi) remarks would unfortunately prove the very point he was making. The right to freedom of expression must be respected equally by everyone,” Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said in a short statement.
According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 248 Palestinians were killed in the new Zionist offensive, including 66 children and 39 women, and at least 1,910 were injured.
Golodryga repeated her accusation later as she tweeted a clip of the interview, saying, “I had planned to speak with Pakistan’s foreign minister about paths towards a peaceful resolution between Israel and Hamas. Instead, he began the interview by invoking an anti-semitic slur.”
The interview prompted a chorus of support for the Pakistani foreign minister, while pro-Israeli voices cast scorn at his remarks.
Journalist and talk show host Fereeha Idrees defended Qureshi.
“He didn’t even utter the word ‘Jew’ or even made a feeble reference to it. All he said was media is controlled by Israel,” Idrees wrote on Twitter.
Idrees pointed out that during the recent aggression, the Zionist regime’s jets had leveled a high-rise building in Gaza that housed the offices of several media outlets, including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera.