I am not anti-Semitic, claims Vincent Browne
TV3 broadcaster Vincent Browne insists he is not anti-Semitic after branding Israel a "cancer" in foreign affairs.
But Israel's deputy ambassador to Ireland said she never believed the day would come when an Irish TV presenter would make "racist, anti-Semitic remarks".
Mr Browne, pictured, had been complaining on his show about the lack of discussion of Israel during the last US presidential debate between Republican nominee Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama.
"Israel is the cancer in foreign affairs. It polarises the Islamic community of the world against the rest of the world," he said.
"Unless you deal with the problem of Israel and the Palestinians in that part of the world, there's going to be conflict and disharmony. It's a massive injustice -- they stole the land from the Arabs."
Mr Browne admitted that his choice of language could have been better but insisted that the criticism was justified.
"What I resent is the suggestion that because you're critical of Israel, you're automatically anti-Semitic. I don't think that's acceptable," he said.
Mr Browne refused to apologise for his remarks, saying that Israel was founded in 1948 by taking land from the Arabs.
He said it was "blackmail" to try to brand everyone who was critical of Israel as anti-Semitic. "I don't think I differ too much from Irish or European foreign policy," he said.
But his remarks drew a strong reaction from Israel's deputy ambassador to Ireland Nurit Tinari-Modai, who said her grandparents were brutally murdered during the Holocaust.
"I would have never believed that the day would come when a presenter on an Irish TV station would make racist, anti-Semitic remarks," she said.
She made her comments to the 'Jewish Chronicle' newspaper, the most widely read Jewish newspaper in Britain.
A TV3 spokeswoman said she was not aware of any complaints being made about Mr Browne's remarks.