OWNER of News International Rupert Murdoch has retracted a Tweet in which he criticised the coverage of the “Jewish-owned press” of the Gaza crisis.
The 81 year-old billionaire, who has previously expressed support for the state of Israel, tweeted on Saturday about why, in his opinion, the “Jewish owned press” seemed so anti-Israel.
Earlier, he had criticized the Associated Press and CNN — neither of which is “Jewish owned” — for what he saw as their bias in covering the Israel-Gaza conflict.
He responded however on Sunday with a tweet which read: “Jewish owned press’ have been sternly criticised, suggesting link to Jewish reporters. Don’t see this, but apologise unreservedly.”
Reaction to the tweets was swift with BuzzFeed political reporter Andrew Kaczynski saying he wanted whatever ‘Rupert Murdoch is smoking’ and New Yorker political reporter Ryan Lizza tweeted simply ‘wow’.
Foreign Secretary William Hague voiced Britain’s support today for Egyptian efforts to broker a ceasefire in Gaza as he met EU counterparts in Brussels to discuss the crisis.
Some 90 Palestinians - around half of them civilian non-combatants - are reported to have been killed by Israeli air strikes on Gaza, launched last Wednesday in response to a wave of rocket attacks on Israeli towns and cities from the Palestinian enclave.
Arriving in Brussels for today’s meeting of foreign ministers from the 27 EU states, Mr Hague made clear that Britain blames Gaza’s Hamas rulers for precipitating the conflict, but also urged Israel to “de-escalate” the violence.
Mr Hague said: “We will be discussing today among the foreign ministers the terrible situation in Gaza, the continuation of rocket fire from Gaza on to Israel that, in our view, has precipitated the current crisis.
“We want efforts to negotiate a ceasefire to succeed. I spoke to the Egyptian foreign minister about that yesterday and Egypt are making strong efforts in that regard, with our support.
“Of course, part of any ceasefire has to be a cessation of rocket attacks against Israel, but everyone has responsibilities. Israel has responsibilities too to take every opportunity to de-escalate the violence, to avoid civilian casualties, to observe international humanitarian law. The Prime Minister and I have both spoken to our Israeli counterparts over the weekend.
“I hope a clear message on these things will come from the whole of the EU today.”