Israel demands CNN anchor apologise over Trump, Nazi comparison

Israel demands CNN anchor apologise after comparing Trump years to Kristallnacht
2 min read
16 November, 2020
A CNN anchor's remarks drew a barrage of angry responses, including from Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevich.
Israel has demanded that Christiane Amanpour apologise [Getty]
Israel has demanded that a CNN anchor apologises for comparing US President Donald Trump's actions to the Nazi pogrom against Germany's Jews in 1938, also known as the Kristallnacht.

"This week 82 years ago, Kristallnacht happened," Christiane Amanpour said in a live broadcast on CNN on Thursday. "It was the Nazis' warning shot across the bow of our human civilization that led to genocide against a whole identity and, in that tower of burning books, it led to an attack on fact, knowledge, history and proof.

"After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden-Harris team pledges a return to normal," she added.

The remarks drew a barrage of angry responses, including from Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevich.

In a letter to CNN president Jeffrey Zucker, Yankelevich demanded an "immediate and public apology" from Amanpour for her "unacceptable comparison".

"We find hereby the false equivalence made between the actions of a sitting US president and the atrocities of the Kristallnacht pogroms which were carried out by the Nazis eighty-two years ago belittling of the immense tragedy of the Holocaust," Yankelevich wrote.

"Distortion and minimisation of the Holocaust are deplorable lies that only encourage the evil voices of anti-Semitism. Employing the memory of the Holocaust for cheap shock value and to further a political agenda is a deeply troubling and offensive spin of historic and moral truths with dangerous implications," the minister added.

Trump, whose presidency is set to end in January, has long been accused of courting far-right groups and neo-Nazis - 
a charge the president has denied.

The far-right 'Proud Boys' group has been vocal in its support for the Republican president, alongside believers in the far-right and anti-semitic QAnon conspiracy theory.

Trump, however, has also endeared himself to Israeli hardliners and rightwingers through a string of policies that have favoured Israel.

During his time in office, he cut funding to the UN's agency for Palestinian refugees, recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved the US embassy in Israel to the disputed holy city.

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