Popular, award-winning American news anchor Gwenn Ifill gloated over the Israeli prime minister’s perceived loss in his battle against the Iran nuclear deal.
A PBS anchor exposed her bias against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week in a tweet that celebrated US President Barack Obama’s victory in securing enough votes in US Congress to support the nuclear deal with Iran.
Gloating over the news Wednesday that there appears to be enough support in Congress for the Iran nuclear agreement to go through despite Israel’s diplomatic and political efforts against it, Gwenn Ifill, PBS NewsHour anchorwoman and moderator of the award-winning Washington Week program, tweeted: “Take that Bibi” with an infograph published by the White House a few months ago defending the nuclear deal.
Bibi is Netanyahu’s nickname.
“While there is legitimate debate over Prime Minister Netanyahu’s gloomy assessment of the agreement, all who care about Israel’s future share his concern over whether the agreement will impede or aid Iran in its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), a media watchdog, said in a statement.
“The Islamic Republic’s leaders have repeatedly promised to annihilate the Jewish state. There is no doubt that Netanyahu’s opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement is based on his firm conviction that the agreement seriously jeopardizes the future of the eight million Israelis. Ifill does not merely mock Netanyahu; because he represents the citizens of the state of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, she taunts every Israeli and every Jew who dreads what Iran might do if the agreement turns out to be as flawed as its detractors claim,” the organization added.
Ifill, a respected, award-winning journalist, earns her living on taxpayer-supported public television. PBS Newshour and Washington Week are generously funded by many foundations, CAMERA pointed out.
Iffil later attempted to explain her tweet, denying that she had intended to criticize Netanyahu. Instead, her tweet was a paraphrasing of the Obama administration’s arguments, she claimed. “Should have been clearer that it was their [the White House] argument, not mine,” she tweeted again after receiving angry responses by supporters of Israel.
PBS ombudsman Michael Getler stated that “one would have to lean way over backwards to give her the benefit of the doubt that she was simply shedding light on the administration’s view of portions of Netanyahu’s arguments. But to personalize it by saying, ‘Take that, Bibi’ is, in my book, inexcusable for an experienced journalist who is the co-anchor of a nightly news program watched by millions of people over the course of any week.”