The Foreign Minister of Pakistan has been challenged live on air after he repeated antisemitic tropes about Jewish power.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in an interview with CNN that Israel was “losing the media war, despite their connections” but was interrupted by the anchor, CNN’s Senior Global Affairs Analyst, Bianna Golodryga, who asked him what he meant by “their connections”.
Mr Qureshi reacted with laughter before saying “deep pockets”.
“What does that mean?” the anchor asked.
“Well, they’re very influential people, they control media.”
Ms Golodryga called him out, replying: “I mean, I would call that an antisemitic remark.”
Mr Qureshi doubled down, insisting that “they” have a lot of influence, but that this influence is being balanced by “citizen journalists”.
Ms Golodryga asked whether the discussion over the conflict between Hamas and Israel cannot be separated from antisemitic discourse, but Mr Qureshi evaded answering the question. Ms Golodryga persisted in asking why he used an antisemitic trope, and Mr Qureshi claimed that his comments are based on the “perception” and put the onus on the victims of antisemitism to “negate” the perception, a suggestion that Ms Golodryga rejected.
At no point in the interview did Mr Qureshi acknowledge that his remarks were antisemitic or even denounce antisemitism, despite multiple requests by the anchor to do so.
The exchange took up half of the ten-minute interview, which then turned to Pakistan’s relative silence on China’s policy in Xinjiang compared to its vocal condemnations of Israel. Mr Qureshi quickly shifted the conversation to Kashmir instead.
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