Sky News has made an on-air apology after presenter Belle Donati compared Israel’s war in Gaza to the Holocaust in an interview with former UN ambassador Danny Danon.
In a live statement, Sky News presenter Jonathan Samuels said Donati’s comments on Friday were inappropriate and that the broadcaster was “unreservedly” sorry to viewers and Danon.
During a heated exchange earlier in the day, Danon — who served as Israel’s ambassador to the UN from 2015 to 2020 — took issue with the way Donati characterized a Wall Street Journal op-ed he wrote in November.
“You suggested the ethnic cleansing of some of Gaza’s population to Western countries that would accept the refugees,” Donati said.
Danon replied: “I will not allow it. Ethnic cleansing, that’s a word you used. If you read my article, I spoke about voluntary immigration.”
Donati said: “The sort of voluntary relocation of many Jewish people during the Holocaust, I imagine.”
Danon responded angrily to the remark, accusing the presenter of antisemitism. “Shame on you for that comparison,” he said. “You should apologize for what you just said.”
Danon later described Donati as an “insolent interviewer” and shared a video of the exchange on Twitter, now known as X.
Comcast-owned Sky News declined to comment beyond the statement read out on-air.
Presenter Samuels told viewers: “In an interview earlier today with Israeli politician Danny Danon, a Sky News presenter made a comparison between Mr Danon’s comments on Israel’s war with Hamas and the treatment of Jewish people in the Holocaust.
“Sky News recognized the complete inappropriateness of this comparison and the offensive nature of those comments. Sky News would like to apologize unreservedly for the comparison and to Mr Danon personally for making the comparison.”