Corbyn and Abbas 'Also Eulogize Terrorists': Israeli Anchor Under Fire for Jab at Late Peace Activist

Israeli news anchor Geula Even-Sa'ar rejects claims that she compared peace activist Uri Avnery to a terrorist

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Geula Even-Sa'ar and Uri Avnery
Geula Even-Sa'ar and Uri Avnery

An anchorwoman on Israel's public broadcaster was criticized for comments she made on the air about the death on Monday of longtime peace activist Uri Avnery.

"Avnery had been active in public life since he was a teenager and almost until his death," Geula Even-Sa'ar said. "Today he was eulogized by many, from President Reuven Rivlin, but also by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), who have no problem to also eulogize terrorists."

>> Analysis: How Uri Avnery, the first champion of the two-state solution, laid the foundations for political dissent in Israel

Online, many were outraged over Even-Sa'ar's comments, which appeared to compare Avnery to a terrorist. Journalist Shir Nosatzki tweeted: "What was the purpose of this sentence? To compare Avnery to terrorists?" A user wrote on Facebook that "Avnery was eulogized by President Ruvi Rivlin and by Jeremy Corbyn and Abu Mazen, people who have no problem eulogizing terrorists, said Geula Even-Sa'ar, who is a news anchor who also has no problem marrying fascists."

Even-Sa'ar is married to Gideon Sa'ar, a former Likud minister who has announced his desire to return to politics and who sees himself as a future prime minister. Last year, the Kann Broadcasting Corporation was criticized for picking Even-Sa'ar to host the main news program.

Geula Even-Saar reporting on Uri Avnery's death (Hebrew)

Even-Sa'ar rejected the criticism, Tweeting that "there were some people whose sensitive feelings were hurt yesterday by a sentence I said (nobody bothered to argue over the facts) about Corbyn and Abu Mazen. For anyone in doubt, I stand behind what I said." Even-Sa'ar added on Twitter that "on the other hand, all the 'interpretations' claiming the statement was meant to hurt Uri Avnery are totally ludicrous."

Avnery, a veteran left-wing journalist, lawmaker and peace activist died Monday at age 94 in Tel Aviv. A founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement, Avnery was also one of the first Israelis to actively advocate for the establishment of a Palestinian state, more than 70 years ago.