Gary Lineker has endorsed a video by journalist Owen Jones in which an academic accuses Israel of “genocide” and dismisses comparisons between Hamas and the Nazis.
The Match of the Day presenter shared a tweet by Mr Jones, a columnist with the Guardian, of his interview with Raz Segal, an Israeli-American historian, and added the caption: “Worth 13 minutes of anyone’s time.”
In his conversation with Jones, Prof Segal – an associate professor of the Holocaust and genocide studies at Stockton University – attacks the Israeli military response to the Oct 7 terror attacks carried out by Hamas.
“I do think that what we’re seeing in front of our eyes is a textbook case of genocide,” he said.
While describing Oct 7 as “horrendous”, Prof Segal downplayed comparisons between Hamas and the Nazis, arguing that the persecution of Jews during the Second World War had a “very different context” from “Palestinians … [living] for decades under Israeli settler colonial rule”.
Stephen Pollard, the editor-at-large of the Jewish Chronicle, accused Lineker of “universe-bending ignorance”, while Greg Smith, the Conservative MP for Buckingham, said: “It is inconceivable any right-minded person would give that video the time of day.”
Lineker has previously called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, backing the pro-Palestinian protesters who marched through London on Armistice Day.
The 62-year-old broadcaster briefly stepped back from hosting Match of the Day in March after comparing language used by Suella Braverman, then home secretary, to “Germany in the 30s”. After he was reinstated by the BBC, Lineker vowed to continue airing his political opinions on social media
Last month, the Guardian was criticised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews after publishing a piece by Prof Segal entitled: “Israel must stop weaponising the Holocaust”.