(Screen grab/YouTube)
Fareed Zakaria

Anchorman Fareed Zakaria sorry for distorting former diplomat Dore Gold’s views on sensitive Israel-Jordan relations.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria apologized on air to former Israeli diplomat Dore Gold after falsely saying Gold advocated for Jordan to become a Palestinian state.

Zakaria apologized on Sunday on his CNN program GPS.

“On last week’s show, I asked King Abdullah about the concept that there would be no stand-alone Palestine state in the future that but instead his nation, Jordan, would become the de-facto Palestine state,” said Zakaria “I said the idea had been recently mentioned by long time Israeli diplomat, Dore Gold. I was wrong. Many have talked about that concept, but not ambassador Gold. I apologize for that error.”

Gold, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the UN and as an advisor to prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu, responded to Zakaria’s apology, saying “Facts and the pursuit of truth are important things in the work I do, so it was important that this mistake be corrected.”

He is currently president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, an influential think tank.

On July 25, while interviewing Jordan’s King Abdullah, Zakaria said, “Dore Gold, an influential adviser to prime minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, recently said, Jordan needs to start thinking of itself as the Palestinian state.”

Gold immediately fired back with a Jerusalem Post op-ed saying Zakaria distorted the facts.

“Whether he realized it or not, Zakaria was feeding into a long-held fear in Jordan that Israel was scheming to solve the Palestinian problem at Jordan’s expense. The problem was that I never uttered the words that were attributed to me,” Gold wrote.

“Having been a diplomatic envoy to Jordan in the 1990s, I knew how careful a representative of the Israeli government had to be when it came to this subject. That I would make a statement of this sort was not only inaccurate but it also underestimated the sensitivity Israeli envoys had for their eastern neighbor,” he added.

Zakaria, a veteran CNN personality, is no stranger to controversy. Following the 9/11 attacks, Zakaria wrote a cover story for Newsweek titled “Why they hate us” which was attacked by critics for explaining away Islamic terrorism.

In 2015, Zakaria was suspended for a week by the by Time and CNN over allegations of plagiarism. Zakaria apologized, and investigations by the two news services concluded the incident was unintentional and isolated.

He stoked controversy later that year when he insinuated that Sen. Chuck Schumer’s opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal was based on dual loyalties and “you know, wealthy supporters.” Schumer, a New York Democrat, is Jewish.

More recently, the CNN anchor erroneously claimed in January that Israel had a legal responsibility to vaccinate Palestinians against the coronavirus.

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