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U.K. comedian slams BBC over apology for anti-Israel skit

The BBC's apology for an anti-Israel comedy skit is cowardly, Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle said in an open letter published in British media outlets Saturday, saying he was right to criticize Israel for being an "aggressive terrorist state."

Earlier this week, the BBC's Trust issued a public apology for Boyle's comedy bit, originally aired on the station's Political Animal radio show in June 2008, and in which the comedian made remarks such as: "I've been studying Israeli Army Martial Arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back."

Boyle had also said in his 2008 comedy bit that, while "people think that the Middle East is very complex but I have an analogy that sums it up quite well."
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"If you imagine that Palestine is a big cake, well... that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew," Boyle said.

In his letter published Saturday, Boyle said that he first thought "the show's producers will have thought that Israel, an aggressive, terrorist state with a nuclear arsenal was an appropriate target for satire," adding that the BBC's recent apology proved him wrong.

"If you imagine that a state busily going about the destruction of an entire people is fair game, you are mistaken. Israel is out of bounds," Boyle said.

Boyle continued in his letter, voicing his disappoint that such "a great institution" as the BBC has proved itself as "cravenly afraid of giving offence and vulnerable to any kind of well drilled lobbying."

"The situation in Palestine seems to be, in essence, apartheid," Boyle wrote, saying that he "grew up with the anti-apartheid thing being a huge focus of debate. It really seemed to matter to everybody that other human beings were being treated in that way."

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http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1166557.html