Jonathan Kanter responds to Palestinian’s petition

An online petition criticising Israeli-born co-founder of news website ‘Israel News Today’ Jonathan Kanter has reached 17,000 signatures.

It argues that Mr Kanter’s adoption of Israel as his second home might prejudice his coverage in favour of Israel’s Right wing government.

However, Jonathan Kanter tells BBC’s Newsnight that the event has been organised by a previous co-founder who was “drunk” at the time.

“I have never been Israeli by citizenship, so I could not be biased,” he said.

“To me it was a rude awakening,” he added.

“It was shocking to think that you are living here, you are part of this community, but the reality is that you were born in England…

“I don’t understand how this kind of manipulation can happen.”

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Kanter points to his Israeli passport and “I’ve got my Israeli money in the bank”, he says

Some Palestinian groups have drawn parallels between the petition and antisemitic intimidation at protests outside Conservative Party conference this year.

On Channel 4 News tonight, Channel 4 Political Editor Gary Gibbon raised it with Jonathan Kanter.

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We highlighted parts of the petition, which Mr Kanter says he was not aware of until we contacted him.

“The thing which is unfortunate here is that it’s spreading like wildfire without the intention of trying to do anyone good,” he said.

“There are a lot of problems in this petition which are unfair and incorrect. There are a lot of things in the description which I disagree with.”

We have published the full petition here.

There has been no official comment from Israel News Today, despite requests by both the BBC and Channel 4 News.

Jonathan Kanter speaks to Krishnan Guru-Murthy:

“I am not a member of any particular side. I am not going to roll over and play dead just because some person is trying to voice their views on my Israel News.

“I am going to do what I think is best for the news and I am going to do it within the bounds of journalistic ethics, and in the eyes of the reporter in the situation, which is what we’re going to do.”

This is the original petition below:

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