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May 12, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8745

Former Lebanese Minister Wiam Wahhab Recalls Being Called To Task In France For Making Antisemitic Comments Translated By MEMRI

May 12, 2020
Lebanon | Special Dispatch No. 8745

In a May 3, 2020 interview on Al-Manar TV (Hizbullah-Lebanon), former Lebanese minister Wiam Wahhab referred to statements he had made "half-jokingly" in an interview on Jadeed TV (Lebanon) – that were translated and released in a MEMRI TV clip in 2010– about his support for the German soccer team FC Bayern Munich because the Germans had burned the Jews, and expressed surprise that this statement had drawn negative attention from French politicians and media several years after later. He went on to explain in the Al-Manar interview that he dislikes Zionists, that he doesn't hate Jews, and that he didn't mean what he had said in his original statement on Jadeed TV.

Wahhab had said in 2010: "I support Germany in politics and Brazil in soccer. I like the way Brazil plays. But I like the Germans because they hate the Jews and they burned them."

To view the clip of former Lebanese minister Wiam Wahhab's Al-Manar TV interview on MEMRI TV, click or below.

"I Was Asked [On Jadeed TV] Why I Supported Germany And [The] Bayern Munich [Soccer Team] And I Said That Maybe It Is Because They Burned The Jews"

Wiam Wahhab: "I have supported the Bayern Munich [soccer team] ever since I was little, but you wouldn't believe what problem they caused me once. I was interviewed on Jadeed TV and it was really strange... I was talking on Jadeed TV... I don't hate the Jews as Jews. I don't like the Zionists, but as a Jewish people... No.

"Many Jews invented things and introduced many good things to humanity. But when I was on Jadeed TV, I said half-jokingly... I was asked why I supported Germany and Bayern Munich and I said that maybe it is because they burned the Jews."

Interviewer: "No, no..."

"A Few Years Later... One Of The Ruling Parties In France Approached Me... One Of Them Said: 'We Have A Problem That Mars Our Relations With You, As A Political Party'

Wahhab: "I didn't mean this. I don't hate the Jews. Absolutely not. I was surprised that when I was in Paris a few years later, a delegation from one of the ruling parties in France approached me and while we were talking, one of them said: 'But we have a problem that mars our relations with you, as a political party,' I asked what it was about and he said: 'A few years ago...' It was after four years believe it or not! He said that a few years earlier I had said something on a Lebanese TV channel."

I Said To Him: 'I Was Laughing. It Was A Joke. And You Still Remember This...'

Wahhab: "I said to him: 'I was laughing. It was a joke. And you still remember this...' I was then surprised that on the following day, they sent me a reporter from their newspaper to interview me and this was the first question he asked me..."

[...]

Wahhab: "I support Germany in politics and Brazil in soccer. I like the way Brazil plays. But I like the Germans because they hate the Jews and they burned them."

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