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May 03, 2020
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Former Lebanese Minister Wiam Wahhab Recalls Being Called to Task in France for Making Antisemitic Comments Translated by MEMRI

#7980 | 01:56
Source: Al-Manar TV (Lebanon)

Former Lebanese minister Wiam Wahhab said in a May 3, 2020 interview on Al-Manar TV (Hizbullah-Lebanon) that he had once "half-jokingly" said in an interview on Jadeed TV (Lebanon) that he supports the German soccer team FC Bayern Munich because the Germans had burned the Jews and he expressed surprise that this statement drew negative attention from French politicians and media several years after he had made the statement. Wahhab explained 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's original statement (see MEMRI TV No.2536), which aired on July 4, 2010 on Jadeed TV was: "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."

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..."

Wiam Wahham: "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...' 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..."

[...]

Wiam Wahhman: "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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