Irish Jewish leaders defend columnist fired for anti-Semitic references

Kevin Myers said he was a great admirer of the Jewish people

"It would be a shame if Kevin Myers' voice was lost based on his mistake and other people's misconceptions about his prior writings".

As social media users fell upon Kevin Myers" recent column in horror, and wasted no time dubbing the journalist both "misogynistic" and "anti-Semitic', the Jewish council in Ireland have come to the defence of the former Sunday Times columnist.

Myers is an Irish journalist, and the article had appeared online and in the Irish print edition of the paper on Sunday.

Myers went on to say that he was so unaware of what he was doing and that it was his own stupidity, writing the article. It's over for me professionally as far as I can see.

Ms Feltz has described the comments as "so obviously racist" on her breakfast radio show.

"I am issuing an apology for no other reason than the contrition of the hurt I have caused them", he said.

Apologising to the Jewish faith, Myers said on RTE radio ton Tuesday: "My Jewish audience will understand that I am a great admirer of Jewish people, I think they are the most gifted people who have ever existed on this planet and civilisation owes an enormous debt to them".

"When someone alerted me to it ..."

Myers' original column elicited widespread outrage after he suggested Winkleman and Feltz were paid more by the BBC because they are Jewish. It is absolutely gratuitous, not cleverly done, it's blatant racism.

In the widely-condemned column titled "Sorry ladies - equal pay has to be earned", Myers criticised "the tiresome monotone consensus of the commentariat, all wailing and shrieking as one about how hard done by are the women of the BBC". "When you see it like that it's very horrifying", she said.

"Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price", Mr Myers said in the column.

Irish film director Lenny Abrahamson, who was raised in a Jewish family in Dublin also expressed his dismay at the comments on Twitter. "If they're the same ones that negotiated the pay for the women on the lower scales, then maybe the latter have found their true value in the marketplace".

"As the editor of the Ireland edition I take full responsibility for this error of judgment", Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of The Sunday Times Ireland, said in the printed apology.

"I don't want anyone else to lose their livelihood - enough damage has been done", he said.

"I am not an an anti-Semite - I may have sounded anti-Semitic", he said.

"People used to ask when I was young about the name Myers, which they said was unusual, I would say, 'That's because I'm half-Jewish.' I'm not though". I have many flaws. one of my flaws is to throw away, deal with major issues in throwaway lines. the throwaway line is often my pitfall, my downfall.

But Myers defended his wider argument on why he believed men earn more than women. "I am not a misogynist".

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