Israel’s embassy in China is protesting what it describes as “blatant anti-Semitism” on a programme ran by the overseas channel of state broadcaster CCTV discussing the ongoing violence in Gaza and elsewhere.
In a tweet, the embassy said it hoped that the times of the “Jews controlling the world” conspiracy theories were over, unfortunately anti-Semitism has shown its ugly face again.
“We are appalled to see blatant anti-Semitism expressed in an official Chinese media outlet,” the tweet said.
Calls to the embassy were answered with a message saying it was closed on Wednesday and it wasn’t immediately clear what it objected to in the three-minute segment.
On the Tuesday CGTN broadcast, host Zheng Junfeng questioned whether US support for Israel was truly based on shared democratic values, saying some people believe that US’ pro-Israeli policy is traceable to the influence of wealthy Jews in the US and the Jewish lobby on US foreign policy makers.
Jews dominate finance and and internet sectors, Zheng says, speaking in English. “So do they have the powerful lobbies some say? Possible.”
Zheng then accused the US — China’s top geopolitical rival — of using Israel as a “beachhead” in the Middle East and as a proxy in its campaign to defeat pan-Arabism.
There was no immediate comment from CCTV, which operates CGTN, to cater to foreign audiences along the lines of Russia’s RT.
China has long been a strong backer of the Palestinian cause and in recent days, the Foreign Ministry has castigated the U.S. for blocking a statement in the United Nations Security Council condemning the violence.
Yet, since establishing formal diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, Beijing has nurtured close economic, technological and military ties, including the purchase of early model Israeli drones.
Judaism is not one of China’s officially recognised religions, however, and stereotypes about Jews as shrewd business-people and market manipulators are common among the Chinese public.