London, August 2 (ANI): Israel President Shimon Peres has denied calling Britishers "anti-Semites," even while criticizing Britain for its consistent pro-Arab stance against Israel.
Peres said he views Israeli relations with Britain as "of the greatest importance" and has the "highest regard" for the way in which the latter stood alone against Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
"President Peres never accused the British people of anti-Semitism, the president does not believe that British governments are motivated by anti-Semitism, nor were they in the past," The Telegraph quoted his spokesman, as saying in a statement.
The paper also states that during the interview with an Israeli historian named Benny Morris, Peres claimed there had always been something "pro-Arab" and "anti-Israel" in the British establishment.
On being asked whether this was due to anti-Semitism, Peres replied by saying "Yes, there is also anti-Semitism. There is in England a saying that an anti-Semite is someone who hates the Jews more than is necessary. But with Germany, relations are pretty good, as with Italy and France."
The President's office replied that his comments were driven by dismay and that some Britons lack the ability to understand the grim reality of living under the threat of terrorism. (ANI)