Sunday Times of London Op-Ed Called Anti-Semitic Is Removed From Website

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DUBLIN — The Sunday Times of London has pulled from its website an op-ed article denouncing the campaign by women of the British Broadcasting Corporation for equal pay after the column sparked widespread accusations that it was anti-Semitic and misogynistic.

The article, by Kevin Myers, an Irish journalist with a record of provocative right-wing statements, had been commissioned for the print version of the outlet’s Irish edition. Framing his piece as an attack on the push to close the pay gap at the BBC, Mr. Myers wrote:

“I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC — Claudia Winkelman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted — are Jewish. Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity. I wonder, who are their agents? 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 their marketplace.”

Mr. Myers also wrote:

“Only one woman is among the top 10 best-paid BBC presenters. Now, why is this? Is it because men are more charismatic performers? Because they work harder? Because they are more driven? Possibly a bit of each. The human resources department — what used to be called “personnel” until people come to be considered as a metabolising, respiring form of mineral ore — will probably tell you that men usually work harder, get sick less frequently and seldom get pregnant.”

The column also attacked “the PC traitors who run BBC News and current affairs, which have stifled and corrupted all useful debate on national identity, immigration and race, thereby doing irreversible damage to British society.”

The article was widely condemned on social media. One person wrote: “This kind of hateful nonsense should never make it past an editor. Myers has been writing drivel for a long time. Stop giving him a platform.”

Daniel Harris, who writes for The Guardian and The New Statesman, tweeted: “Kevin Myers of the actual Times of London, complete with Nazi terminology. Reassuring to see we’ve moved on from the old antisemitic tropes.”

An Irish lawyer, Aoife Carroll, wrote: “I’d love to know how many editors that article got through before being published. I’ll take a wild guess that none were women.”

Lionel Barber, the editor of The Financial Times, also denounced the article on Twitter.

By midmorning local time, the article had been removed from the website, which The Sunday Times shares with The Times of London, both part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

Shortly afterward, Martin Ivens, the editor of The Sunday Times in London, apologized on Twitter:

“The comments in a column by Kevin Myers in today’s Irish edition of The Sunday Times were unacceptable and should not have been published. It has been taken down, and we sincerely apologize both for the remarks and the error of judgment that led to publication.”

A separate statement from Frank Fitzgibbon, the editor of the paper’s Irish edition in Dublin, said in part:

“As the editor of the Ireland edition I take full responsibility for this error of judgment. This newspaper abhors anti-Semitism and did not intend to cause offense to Jewish people.”

That statement was criticized for not addressing what many saw as Mr. Myers’s misogyny.

Contacted by phone on Sunday, Mr. Fitzgibbon said: “We issued a statement. It’s on the website. Have you seen it? That’s it, bye.”

Calls to Mr. Myers’s cellphone and home numbers went unanswered on Sunday. He also did not immediately respond to a voice mail message and email.

The condemnation of the article comes amid a wider discussion in Britain about the need to confront anti-Semitism, in particular on the far left.

The issue came into sharp relief last year, after the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was attacked and accused of not doing enough to combat anti-Semitism.

A party member, Naseem Shah, was suspended for endorsing anti-Israel posts on social media before becoming a member of Parliament. In 2014, Ms. Shaw endorsed a Facebook post showing a graphic of Israel’s outline superimposed on a map of the United States under the headline “Solution for Israel-Palestine conflict — relocate Israel into United States,” along with the comment “problem solved.”

In another post, Ms. Shah compared Israeli policies to those of Hitler.

After the posts were publicized last year, Ms. Shaw apologized, in an article for Jewish News: “I understand that referring to Israel and Hitler as I did is deeply offensive to Jewish people for which I apologize.”

While debate about anti-Semitism has flared in recent years, so, too, has discussion about sexism at a time when Britain has a female prime minister, Theresa May. In December, when Mrs. May was photographed wearing a $1,250 pair of “desert khaki” leather pants, some critics accused her of showing elitism during a period of austerity — a criticism that some her defenders attributed to ageism and sexism.

Some asked if anyone would have questioned her taste in fashion or the hefty cost of her trousers if she were a man.

Born in England to Irish parents, Mr. Myers has long been a strident and at times deeply controversial voice in the Irish news media, first as a columnist for The Irish Times (which is not connected to The Sunday Times of London), and then later The Irish Independent group.

In 2009, he wrote a column for The Belfast Telegraph, part of the Irish Independent group, which said, “There was no Holocaust, and six million Jews were not murdered by the Third Reich.” The article accepted that there had been a deliberate mass genocide against the Jews of Europe, but said that the term “holocaust” was inaccurate and that the exact number of dead could not be known.

According to the Irish Independent group’s website, that article was also taken down from archives on Sunday.

In 2005, Mr. Myers was widely criticized for a column in The Irish Times in which he referred to the children of single parents as “bastards.” The fallout from that piece contributed to his eventual departure from the paper.

Writing about foreign aid to Africa in The Irish Independent in 2008, he said that in contrast, “Africa, with its vast savannahs and its lush pastures, is giving almost nothing to anyone, apart from AIDS.”