UK: Jewish advocacy group demands apology after ITV News platforms pro-Palestine reporter of anti-Semitic Iranian news channel to denounce rise in Islamophobia

By Thomas Brooke
5 Min Read

Britain’s leading Jewish advocacy group has written to the chief executive of ITV News expressing its objections to a recently broadcast interview with a Muslim woman complaining about Islamophobic abuse she has received since the escalation of the conflict in the Middle East.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said the interview with Latifa Abouchakra amounted to “a staggering failure of due diligence” by the broadcaster after it emerged that Abouchakra, who claimed to have been targeted as a Muslim woman for going about her “daily business” in London, is actually a reporter for Iran’s state-owned Press TV channel and appears to have reported on pro-Hamas propaganda.

The broadcaster described Abouchakra as a “British-Palestinian woman living in London,” and the news segment focused on the alleged abuse she has received for simply being a Muslim following the atrocities carried out by Hamas terrorists on Israeli territory on Oct. 7.

In its letter, the Jewish advocacy group accepted that there had been a recent rise in Islamophobia across the U.K. as a result of the ongoing conflict, but also highlighted the “unprecedented rise in anti-Semitism which we have seen over the past few weeks.”

The organization described ITV News’ selection of Abouchakra as a poor one and questioned the extent to which the broadcaster did its due diligence on its interviewee given her professional background.

“ITV’s decision to invite on Ms Abouchakra, however, out of millions of British Muslims, was an astonishingly bad one,” the letter read.

“As a 20-second internet search could have informed your channel’s researchers, Ms. Abouchakra is a reporter for Palestine Classified, a show produced by Press TV, the state channel of the Iranian Ayatollah regime.”

The group claimed the show “regularly targets British Jews for attack and censure” and reminded ITV that Press TV’s broadcasting license had been revoked by Ofcom, Britain’s broadcasting regulator.

Footage of Abouchakra in action for the Palestine Classified show has since been unearthed and circulated on social media, including her report on the Oct. 7 terror attack, which saw Hamas terrorists slaughter over 1,300 Jewish civilians in their homes.

In her report, she claimed “the Zionist entity is shaking with fear” after “Palestinian resistance factions” launched an “unprecedented three-pronged attack” on Israel.

Abouchakra described the terror attack in her report as “the homecoming of at least 1,000 Palestinians from the resistance factions into the fragile Zionist entity” and made the false claim that the majority of Israeli hostages taken back to Gaza — whom she referred to as Israeli “settlers” — were members of the Israeli armed forces.

Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, slammed ITV’s decision to give “airtime to a literal propagandist for the Iranian regime and expressed her desire for the news channel to issue “a public apology for this egregiously incompetent decision.”

A quick search of Abouchakra’s LinkedIn profile revealed that she has also been employed as a teacher in London and as an officer for the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

In her bio on X, formerly Twitter, she writes: “We are an undefeated people; we either win or we die.”

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