Belfast Telegraph

Commentator's Nazi salute on Nolan Live condemned by Jewish community

By Staff Reporter

A Nazi salute on this week's Nolan Live show has been condemned by Ireland's Jewish community.

The shock gesture was made by Dublin commentator George Hook during a discussion about cycling.

On his first major public broadcast appearance since his departure from Newstalk radio following his comments about rape victims, Mr Hook was again embroiled in a row over on-air remarks when he compared cyclists to Nazis.

Appearing on Nolan Live, he referred to cyclists as wearing "brown shirts" and claimed they sang the Nazi anthem .

He then raised his arm in a Nazi salute.

The Jewish Representative Council said Mr Hook was "absolutely wrong" to use such language as it diminished the atrocities of the Nazis.

But the spokesman accepted that Mr Hook "was not anti-Semitic in any way whatsoever".

Following criticism yesterday, Mr Hook told the Irish Independent he did not mean to cause offence to Jewish people and said: "I'm not going to do it again."

The broadcaster was emphatic last night that he made the gesture and remarks on the programme in the context of his own "anger" and "exasperation" about certain matters.

He said he was "angry and upset" that he had been put on air with only four minutes of the show left after he had agreed to make a 200-mile round trip to Belfast on the understanding he would be taking part in a 20-minute serious discussion on cycling as a member of "the anti-cycling lobby".

Mr Hook said he was appalled to hear a woman on the programme describe how she was abused on Twitter for criticising cyclists.

He added he had endured a lot of anonymous abuse on Twitter in recent weeks after his departure from his radio show.

When a cyclist on the show said people believed cyclists were part of a "uniformed cult", Mr Hook said he was still thinking about Twitter trolls as he made his remarks about cyclists wearing Nazi shirts. It was then that he made the Nazi salute.

Belfast Telegraph

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