04 SEP 2010
The European Union's trade commissioner Karel de Gucht has sought to fend off allegations of anti-Semitism after criticism by Jewish groups of remarks he made in a radio interview.
Karel de Gucht said in an interview with Belgian broadcaster VRT Thursday that it was "not easy to have, even with moderate Jews, a rational discussion about what is actually happening in the Middle East."
De Gucht said that a "Jewish lobby" that wielded much power over politics in the US and should not be underestimated could block progress toward peace in the Middle East. He added that "most Jews" believed themselves to be right in matters of Israeli-Palestinian policy.
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