'I have Jewish friends': Kevin Myers told to stop digging hole after apology for 'anti-Semitic' remarks sparks outrage

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Disgraced columnist Kevin Myers has been accused of digging himself further into a hole after apologising for his “anti-Semitic” remarks.

Mr Myers drew ire last weekend with a column for the Irish edition of the Sunday Times in which he suggested that Vanessa Feltz and Claudia Winkleman are well paid because they are Jewish.

Under the headline “Sorry ladies, equal pay has to be earned”, Mr Myers remarked that “Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price”.

Amid a rapidly deepening row over the article on Sunday, the newspaper apologised and sacked the journalist, who had a weekly column.

In an interview with RTE early this week, Mr Myers apologised for the comments, describing himself as “very very sorry”.

‘Horrifying racism’: Sunday Times columnist Kevin Myers has apologised after Vanessa Feltz, left, branded a Sunday Times column about her and Claudia Winkleman, right, as racist. (PA)

However, speaking to the Jewish Chronicle, he said on Wednesday he had been “gravely insulted” by Ms Feltz’s characterisation of his writing as “so obviously racist it’s surprisingly hurtful”.

He was “not inclined” to apologise personally to either woman, he said, since “they have said things about me that are far sterner than I think I merited”.

Ms Winkleman has not yet spoken publicly about the incident.

Mr Myers told the JC: “I’m not inclined to [apologise personally] – great damage has been done to me. Irreversible damage has been done to me and I’m going to suffer for the rest of my life.

“Speaking as I think, and sometimes you can make the wrong noises, I have been gravely insulted by them.

“A stigma has been placed on the name Kevin Myers which I don’t deserve.

“I’m not blaming them. It is what happened. No damage was done to them – irreversible damage was done to me.”

Ms Feltz described the remarks as “surprisingly hurtful” (PA)

The controversial columnist insisted he was not an anti-Semite and had a “great admiration” for the Jewish people.

Listing Jewish people he has dated, befriended, or become acquainted with, he went on: “I met Jews and they were a little bit more watchful, a little bit more intelligent than the others boys around.

“One of the reasons people do dislike Jews is because they are so talented. You know this?

“You don’t speak it, you don’t say it – but you know it is true.”

He also said that when he was young he “didn’t know Jews were living human beings” but simply thought they “belonged in the Bible” because his parents didn’t talk about it.

After commenting on several successful Jewish people he has met, he said his views were not based on “sentimentality” or a wish to “impress” the Jewish media.

“If you deduct Jews from the history of the human race you have a vastly impoverished species – without the mathematics, without the science, without the industry, without the literature,” he said.

Some readers were not impressed.

“If Kevin Myers digs this hole any deeper, it’s gonna go to the centre of the Earth,” said one person.

Another called the apology “jaw-dropping”.

The Sunday Times has said: “We can confirm that Kevin Myers will not write again for The Sunday Times Ireland.

“A printed apology will appear in next week’s paper.”

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