Did Sir David Attenborough say the following about Israelis? From Israel has lost both the battle and the war (Wikipedia article on Arab News), but the quote has been circulating elsewhere as well:

I am unaware of any animal that is as cruel as Israelis— not even crocodiles. They bomb schools, hospitals, refugee camps, orphanages, UN feeding stations, water works, power plants, ambulances, kids playing on the beach. They put millions of people in a siege. They shoot children going to school. They kidnap kids and harvest their organs. They inject prisoners with disease pathogens before releasing them. They murder by land, sea and air and worst of all, they slander their defenseless victims as ‘terrorists’.

  • 19
    "They kidnap kids and harvest their organs"??? Is anyone serious seriously contending that David Attenborough would have said that? I doubt it. FWIW, have a link: toxicdrums.blogspot.ch/2014/08/the-david-attenborough-hoax.html (not peer-reviewed, just the third result for "david attenborough israel animals")
    – Benjol
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 13:07
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    Is this notable?
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 20:07
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    @Sklivvz being published in a newspaper would make it more notable than something published on some person's personal website, such as skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/22468/…
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 23:27
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    @Andrew, I wouldn't want anyone emailing him ever to ask him that. It would be rather insulting...
    – Benjol
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 4:35
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    @AndrewGrimm the claim you link is believed by a lot of Arabs. I'm simply not sure that anyone takes this seriously - sure, it's in a newspaper, but...
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 7:10

1 Answer 1


An anonymous person wrote a comment on July 21, 2014 on PressTV.ir that uses David Attenborough name. That comment was strongly upvoted and people made Facebook memes out of it.

Given that social media activity the Arab News took it as fact for their article on August 8, 2014.

The blog Toxic Drums analyses the case in more detail.

Anyone could have written that comment and there's no reason to believe that it was David Attenborough. If David Attenborough wanted to say something on the issue the 88 year old would likely write an OPed in a newspaper instead of commenting on an Iranian news website.

  • 28
    I find it difficult to imagine him describing crocodiles as "cruel".
    – ChrisW
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 10:56
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    That struck me as well. Lends credences that it is someone else. Specifically, when I think of crocodiles and Jew-hating I immediately think of Egypt, but I am sure a lot of countries around there share that characteristic.
    – Jonathon
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 0:58
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    For example, Ammit (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammit) is an old Egyptian god with the head of a crocodile and "embodied all that the Egyptians feared", often described as cruel.
    – Jonathon
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 1:10
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    Attenborough would almost certainly not describe any animal as cruel, as that would be to anthropomorphise the animal. Cruelty is a purely human concept that implies malice aforethought that animals simply don't possess. They kill to survive, simple as that.
    – GordonM
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 15:33

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