A left-wing British MP has claimed that "Jewish money" has influenced British politicians to support Israel, during a shocking anti-Semitic speech delivered in the UK parliament Tuesday.
Veteran Labor MP and longtime anti-Israel activist
Gerald Kaufman was speaking at an event organized by the Palestine
Return Council (PRC), a group with close organizational links to Hamas
and the Muslim Brotherhood, and which has been dubbed by many as Hamas's political wing in the UK. It is also a proscribed terrorist group in Israel.
According to multiple accounts from the event, attend by around 45
people, Kaufman - who is himself Jewish - claimed that the
Conservative-led government was becoming "more and more pro-Israeli" due
to what he essentially outlined as a Jewish conspiracy.
"I’ll tell you (why) because I can tell you in a way which perhaps
nobody else in this room can tell you. It’s Jewish money, Jewish
donations, to the conservative party as in the general election in May,
support from the Jewish Chronicle, all of those things, bias the
conservatives," he said.
During the event to key supporters, Kaufman claimed that Israel was framing Palestinians as terrorists by planting knives next to their bodies in order to "execute" them.
They’re not interested in the fact that Palestinians are living a
repressed life, and are liable to be shot at any time," he said of
"In the last few days alone the Israelis have murdered 52
Palestinians and nobody pays attention and this government doesn’t
care," Kaufman continued, before reading what he said was a letter sent
by a "friend" from "East Jerusalem."
"More than half the stabbing claims were definitely fabricated.
The other half, some were true, the others there was no way to tell
since they executed Palestinians and no one asked questions," the letter
read, echoing a popular conspiracy theory among many anti-Israel
The MP for the Manchester Gorton constituency then went on to urge those in attendance to "put the pressure" on Israel, even if it meant harming ordinary Israelis who, he said, deserved to be punished as well.
"When the Israeli prime minister refused to attend a
negotiating conference in Madrid, George H W Bush the father of George
Bush said I will withhold dollars in loan guarantees for Russian
settlers in Israel unless you come and he came," he said, according to
blogger David Collier, who was at the event. "Because they do not
understand morality, they haven’t understood morality for years and
don’t just blame their government, that governments in office because of
the voters of Israel."
He then called for "economic sanctions, arms sanctions and boycotts" against the Jewish state.
"Today’s guardian has a full page advertisement from hundreds of
academics, some of them Jews, who have announced that they are going to
boycott the Israeli academic institutions,"
he added, referring to a recent letter in the left-wing paper. "You can
boycott Israeli shops, here in this country, as we do in Manchester.
Where there is an Israeli perfume shop. You can boycott Israeli goods,
don’t buy Jaffa oranges..."
The UK Zionist Federation responded by chiding Kaufman for "peddling
anti-Semitic tropes," and called on the Labor Party to take action.
"While Gerald Kaufman is entitled to his opinions on Israel, the
British Conservative Party, and the relationship between the two, he
should not think that his Jewish background gives him free reign to
peddle anti-Semitic tropes and stereotypes," said ZF Chairman Paul
Charney. "The idea that governments are manipulated by ‘Jewish money’ is
a conspiracy theory unbecoming of an MP, and we hope the Labour Party
will take appropriate action."
Kaufman's vitriolic remarks proved too much even for fellow speakers,
with Labor MP and pro-Palestinian campaigner Andy Slaughter distancing
himself from the comments.
"I would not endorse those comments. If you showed me that and said
would you agree with that, I would say ‘no’," he told the Jewish
Chronicle. "Obviously I would not endorse or be associated in any way with those comments."
Despite being Jewish, Kaufman has come under fire in the past for his
extreme anti-Israel positions, and even alleged anti-Semitism towards
fellow Jewish MPs.
He has accused Israel of "using the holocaust" to justify its actions, and was forced to apologize to fellow Labor MP Louise Ellman after muttering "here we are, the Jews again" as she got up to speak in parliament.
His latest remarks will do little to reassure the British
Jewish community, already wary of the Labor party since it elected
far-left MP Jeremy Corbyn as its leader - a man who famously embraced
Hamas and Hezbollah and has had ties to various anti-Semitic preachers.