The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY JC RE­PORTER

Labour MP Chris Wil­liamson has been branded a “Jew baiter” af­ter sign­ing a pe­ti­tion last week de­fend­ing no­to­ri­ous an­tisemite Gi­lad Atz­mon.

Is­ling­ton Coun­cil banned the jazz mu­si­cian from per­form­ing at one of its venues af­ter a com­plaint from a mem­ber of the Jewish com­mu­nity.

Mr Wil­liamson, the MP for Derby North and an out­spo­ken ally of Jeremy Cor­byn, signed the pe­ti­tion, tweet­ing a link with the cap­tion “Hands Off Gi­lad Atz­mon — Sign the Pe­ti­tion!”

He later deleted the tweet and posted an apol­ogy, say­ing, “I strongly dis­as­so­ci­ate my­self from Atz­mon’s an­ti­semitic views.”

Anti-racist ad­vo­cacy group Hope Not Hate has said Mr Atz­mon is “an an­tisemite who has pro­moted the works of Holo­caust de­niers”, while the Com­mu­nity Se­cu­rity Trust de­scribed Mr Atz­mon’s book, the Wan­der­ing Who?, as “quite prob­a­bly the most an­ti­semitic book pub­lished in this coun­try in re­cent years”.

De­spite Mr Wil­liamson’s apol­ogy, the Jewish Labour Move­ment re­it­er­ated its call for him to be sus­pended from the party.

JLM chair Ivor Caplin said: “Sup­port­ing Atz­mon is bait­ing Jews. And Chris Wil­liamson has been bait­ing Jews in the party for too long unchecked.”

A Labour Party spokesper­son said: “Chris Wil­liamson has said he was not aware of Atz­mon’s ap­palling views and rightly apol­o­gised for his tweet.”

In the wake of Mr Wil­liamson’s en­dorse­ment of Mr Atz­mon, thirty two univer­sity Labour clubs signed an open let­ter urg­ing the party to “with­draw the whip… un­til he lis­tens to the con­cerns of the Jewish com­mu­nity and prop­erly ed­u­cates him­self about an­ti­semitism”.

It read: “To­day Chris Wil­liamson’s ac­tions have again shown a com­plete lack of re­spect for the Jewish com­mu­nity. He re­peat­edly plat­forms and sup­ports an­ti­semites and takes no re­spon­si­bil­ity for his ac­tions.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing that the Labour Party have not yet taken ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.