Lord Ahmed apologises to the Jewish community
The Community Security Trust has rejected an apology by Lord Ahmed for his “unacceptable” comments that suggested Jews controlled the media and British politics.
The Labour peer, who has been suspended from the party pending an investigation, had blamed Jews for his dangerous driving charge in 2009. He claimed a Jewish conspiracy was responsible for his imprisonment for causing a fatal car crash. The peer reportedly suggested a Jewish plot against him had followed his support for Palestinians in Gaza. He was jailed for 12 weeks in 2009 after admitting sending text messages shortly before a motorway crash which killed another driver.
The peer reportedly said: “My case became more critical because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians. My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this.”
Lord Ahmed made the offending comments during a television interview aired in Pakistan last April and obtained and published by The Times newspaper this month.
Now he has “completely and unreservedly” apologised for his comments in an interview with the Huffington Post.
He reportedly told the Huffington Post that he had “the greatest respect” for the Jewish community and apologised to Jewish Labour leader Ed Miliband for embarrassing the party. “He’s of the Jewish faith and I’m sorry that I embarrassed him, or anybody else in the Labour Party,” said Lord Ahmed.
“I’m not antisemitic or a conspiracy theorist. I only believe in facts and I should have stuck with the facts rather than with conspiracy theories.”
But Community Security Trust spokesperson Mark Gardner rejected the apology. He told the JC: “This apology by Lord Ahmed will be greeted with much suspicion as it comes in response to a journalist rather than have been made directly and voluntarily to those who were most offended by the remarks.”
Earlier this month, Lord Ahmed resigned from his role as a founding trustee of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation, which promotes Muslim-Jewish relations. “I strongly hope that the allegations made against me will in no way affect the good relations between the Muslim and Jewish communities in this country,” he said.