Griffin branded 'bigot' by rabbi's son

By Robyn Rosen, October 23, 2009

The Jewish teenager who grilled Nick Griffin on last night’s Question Time has said the BNP leader came across as a “racist bigot”.

JFS pupil Joel Weiner, 17, confronted Mr Griffin during the programme and demanded answers about his history of Holocaust denial.

Joel’s grandfather escaped from Germany to Palestine the day before war broke out but many of his family were lost — some, he believes, in Auschwitz.

Mr Griffin responded: “I cannot explain why I used to say those things. I cannot tell you any more than why I’ve changed my mind or the extent I’ve changed my law because European law prevents me.”

Joel, the son of Masorti rabbi, Chaim Weiner, said today: “I was pleased because he was stumped by the question, but at the same time I don’t think he answered any of his questions truthfully.

“He was trying to get away with sounding like a mainstream politician but didn’t manage.

“He came over as a racist bigot. People saw him for what he is.”

Joel said that he was “appalled” by Mr Griffin’s comments on Islam, homosexuality and his remarks that the BNP supports Israel.

He said: “I thought what Nick Griffin said about Israel was disgusting. I don’t want my culture and my people to be associated with him. I’m annoyed with myself because I should have told him that in my comment.”

Joel was called by the BBC on Wednesday and asked to appear on the programme after he had applied for tickets to another edition of the programme more than a year ago and put his ethnicity down as Jewish.

He had to push his way through hundreds of protesters, answer security questions and show his passport before given access to the studios.

He said: “It was a very intense atmosphere in the audience. There was a real sense of camaraderie and everyone was together against Nick Griffin, apart from a small group of supporters.”

Joel, who is currently studying A-levels and hopes to read h istory at Cambridge, believes Mr Griffin’s appearance has given him a more “negative” image.

He added: “It was a great opportunity and I felt that what I said had to be said and there was a possibility that if I hadn’t, it wouldn’t have been spoken about. It was important that a kippah-wearing Jew was there to say it.”

Last updated: 11:23am, October 26 2009