‘I’m no antisemite’ says man contesting Corby by-election
A parliamentary candidate has defended himself against allegations of antisemitism after being accused of ranting about “evil Jews” in a series of blog posts.
Peter Reynolds is one of 12 candidates in the Corby by-election in November, called after the resignation of Tory MP Louise Mensch.
In a number of blogs in January 2009, Mr Reynolds appeared to attack Israel’s actions during Operation Cast Lead.
His blog appeared to reveal repeated references to Israelis as “Nazis” and an attack on the BBC for showing a programme about Anne Frank.
Mr Reynolds is standing for the Cannabis Law Reform party after being elected as its leader in February 2011.
He claims, however, that the offensive blogs were “forgeries” created by people who had reproduced his work and altered it in an effort to show him as antisemitic.
Mr Reynolds provided the JC with a web address for his real site, but it linked to the same site as the one which carried the offensive articles.
In a number of pieces the passages appeared to remain the same, except for the use of the word “Israelis” rather than “Jews”.
Police confirmed they were investigating a complaint made by him in March regarding computer misuse. No arrests have been made.
Mr Reynolds said: “I am vehemently opposed to Israeli genocide against Palestinians, but I refute entirely the allegations that I am anti-Jewish. I have Jewish friends.”
In the first blog of 2009, Mr Reynolds appears to have written “I curse the evil Jews” before following it the next day with a claim that Israel was perpetrating “genocide” in Gaza.
Another blog post added: “Israel is now the Nazi power in the world. It is beyond forgiveness or redemption. Gaza is the new Auschwitz. The only difference is that your method of death is not Zyklon B.”
The blog referred to the former BBC director-general Mark Thompson as a “Zionist Nazi collaborator” following his decision not to show a Disasters Emergency appeal for Gaza.
The website Peter Reynolds Watch, which claims to be dedicated to “exposing the despotic, far-right, extremist politician”, called for him to resign from the by-election race.
Mr Reynolds, of Sutton Poyntz, Dorset, said the attacks on him included people posting fake profiles of him on sex sites and accusations that he sold Nazi memorabilia on market stalls.
“These people are liars and charlatans,” he said. “One of my oldest friends is an Englishman who converted to Judaism. The attempt to paint me as antisemitic is completely flawed.”