MPs urge hate-attack clampdown

By Bernard Josephs, January 22, 2009

A parliamentary motion condemning attacks on the Jewish community as a result of the war in Gaza has been signed by more than 40 MPs - including critics of Israel. The MPs called on the government to stamp down on a wave of antisemitic incidents.

The motion, sponsored by Labour MP John Mann, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Antisemitism, also attacked the growing number of extremist websites, one of which calls for attacks against Jews around the world.

The motion was published as hundreds of Israel supporters, Jewish and non-Jewish, lobbied MPs in parliament on Wednesday.

The event, organised by the Zionist Federation and Christian Friends of Israel, was in response to the overwhelming criticism of Israel in the House of Commons.

Labour MP Louise Ellman, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, told the lobbyists that criticism of MPs who supported Israel had reached unprecedented levels.

She said: “ There are few people willing to listen to us or to hear what we have to say.

“The atmosphere in the House is deeply hostile, despite the efforts by the front bench of the government to make things more balanced. I have never known it to be so hostile. It is even worse than during the 2006 Lebanon War.”

Tory MP Lee Scott said there had been death threats on websites aimed at him and other pro-Israel MPs.

Last updated: 2:51pm, March 10 2009