The last thing Batley and Spen needed was Galloway

JC Leader, 24 June 2021


GRETNA GREEN, SCOTLAND - APRIL 20: George Galloway leader of the All For Unity Party campaigns during the Scottish Parliament election with a speech at the Gretna Gateway Outlet on April 20, 2021 in Gretna, Scotland. Mr Galloway visited Gretna with his wife Gayatri, where he gave a speech slamming First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

June 24, 2021 15:15

Last week we revealed, via a secret recording, some of the antisemitic conversations among participants in a pro-Palestinian car convoy.

Our report this week from Batley and Spen required no such concealment. Our reporter simply approached local residents and spoke to them. They conversed in Urdu, and it may be that this made those we approached more relaxed about speaking to a reporter so openly about their views of Labour and, especially, Sir Keir Starmer — who, as one put it, is “from the Zionist lobby and follows the Zionist lobby”.

None of what we have reported is surprising. Such views are depressingly wide spread in some parts of Britain. But it seems clear that the situation is getting worse, not better. The evidence suggests that open antisemitism is on the increase.

Above all, community leaders need to take a stand, to denounce antisemitism and to campaign against it.

What is more often happening, however, is that organisations and people who exploit communal tensions and who pander to extremism are deliberately making things worse, feeding off and magnifying existing anti-Jewish feeling.

And now, in Batley and Spen, arrives George Galloway. Mr Galloway’s by-election campaign is a disaster for the area. His mere presence makes things worse. And, worryingly but predictably, he appears to be making an impact.

This has been one of the most tawdry by-election campaigns in memory. It is a depressing thought that this may not be anything like the worst of it. 

June 24, 2021 15:15

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive