Katie Hopkins gets warm reception as she calls Islam ‘single biggest threat’ to Europe

JC reporter Ben Weich was there to hear the mostly Jewish audience members praise the right-wing agitator


“I don’t feel the time is far away… What will you say to your children when they look at you and ask: ‘Where were you? What did you do?’ What will you say to them?

“I only see one way that this is going. Islam is the single biggest threat that faces Western Europe and America today.”

Right-wing agitator Katie Hopkins’ words were not delivered to a meeting of the BNP in Barking but to the sympathetic ears of a roomful of Jewish people in the heart of North West London.

She received the heartiest applause of Tuesday evening’s event – until former Ukip MEP Janice Atkinson hailed Donald Trump, Italy’s Matteo Salvini and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as the last bastions against “supra-national bodies that run our countries”.

They were speaking at the Pillar Hotel, in Hendon, owned by Benjamin Perl, after a screening of Homelands, a ‘documentary’ by Ms Hopkins and Ms Atkinson on the “Islamification of Europe” and the mass exodus it will supposedly necessitate.

Ambrosine Shitrit and Sharon Klaff, known to many in the community as two of its most fervent pro-Israel activists, hailed the hotel for providing “a succah” after a series of venues withdrew.

The film was shown in Jerusalem last month – with the assistance of the city’s Deputy Mayor, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum – after three cancellations and multiple interventions by the Board of Deputies.

The film itself opened with sepia-toned wartime footage of “the Britain our grandparents used to know,” with an obligatory reference to its “shared sense of British pride” to which people from “across the British colonies” flocked to partake.

This melted into a sketch on Ms Hopkins’s visit to Savile Town, a suburb of Dewsbury in Yorkshire, with an Asian Muslim population topping 90 per cent.

Vox pops of white British residents yielded soundbites such as “You’re just like a second class citizen,” and “Savile Town is a no-go area for white people” within the first five minutes.

The central thesis of the film was the supposed destruction of “Judeo-Christian values”, relying heavily on exaggerations, slippery-slope arguments and cherry-picked statistics – as well as the hijacking of the memory of Mirielle Knoll, an 85-year-old Parisian Holocaust survivor who was murdered in 2018.

One of the suspects is a Muslim man.

The film – interspersed by interviews of far-right MEPs of the Lega Nord and National Rally (formerly Front National) – finally moves to Israel, where Ms Hopkins expresses envy for Jews because “Brits don’t have an Israel” to flee to.

Though the documentary was laughable as a piece of propaganda, the febrile atmosphere during the Q&A session was no joke.

For about an hour, members of the approximately 100-strong audience – mostly but not exclusively Jewish – took turns to declare themselves such things as “devout Islamophobes” and adherents of the ultra-nationalist doctrine of Rabbi Meir Kahane.

If there were any moments of levity to savour, they were when Ms Atkinson argued for the need to end Muslim immigration to Britain “until they have integrated”, and when she declared herself, as an atheist, to be best-placed to protect Judeo-Christian values.

Mr Perl, a prominent businessman and owner of the Pillar Hotel, justified hosting the event by saying that his hotel does not “inspect the rooms once hired”.

Ms Hopkins is notorious for describing refugees as “cockroaches” and asking about a “final solution” after the Isis-inspired attack on the Manchester Arena in 2017.

Ms Atkinson is no stranger to controversy either – having made headlines in 2014 for referring to the Thai-born wife of a Ukip supporter as a “ting-tong”. She and the party’s then-leader, Nigel Farage, later apologised.

Also there was Ros Pine, who was suspended last year from the Board of Deputies for six years for describing Muslims as “the vilest of animals”. She bragged about her record-breaking sanction.

And Anne-Marie Waters, founder of anti-Islam political party For Britain, was on a list of attendees read out before the film – by a “dog handler” named “Ginge” as he clutched Moishe, a large guard dog.

After the screening, Jewish attendees batted away suggestions that the documentary was Islamophobic, universally insisting on the distinction between racism and "the truth". Tellingly, none wanted their names to appear in print.

One couple, who recently emigrated from South Africa, told the JC that Ms Hopkins and Ms Atkinson were just “telling it as it is”.

The man said: “It’s happening right in front of you. You’re living in Cloud Cuckoo Land and you’re burying your head in the soil because the fact of the matter is you can see it... one point that was made about how [Muslims] are multiplying at an alarming rate.

“You know the problem here is that it’s OK to call somebody a ‘f*cking Jew’. But it’s not OK to call a person a ‘f*cking Muslim’. But they get away with it.”

His wife added: “‘P*ki’ is different. I don’t care if people call me a ‘bloody South African’. This is not about a country of origin – this is about religion.”

A male attendee offered: “It’s food for thought… Whether it’s true or not, we’ve certainly laid the groundwork for it to happen, because of the numbers [of Muslims].”

Another ticket-holder, a woman, then railed against members of the community who are “scared to call a spade a spade”.

She erupted in cries of “fake news and lies” when Ms Hopkins’s apparent approval of a “final solution” was put to her.

Comparisons to crowds found at President Trump’s rallies in America’s backwaters are obvious and perhaps facile. But Jewish flirtation with the far right and extreme nationalism – less than a century removed from the Holocaust – is sickening and tragically ironic in equal measure.

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