Labour MP Chris Williamson has refused to condemn a statement by the controversial Jewdas group describing Israel as “a streaming pile of sewage which needs to be disposed of.”
Mr Williamson – who has previously come to the defence of Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker following their suspension from the party over antisemitism claims - was asked during a BBC News interview on Tuesday evening whether the statement on Israel as “acceptable”.
In his response the MP for Derby North launched an attack on the Israeli military’s actions in Gaza last weekend insisting: “We need to come together to condemn that”.
Mr Williamson, who previously served as Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow fire minister, added: “I’m not going to second guess or say it’s inappropriate for a Jewish group to say whatever they feel.
“Sometimes I do think feelings run away with people in relation to some of the actions of the Israeli government. It’s important for people not to conflate the actions of the Israeli government with all Jews.
“For example, there was a protest in Tel Aviv over the weekend against the massacre of defenceless Palestinians who were protesting and who were shot dead in the back by the Israeli military.”
Mr Williamson made his comments in the aftermath of Mr Corbyn’s decision to attend a Passover Seder organised by Jewdas on Monday evening.
Mr Williamson played down suggestions that Mr Corbyn’s decision to attend the left-wing, anti-Zionist group’s event had served only to anger mainstream Jewish opinion.
He said: “Jeremy met with the group at Passover to celebrate the occasion.
“He also arranged for a meeting with the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council. So Jeremy is trying to engage.”