Politicians must call out hatred “whenever and wherever” it exists and guard against the “new smear” that anti-Semitism is being used as part of a witch hunt, an MP has said.
Tory Andrew Percy spoke about a campaign which called for Labour Party members who have been expelled or suspended in connection with anti-Semitism to be reinstated.
He urged MPs across the Commons to “call out” campaigns such as that by Labour Against the Witchhunt as he moved a backbench business debate on Holocaust Memorial Day 2018.
The Brigg and Goole MP, who described himself as a “full member of the Jewish community”, said: “We have a new threat as well which is this new smear that anti-Semitism is in some ways being used as a cover for other things or is a witch hunt..”
He continued: “Let’s just remember what some of those suspensions have been for: they have been for people who have claimed that Judaism wasn’t a religion but a crime syndicate; people who have called Holocaust education in schools a Holocaust indoctrination programme; people who have questioned what good Jews have done; and people who have claimed the Jews financed the slave trade and attacked this very day in which we are debating and respecting today.
“We have to guard against in the strongest terms those who now seek this new smear against anti-Semitism.
“And that’s why given the theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day, words really do matter and that’s why all of us – regardless of which side of politics we are on – must ensure our leaders and we ourselves call this sort of hatred out whenever and wherever”