Former UKIP leader and Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage has been asked to apologise for comments about the power of the “Jewish lobby” in American politics.
The controversial politician made the remarks of his LBC radio show in which he was discussing the power of lobby groups in Washington, D.C. in the wake of the first charges being brought against aides to President Donald Trump.
Taking a call from a listener called Ahmed, who suggested that the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. was as dangerous as the Russian hacking, Farage appeared to agree, saying that American Jews were disproportionately powerful.
“Well the Israeli lobby, you know, that’s a reasonable point Ahmed, because there are about six million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage it’s quite small, but in terms of influence it’s quite big.”
When Ahmed said that Israel has both the Republicans and Democrats “in their pockets”, Farage replied: “Well in terms of money and influence, yep, they are a very powerful lobby.”
Ending the call, Farage said Ahmed had made the point that “there are other very powerful foreign lobbies in the United States of America, and the Jewish lobby, with its links with the Israeli Government, is one of those strong voices”.
For anyone wanting to listen to the clip of Nigel Farage on the ‘Jewish’ lobby. Listen to this to the end.. https://t.co/LLgHpVyrLB
— Adam Langleben (@adamlangleben) October 30, 2017
Among those reacting in anger was grassroots group Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), which called for Farage to “immediately withdraw his deplorable comments and apologise for them” or else be sacked by LBC.
“It is common for countries to lobby their allies, and Israel is no different,” said CAA’s Joe Glasman. “But in his call with Ahmed, it was not merely alleged that Israel conducts lobbying, but that it is carried out by the entire Jewish population of the United States and that in doing so American politics are subverted.”
Glasman, who said he would contact media regulator Ofcom, added: “Counting all American Jews as lobbyists with disproportionate power and both major political parties in their financial grips is the stuff of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”
A Board of Deputies spokesperson said: “Nigel Farage’s clumsy use of the terms Israel and Jewish lobby interchangeably and his reference to their ‘power’ has crossed the line into well-known antisemitic tropes. We would advise him to be more careful in his use of language in future.”
You can watch the clip here: