Board slams Brexit supporters for ‘antisemitic conspiracies’
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Board slams Brexit supporters for ‘antisemitic conspiracies’

Raheem Kassam and Andy Wigmore were criticised by the Jewish representative body for accusing the Hungarian-born philanthropist of being 'not Jewish' and 'a Nazi collaborator'

Two British commentators have been derided by the Board of Deputies for spreading “antisemitic conspiracy theories” about a liberal Jewish philanthropist.

Raheem Kassam, the former London head of right-wing publication Breitbart, and Andy Wigmore, the self-styled “Bad boy of Brexit,” waded into a Twitter debate, saying George Soros was “not Jewish” and “a Nazi collaborator”.

Soros is a Hungarian-born billionaire financier. Born in Hungary in 1930, he lived through the Nazi occupation, which resulted in the murder of over 500,000 Hungarian Jews. His own Jewish family survived by securing false identity papers, concealing their backgrounds, and helping others do the same.

Soros later said: “Instead of submitting to our fate, we resisted an evil force that was much stronger than we were, yet we prevailed. Not only did we survive, but we managed to help others.”

His philanthropic foundation supports liberal causes around the world, making him a target for nationalists, including Hungary’s current right-wing government, which Soros has criticised.

As a result, Soros has been the repeated target of antisemitic theories perpetrated by detractors, and this week the Board said Kassam and Wigmore, an adviser to Leave.eu, were guilty too.

In a tweet last week, Kassam said Soros “isn’t a Jew and helped Nazis round up Jews,” while Wigmore echoed the idea, saying Soros is “not Jewish and was a Nazi collaborator”. The Board said this played to a classic antisemitic trope.

“Knowingly or not, Raheem Kassam and Andy Wigmore are spreading false antisemitic conspiracy theories about George Soros being a Nazi collaborator,” said a Board spokesman.

“While there can be legitimate differences of opinion on Mr Soros’s politics, holding a 14 year-old Jewish boy responsible for the atrocities perpetrated in Nazi-occupied Hungary, is the ultimate in victim blaming. They should retract and delete these comments.”

Kassam later took to Twitter to defend his stance, roundly rejecting the Board’s comments.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments