A Labour MP has spoken of his ‘privilege’ of meeting and listening to a journalist who has previously claimed “Zionists rule France’ and that Israel is committing a “Holocaust” in Gaza.
Chris Williamson has been criticised after posting on Twitter that he heard controversial writer Vanessa Beeley speak at a festival this week.
Beeley launched her blog site ‘The Wall Will Fall’, in reference Israel’s separation barrier, after visiting Gaza, and has since been working in Syria, where she supports the regime of Bashar Al-Assad.
The Derby member of parliament said it was “Great to meet Vanessa Beeley today and a privilege to hear her speak at the #BeautifulDays2018 festival about her experiences of reporting from Syria”.
Also speaking at the festival was former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker, suspended by Labour, who was speaking about ‘Corbyn, Palestine and Labour’.
On social media she has continuously referred to Israel committing a “Holocaust in Gaza”.
In late June she tweeted to someone that: “Nobody can deny the holocaust that has been committed by Zionists in Palestine beginning 3 yrs after the one you are referring to and continuing today”. In November 2012, she said ” The Israelis are behaving like Nazis”.
More recently, Beeley, who is associate editor of conspiracy theorist site 21st Century Wire, has become known for vocally opposing the ‘White Helmets’, a group of Syrian rescue workers who save people’s lives following regime attacks. She accuses them of having links to terrorism, and has labelled them the “al-Qaeda Civil Defence”, while also appearing as a guest on videos discussing “Israeli Hand in ISIS Atrocities.”
Writing in Russia Today, she criticises the Jewish state’s rescue of Syrian civilians to Jordan earlier this year. She said: “The White Helmets are the “friends” of Israel, as are the militant thugs and extremist murderers who escaped under the White Helmets’ cloak of invisibility”.
The blogger has more recently appeared alongside conspiracy theorists such as David Icke, Holocaust denier Laurent Louis and was featured in far-right German magazine ‘Compact’.
Joey Ayoub, editor for the Middle East and North Africa region at Global Voices and IFEX, took to Twitter to criticise Williamson. He said: “This is utterly repulsive of you and you should immediately apologise for this. She is a known and already-exposed propagandist for the Assad regime. Beeley has associated herself with Holocaust deniers and even pro-ISIS apologists.”
When approached by Jewish News for comment, Mr Williamson declined.