Dame Margaret Hodge accuses hard-left of ‘Holocaust weaponisation’ in HMD debate

Dame Margaret Hodge accuses hard-left of ‘Holocaust weaponisation’ in HMD debate

Veteran Barking MP spoke during the Holocaust Memorial Day debate in the Commons, accusing the far left of trying to 'fuel modern antisemitism' and 'silence Jews in public life'

Dame Margaret Hodge. Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Dame Margaret Hodge. Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Labour’s Dame Margaret Hodge, a vocal critic of antisemitism in her party, has accused the so-called hard left of engaging in “Holocaust weaponisation” on social media.

Speaking during a Commons debate on Holocaust Memorial Day, the Barking MP said: “I wanted to raise an issue around social media and that has been exploited really by I’m afraid the far left in what I would call almost Holocaust weaponisation.

“The hard left I think are trying to close down any constructive debate that we can have on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“They’re trying to fuel modern antisemitism and I think they’re trying to silence many Jews in public life.”

Dame Margaret called for social media companies to tackle growing levels of online anti-Semitism.

She said: “I regularly receive images which for example have piles of dead bodies from Nazi death camps, swastikas alongside Israeli flags. I’m likened to SS guards and I’ve seen online remarks calling for a ‘final solution to my sort of politics’.

“Does my honourable friend agree with me that the internet remains an under-regulated and unchecked medium in which these attitudes can grow? And does she agree with me that we should be taking action to regulate better and check better what is allowed on social media?”

Responding, Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister Cat Smith said: “The way in which social media companies seem to be given free rein, it’s so hard to remove these pieces of hate from many platforms, I think is worthy of a debate in this House in its own right as a single issue.”

She added: “I pay tribute to her work (Dame Margaret) in always challenging antisemitism wherever it raises its head even when it can be very uncomfortable to do so.”

Tory backbencher Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham) criticised what he called “revisionism” around the Second World War and warned against using the word “Nazis”.

He said: “The problem with the term Nazis is that it is a firewall between the real perpetrators which are the Germans.

“And we are now seeing a revisionism as to who was to blame for the start of the Second World War.

“We’ve President Putin last week claim that Poland was somehow partly responsible for starting the Second World War.

“I think it’s very important not to use third-term expressions like Nazis but say exactly who started this and who was responsible which is Germany and the German people.”

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