Melanie Phillips brands Black Lives Matter ‘anti-Jew and deeply antisemitic’
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Melanie Phillips brands Black Lives Matter ‘anti-Jew and deeply antisemitic’

Right-wing columnist made her remark during a BBC debate on the England team's decision to 'take the knee

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

The journalist Melanie Phillips has labelled the Black Lives Matter movement as “anti-Jew” and “deeply antisemitic” during an appearance on the BBC’s Politics Live show.

Speaking from her home in Jerusalem during a debate on the England football team’s decision to “take the knee”, the right-wing commentator gave her verdict on the gesture.

She said:”This gesture was then taken up by Black Lives Matter, which is a fundamentally anti-white, anti-West, anti-Jew organisation.”

Phillips then claimed the “whole schtick” of BLM “is that Britain is systematically racist.

“That is a libel on Britain. It is a racial libel on Britain, a deeply racist statement.”

She then insisting that “taking the knee” was itself a “racist statement – that is why it should be condemned.”

The Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson Layla Moran, another panellist on the BBC Two show,  shook her head in response to Phillips comments.

She branded Phillips remarks as “utter rubbish.”  But Phillips responded by suggesting “Black Lives Matter is a deeply antisemitic organisation – that is what you are supporting.”

Phillips then referenced the “Black Power gesture” and asked if Moran would have supported that.

Albie Amankona, who appeared on the programme as a representative of the Conservatives Against Racism, For Equality group also said the Phillips had been “wrong” to suggest BLM’s origins were with an American footballer named Colin Kaepernick who she said had “refused to stand to honour his country.”

Amankona said the origins of the movement lay with the “pacifist” Martin Luther King.

Phillips have become increasingly controversial in her comments on issues around race and Islam over recent years.

A spokesperson for the BBC said: “Politics Live invites a panel of contributors drawn from across the political spectrum to discuss the day’s biggest stories, and we aim to ensure our guests represent a wide range of views and opinions.”

In a column published by the Jewish Chronicle newspaper she claimed the concept of Islamophobia was “profoundly anti-Jew.”

She faced protests when she appeared alongside fellow right-wing commentator Douglas Murray at a Jewish Book Week event at JW3 in March 2020.

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