A tweet from an SNP candidate for Holyrood comparing the actions of Theresa May in rejecting an independence referendum to the actions of Adolf Hitler has been described as “disgraceful” by antisemitism campaigners.
Stephanie Callaghan is currently standing to be the MSP for Uddingston and Bellshill, replacing the retiring Richard Lyle, and is sixth on the party’s regional list.
“Hitler did same: set scene 4 Jewish Holocaust to lower opposition.”
The Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “There is no comparison between political tensions in the UK today and Nazi Germany’s systematic destruction of democracy and murder of six million Jewish men, women and children.
“Politicians must set an example by learning the lessons of the Holocaust – not diminishing the memory of those innocents who were slaughtered by using the Holocaust to score political points.
“To make such a comparison is disgraceful and wounding, showing incredible ignorance.”
Ms Callaghan apologised “unreservedly” for the tweet, saying: “I have deleted an old tweet which I accept was crass and insensitive, and I apologise unreservedly for posting it.
“It’s wrong to compare the Holocaust to any other political action, because there’s simply no comparison.
“I very much want to learn from that mistake though, and will be seeking to work with groups such as (Scottish Council of Jewish Communities) and the Holocaust Educational Trust.”
Scottish Tory candidate Annie Wells said it is “beyond belief” that Ms Callaghan has not already been removed as a candidate.
She said: “It’s absolutely appalling to compare stopping another referendum to Nazi propaganda and Hitler’s actions.
“What kind of warped mind would think opposing independence is anything like the Holocaust?
“It’s disgusting and completely out of order for someone standing for election.
“An apology won’t cut it for such a vile remark.
“The SNP should have removed this candidate immediately.
“It’s beyond belief that they seem content to keep a candidate who downplays the Holocaust.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair and MP Alistair Carmichael said the situation is reminiscent of Neale Hanvey’s suspension from the SNP ahead of the 2019 election. He was re-admitted months later and subsequently defected to Alex Salmond’s Alba Party last week.
Mr Carmichael said: “It seems that the SNP learned nothing from their 2019 experience with Neale Hanvey.
“Suspending a candidate for using antisemitic language but then re-admitting him after the election sent all the wrong signals and now they are back in the same situation again.
“Action needs to be taken against this candidate and this time they have to mean it.”
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.