Suspended Labour member who attacked ‘racist Zionism’ claims Holyrood support

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Suspended Labour member who attacked ‘racist Zionism’ claims Holyrood support

Scottish activist who is facing disciplinary action claims he has the backing of the Edinburgh government

The Scottish Parliament at Holyrood
The Scottish Parliament at Holyrood

A Scottish Labour Party activist who is facing disciplinary action over attacking “racist Israeli Zionism” has claimed the Edinburgh government backs his claim that criticising Israel is not antisemitic.

Pete Gregson, who also faces disciplinary action by trade union GMB, has meanwhile been suspended by the party and from his position as the only GMB shop steward in the 24,000-strong workforce of NHS Lothian.

A letter Gregson received from the Scottish Government’s Local Government and Communities Directorate said: “I appreciate your concerns about freedom of speech and the criticism of Israel, however the IHRA [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance] clearly states, ‘criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic’ which we are satisfied helps to protect freedom of speech in this regard.

“We believe that the definition helps to bring some much needed clarity to what is often a complex issue, where legitimate criticism of Israel can be inaccurately called anti-Semitic and where anti-Jewish sentiment expressed against Israel can be incorrectly defined as legitimate criticism of the state.”

Gregson has been supported by Neturei Karta Rabbi Ahron Cohen.

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

read more: