LONDON – A British politician who complained of Jewish conspiracy after being
jailed for his part in a fatal car crash has been suspended by his
The Labor Party moved swiftly to distance itself from Lord Nazir
Ahmed’s comments, suspending him while it investigate the comments he allegedly
made after blaming his fate on a Jewish conspiracy.
“The Labor Party
deplores and does not tolerate any sort of racism or anti-Semitism. We will be
seeking to clarify these remarks as soon as possible,” the party
The Board of Deputies of British Jews condemned Ahmed’s comments,
accusing him of using the worse anti- Semitic conspiracy theories.
are appalled by Lord Ahmed’s alleged comments which recall the worst Jewish
conspiracy theories. However outlandish and incredible his allegations, there
will always be gullible or malicious individuals or groups that will accept what
he has said and add to the growth of anti- Semitic discourse,” Board chief
executive Jon Benjamin said.
“We note that Lord Ahmed has now been
suspended from the Labor Party pending a full investigation. If he is found to
have indeed made the reported comments, he should be expelled from the party, as
such views should have no space in responsible political discourse,” he
In 2009, Ahmed was jailed after he killed another motorist. He was
sending a text message at the time while driving on a major highway.
said that his prison sentence was a result of pressure applied on the court by
Jews “who own newspapers and television channels,” The Times reported on
The 55-year-old became one of the first Muslim peers in the UK
after then-prime minister Tony Blair appointed him in 1998.
claimed that the judge in the 2008 case was appointed to his position after he
helped a “Jewish colleague” of Blair during an important case. According to
Ahmed, the judge was hand-picked to carry out the sentencing.
alleged that Jewish-owned media organizations pressured the courts to charge him
with a more serious offense.
Ahmed maintained that the plot stemmed from
Jewish disapproval of his support for the Palestinians in Gaza.
said he repeated his comments during a television interview in Pakistan, which
was said to have been broadcast last April.
“My case became more critical
because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians. My Jewish friends who own
newspapers and TV channels opposed this,” he allegedly said in the
Ahmed denied he ever gave the interview. The Times said it has
sent his lawyer a copy of the transcript.
Martyn Gombar, a 28-yearold
Slovakian, was killed in December 2007 when his car was hit by Ahmed’s Jaguar
near Sheffield, in south Yorkshire.
The police said that while he was
driving at 110 kph, he had sent and received five text
According to the Times, three Court of Appeal judges refused to
quash Ahmed’s conviction.
They maintained that the sentence was justified
and that there should not be “one law for the rich and powerful and one law for
However, the appeal court did agree to the “exceptional”
course of suspending the sentence for 12 months after learning that his sentence
would hinder Ahmed’s work “building bridges between the Muslim world and
The peer was freed after serving 16 days in jail.
year, the Labor Party suspended Ahmed following reports that he offered a £10
million bounty for the capture of US President Barack Obama and his predecessor,
George W. Bush.
Ahmed allegedly made the offer after the US announced a
$10m. bounty for Hafiz Muhammed Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terrorist
group blamed by India for the 2008 Mumbai massacre that killed 166
In an interview on the Iranian mouthpiece Press TV during
Operation Cast Lead in 2009, Ahmed said that Jewish student groups actively
recruited for the IDF. He said that British Jews who served in the IDF should be
arrested and, if necessary, charged with war crimes.
“We know that there
are student unions that have been actively recruiting young people in Britain to
join the IDF and we also know that there are young Jewish students who go and
serve on the kibbutz and also in schools, who are also then doing national
service in Israel,” he said.
Meanwhile The Guardian’s assistant editor
has waded into controversy for linking Ahmed’s comments to the settlements in a
tweet to the respected Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein.
had asked in a tweet why BBC radio had not picked up the Ahmed story in its news
Responding to the tweet, White said: “I agree it’s a stinker
and typical of double standards. Pity about the illegal settlements though. Best
A bemused Finkelstein asked White what the settlements had to do
with it, to which White replied: “A lot. Whenever one types ‘double standards’
about tendentious Muslim claims those Israeli settlements start waving
“Please, no. A Rotherham man is claiming the Jews helped convict
him of a driving offense. What has Israel to do with it?” Finkelstein said in
White’s comments immediately sparked fury with many asking what
the connection was.
Media watchdog organization Comment is Free Watch
accused White of “Jew baiting” in his attack on Finkelstein: “A Guardian
journalist, noting that Finkelstein was Jewish, immediately engaged in an ad
hominem and completely irrelevant attack, raising the topic of settlements in
“The Guardian reporter’s ugly response to Finkelstein’s tweet
represents the classic anti-Semitic reflex of holding Jews collectively
responsible for the perceived sins of the State of Israel – a bigoted
association. Daniel Finkelstein is not an Israeli,” the group
The Community Security Trust – a charity that works with police and
government to stem anti-Semitism in the UK, and provides security for the
community – condemned the spurious comparison.
“Michael White seems to be
alleging that Daniel Finkelstein cares more about Israel than he does about
anti-Semitism. In that case, perhaps Mr. White should spend more
time looking in the mirror and less time making stupid comments on twitter,”
said Mark Gardner, CST’s communications director.
Board of Deputies Jon
Benjamin said: “Red mist linking of Lord Ahmed’s anti-Semitic comments and
settlements suggests that Michael White sees Jewish bogeymen everywhere, too.”