Edelstein to UK: Punish anti-Semitic MPs

Knesset speaker reacts to MP calling IDF soldier "bloody Jew," expresses shock at anti-Semitic words spoken by a public figure.

June 9, 2013 16:27
1 minute read.
British Conservative MP Patrick Mercer

British MP Patrick Mercer 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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British MPs must be censured for making anti-Semitic statements, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein wrote on Sunday in a strongly worded letter to his British counterpart, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, after MP Patrick Mercer was caught on camera calling an IDF soldier a “bloody Jew.”

“I was shocked to hear about the crude, anti-Semitic words used by a member of parliament, Patrick Mercer, regarding an event during his recent visit to Israel,” Edelstein wrote. “This was a totally unacceptable comment, certainly as made by a public figure.”

A BBC reporter posing as a lobbyist secretly filmed Mercer describing a trip to Israel, in which he entered an “intelligence establishment” and faced a security guard, who he described as “an 18-year-old girl, wearing a uniform, with her sort of hair in plaits, and crazy jewelry and open-toed sandals, with a rifle up my nose.”

Mercer recounted an exchange in which he asked the woman who she was, and she responded “a soldier.”

“Are you? You don’t look like a soldier to me. You look like a bloody Jew,” Mercer said.

The video was aired Thursday as part of a BBC investigation into a corruption scandal.

Mercer resigned from the Conservative Party, and will not run for reelection to his seat representing Newark in northern England.

“This comment is merely one of a number of similarly unacceptable comments made by members of the British parliament regarding Jews and regarding Israel, comments that include sick, perverted and racist positions regarding the State of Israel,” Edelstein wrote.

The Knesset speaker called on Bercow, the first Jewish speaker of the House of Commons, to use all the parliamentary and disciplinary tools at his disposal against anti-Semitism.

“Only a strong and firm reaction on your part will provide the necessary public expression of the uncompromising commitment by you and by the British parliament to fight against anti-Semitism and other forms of racism,” Edelstein added.

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