Former British MP George Galloway has defended disgraced Labour MP Chris Williamson after he was suspended in February for insinuating that the Labour party has been “too apologetic” over antisemitism.
However, Williamson was reinstated last week with just a warning for his behavior.
Since then, at least 90 Labour MPs and colleagues have called on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to remove Williamson.
In a video published by RT on Tuesday night, Galloway charged that antisemitism is being weaponized to attack people like Corbyn and Williamson.
“The danger is, if you’re calling everyone antisemitic - the whole Labour party, the whole Labour movement, the whole [Jeremy] Corbyn movement - then the real antisemites can go about their evil, fatal business unnoticed,” he claimed.
He said that the analogy of the “boy who cried wolf” is useful, adding that “we are so far down the rabbit hole now of the weaponization of antisemitism as a political issue that it has become not just unjust, not just immoral but positively dangerous and dangerous to Jewish people themselves.”
Galloway called the idea that Corbyn, “who I have known since the 1970s,” is an antisemite “absurd” and “offensive.”
Going on to defend Williamson, the former Labour MP said that there was not a “scintilla of antisemitism or any other form of racism...present in his mind [or] in his soul.”
He said that allegations against Williamson are “dangerous, reckless and irresponsible.”
During his address, Galloway insinuated that people like Corbyn and Williamson are accused of antisemitism for just having books of Noam Chomsky, Prof. Norman Finkelstein, Karl Marx and others, who too have been accused of antisemitism for sharing their views.
He quoted a conversation he’d had 30 years ago with the late Israeli politician Shulamit Aloni, who Galloway claimed said that “this is a trick that we play,” in reference to the “smearing of Palestinian supporters...and the smearing of opponents of Israeli policies and practices” as antisemitism.
He said that using antisemitism this way “is a weapon of war.”
“It’s a weaponized, industrialized weapon of war,” Galloway continued. “It’s time to say this time and no further.”
Discussing American politics, Galloway said accusations that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is antisemitic, and like Chomsky and Finkelstein is Jewish, “is in itself foul and poisonous.”
“I have no doubt that if Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee for president in 2020 that the Corbyn treatment will be afforded to him with knobs on it,” Galloway charged. “We need to make a studied dichotomy between antisemitism and criticism of Israel support for the Palestinian people.”
He reiterated that Corbyn, Williamson and Sanders are not guilty of antisemitism, but they are guilty of criticizing Israeli policy, and support for Palestinian human rights, making it clear that there is nothing wrong with that.
“We oppose Netanyahu, we love Jews,” he concluded.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.