Peres accuses British of anti-Semitism

President causes a storm in England with interview to Jewish Web site.

August 1, 2010 16:48
2 minute read.
President Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres 311. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


LONDON - President Shimon Peres has caused a storm in England after accusing the British of being anti-Semitic.

In a recent interview with the Jewish news Web site Tablet, Peres said that Britain has become pro-Arab and anti-Israeli.  "In England there has always been something deeply pro-Arab, of course, not among all Englishmen, and anti-Israeli, in the establishment," he told Tablet.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Dozens of countries fight anti-Semitism
Peres: WWII camp was a show of sadism
London university appoints head to Study of Anti-Semitism Institute

The president, who received in 2008 an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II, “They abstained in the [pro-Zionist] 1947 UN partition resolution... They maintained an arms embargo against us in the 1950s... They had a defense treaty with Jordan, they always worked against us," he said adding that “They think the Palestinians are the underdog... Even though this is irrational.”

Peres also accused British lawmakers of pandering to Muslim voters in order to retain their seats in Parliament.

"There are several million Muslim voters, and for many members of parliament, that’s the difference between getting elected and not getting elected," he said.

Peres’ comments caused a storm, generating angry reactions from Jewish and non-Jewish members of Parliament.


Conservative lawmaker James Clappison, who is vice-chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, said Peres had got it "wrong."

In an interview Sunday with the Telegraph, he said: "There are pro- and anti-Israel views in all European countries. Things are certainly no worse, as far as Israel is concerned, in this country than other European countries."

Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Romain, spiritual leader of Maidenhead synagogue, also told the newspaper: "It is a sweeping statement that is far too one-sided... The tolerance and pluralism here make Britain one of the best countries in the world in which to live."

However, Jacob Vince, the director of Christian Friends of Israel, described Peres’ remarks as "measured and moderate." He added that there was anti-Semitism in Britain although many people had a positive view of Israel but were unwilling to express it publicly.

Vince said it was "difficult to see how many MPs would not be influenced by the number of Muslim voters in their constituencies."

In the past decade there has been a significant rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Britain.

According to data collected by the Community Security Trust, a charity set up in 1984 to monitor such incidents. In 2009 there were 924 anti-Semitic incidents, the highest figure since CST began keeping records, and 55 per cent higher than the previous record in 2006.

The figures include reports, accepted only when backed by evidence, of physical assaults, verbal abuse and racist graffiti.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery