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British lawmakers: Israel ‘buying’ political influence

JTA

April 1, 2010 | 11:46 am

Two British lawmakers accused supporters of Israel of “buying” influence in the Conservative Party.

Both used anti-Semitic stereotypes in their statements, reportedly made last week, which drew criticism from the body that monitors anti-Semitism in Britain.

Addressing a meeting at the House of Commons of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Friends of Al Aksa, Labor Party lawmaker Martin Linton, who chairs the parliamentary group Labor Friends of Palestine, said that “There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends,” the Jewish Chronicle reported on March 25.

However, Linton told the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday that he did not recognize the “tentacles” comment, but admitted he had said that Israelis with dual nationalities were funding British parties.

Another Labor lawmaker, Sir Gerald Kaufman, who is Jewish, claimed that “right-wing Jewish millionaires own” part of the Conservative Party.

Mark Gardner, spokesman for the Community Security Trust, the organization that monitors anti-Semitism in Britain, said that “Anybody who understands anti-Semitism will recognize just how ugly and objectionable these quotes are, with their imagery of Jewish control and money power. Ask the average voter who had made these comments, and they would most likely answer that it was the BNP [the far-right British National Party], not a pair of Labor lawmakers.”

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