Concerned by the prevailing anti-Israeli sentiment in British and European politics, some British Jews are wondering whether to vote for the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip), a right-wing, anti-immigration, anti-EU party. As things stand, Ukip does not have any representatives in the House of Commons but it does have 73 seats in the European Parliament, three members in the House of Lords and one seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
At first glance, the party is attractive to Jewish voters who are fed up with the three main political parties in the UK. The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are all tarnished by the inclusion of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic members. And all three parties are broadly pro-EU at a time when the EU is pushing ahead with a spate of anti-Israel measures designed to economically isolate the Jews of Judea and Samaria.
So supporting a party that is seemingly opposed to the political machinations of Westminster and Brussels is attractive to many Jews. But the truth is Ukip comprises an awful lot of bigots, sexists, homophobes, racists and anti-Semites.
Earlier this year, Anna-Marie Crampton, who had been due to stand local elections, posted an anti-Semitic message on Facebook profile. According to Crampton, the Second World War had been “engineered by the Zionist Jews,” adding: “Only the Zionists could sacrifice their own in the gas chambers.”
Around the same time, a Ukip supporter on Twitter claimed that Israel has nuclear weapons because “Jews are all powerful in [the] US.”
In recent days, more ugly revelations about Ukip have emerged. According to a report by Channel 4 News, Ukip leader Nigel Farage sang Hitler Youth songs and used racist and fascist language as a 17-year-old at Dulwich College.
A letter written in June 1981 by English teacher Chloe Deakin reveals how she tried to persuade the master of Farage’s college to reconsider the decision to appoint Farage as a prefect.
An extract from the letter reads: “Another colleague, who teaches the boy, described his publicly professed racist and neo-fascist views; and he cited a particular incident in which Farage was so offensive to a boy in his set, that he had to be removed from the lesson.”
Today, another prominent Ukip member, Godfrey Bloom MEP, has been publicly shamed after referring to a room of female delegates as “sluts,” shortly before whacking a Channel 4 News journalist over the head with a copy of the Ukip manifesto.
This is the same Godfrey Bloom who said Britain should not send aid to “bongo bongo land,” a derogatory term denoting Africans and Asians.
It is clear from the comments and behavior of Ukip members that the party is stuck in the 1950s. Its outdated and offensive remarks about women, foreigners and Jews are unacceptable and unbecoming of a British political party with national aspirations.
Anyone – Jew or non-Jew – may want to think twice before voting for this unpleasant bunch of amateurs.