'Anti-Semitism' Triaining For British Parliamnet
Lesley Ciarula Taylor Staff Reporter
A British parliamentary group will run anti-Semitism seminars for MPs in the wake of a Nazi-themed stag party attended by one and questions about Britain’s Jewish ambassador to Israel by another.
“You would think people in public life are much more attuned to these issues,” Danny Stone, director of the Parliamentary Committee Against anti-Semitism Foundation, told the Star on Friday.
“Some people do need help understanding that debate properly.”
The voluntary seminars would likely begin next month through the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against anti-Semitism, a government group which Stone’s foundation supports.
The seminars, run by the Pears Institute for the Study of anti-Semitism at Birkbeck College, London, were planned before the incidents, said Stone, but emphasize the need for them.
Tory MP Aiden Burley, 32, was fired as an aide to Transport Secretary Justine Greening after a British newspaper photographed him and friends at the party.
The groom, Mark Fournier, posed for the newspaper photographers wearing a World War II Nazi SS officer’s uniform at his party Dec. 3 in a restaurant in the French Alps. The guests also chanted Nazi officers’ names and toasted the Third Reich.
The local French state prosecutor’s office is investigating the incident, RFI the French media. Wearing Nazi uniforms is illegal in France.
“There is no excuse for my foolish behaviour,” Burley said in a long statement on Christmas Eve. He denied he took part in chants or toasts.
“It’s difficult to understand why someone wouldn't have got that,” Stone said of Burley. “He should have left straightaway.”
In the case of MP Paul Flynn’s questions about the loyalities of Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould, Stone said, “I honestly think he didn’t understand why they are offensive.”
Flynn has also apologized.
“Clumsily expressed remarks of mine have caused anger and upset,” he said. “Greatly respected friends have urged me to withdraw the remarks and apologize. This I am happy to do.”
At a parliamentary inquiry last month, Flynn questioned whether a string of meetings involving Liam Fox, Adam Werrity, Gould and Israelis could be the genesis of a plan to attack Iran. Fox was forced to resign as defence minister after revelations about his close relationship with Werrity, whose travels with Fox were financed in part by Israeli backers.
Gould was a “self-professed Zionist,” said Flynn, and two of Flynn’s constituents imprisoned in Israel had complained that Gould seemed to act more for Israel than Britain when he met them.
Flynn noted the exchange on his blog.
In later remarks to the Jewish Chronicle, Flynn said Britain’s ambassadors to Israel had never previously been Jewish because Britain needed “someone with roots in the UK who can't be accused of having Jewish loyalty.”
MPs “are against racism and anti-Semitism in principle, but they do need help understanding that debate properly,” said Stone.
http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/1111623]World - thestar.com
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Last edited by Deepthread; 07-01-2012 at 09:28 PM.