Farage condemned over “Jewish lobby” claims

Safya Khan-Ruf - 02 11 17

The former UKIP leader made the remarks on Tuesday on his LBC radio show, during a discussion about whether American President Donald Trump was elected with the help of Russian influence.

“There are about six million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage it’s quite small, but in terms of influence it’s quite big,” Farage said.

“They have a voice within American politics, as indeed do the Hindu groups and many other groups in America. But I don’t think anybody is suggesting that the Israeli government tried to affect the result of the American elections.”

“In terms of money and influence they are a very powerful lobby”
– Nigel Farage 

Farage made the remarks after a caller told him he thought the pro-Israel lobby in the US was as dangerous as alleged Russian hacking. The caller added that Israel had both the Republican and Democrat party “in their pockets”.

Farage thanked the caller who he said “makes the point that there are other very powerful lobbies in America, with the Jewish lobby, that has links with the Israeli government, is one of those strong voices”.

Farage also said: “In terms of money and influence they are a very powerful lobby.”

A spokesperson for the Board of Deputies, a major representative body of Jewish communities in the UK, said: “Nigel Farage’s clumsy use of the terms Israel and Jewish lobby interchangeably and his reference to their ‘power’ has crossed the line into well-known antisemitic tropes.”

His comments caused anger, with many online accusing Farage of spreading conspiracy theories and antisemitic tropes. He was also criticised for conflating American Jews with Israel.

“Nigel Farage’s comments about the role of a powerful ‘Jewish lobby’ in America plays into deep-seated antisemitic tropes about supposed Jewish control of government,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told Newsweek.

“This is fuel for white supremacists who exploit and spread conspiracy theories about ‘evil, controlling Jews.’”

Farage is a vocal supporter of Trump, appearing alongside him on the Presidential campaign trail, and becoming the first foreign politician to meet Trump following his election in November 2016.

Trump and Farage have even dined together after the President’s first outing after his inauguration. Both men have strong connections to Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist and once head of far-right leaning alternative media outlet, Breitbart.


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