Belfast Telegraph

Bar tirade sparks plea for people to be educated on evil of anti-Semitism

Interviewer: Tuvia Tenenbom
Interviewer: Tuvia Tenenbom
Leona O'Neill

By Leona O'Neill

Vile anti-Semitic remarks made to an Israeli documentary maker by a punter in a bar in Londonderry were last night branded "disturbing and disgusting".

Israeli writer Tuvia Tenenbom was filming in the Bogside Inn when the incident happened.

Mr Tenenbom had entered the pub in the heart of the republican Bogside to ask why so many Palestinian flags were on display in the street.

The customer sitting at the bar told him it was "because we support them - the Israelis are scum".

He added that the "only thing that Hitler didn't do wrong - he didn't kill enough f*****g Jews, Hitler didn't kill enough Jews. The scourge of the world."

Steven Jaffe, a Belfast-born consultant to public affairs organisation the Jewish Leadership Council, said people needed to be "educated on the evils of anti-Semitism".

"The Jewish community enjoys the friendship and respect of the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland," he said.

"We call upon faith and political leaders to educate their communities on the evil danger that is anti-Semitism.

"Phrases like 'Hitler didn't kill enough of them' is tantamount to a call for genocide yet they are being expressed quite openly on social media and casually in a bar.

"In particular, political leaders should reflect on how extremist positions and comments relating to the Arab-Israel conflict can impact directly on the safety of local Jewish and Muslim communities."

East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell said the remarks were "blatantly anti-Semitic".

He added: "What was said plays into this narrative that virtually all the problems in various problems across the globe are down to some sort of Jewish conspiracy.

"And it is just blatantly anti-Semitic.

"Some people are dismissing it as bar room talk, but if someone knows that there is a camera there and a person conducting some sort of interview scenario and they say it knowing that it is on the record, they have to understand the deep offence that would cause to the Jewish community right across the globe.

"Is the problem with Jews that they exist? Is that the problem some people have in their mind when they come out with a statement that Hitler didn't kill enough of them? It appeared, from what I saw, that nobody acted with outrage within the other customers.

"There seemed to be just an acceptance that this was a view and no one challenged it.

"And when the interview put him over it to see if that is what he meant, again he repeated it and no one took exception to it.

"It is just an appalling indictment on the views of the people he was interviewing.

"What I think should happen is that the people who represent that area, they should be very clear in their opinion, should disassociate themselves with it and condemn it totally."

Sinn Fein said: "There is no place for racism, sectarianism, anti-Semitism or discrimination of any kind in our society."

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