Monday, April 11, 2005

Anti-Semitic attacks in Bethnal Green

The Daily Telegraph reports:

The campaign for what promises to be one of the most bitterly contested parliamentary seats got off to an explosive start yesterday when the MP Oona King was pelted with eggs and vegetables as she attended a memorial to Jewish war dead.

Miss King, 37, the black Jewish Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, was attacked as she joined mourners to commemorate 60 years since the Hughes Mansions Disaster, when 134 people, almost all Jewish, were killed by the last V2 missile to land on London.

The eggs missed her, but one hit a war veteran, Louis Lewis, 89, in the chest and an onion struck Richard Brett, a bugler from the Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade who sounded the Last Post at the ceremony.

The incident demonstrated how high feelings are running in the east London constituency, which has 55,000 Bangladeshi Muslims, more than half its electorate, most of whom bitterly opposed the war in Iraq.

Such is the resentment that George Galloway, one of the leading anti-war MPs, has targeted the seat for himself and his newly formed Respect party.

Even though he has no connections to the constituency - his former seat is 400 miles away in Glasgow - he hopes that personal animosity towards Miss King will help him overturn her 10,000 majority.

Yesterday's display of hatred proved he may be on to something. Even a police van called in to make sure the ceremony remained peaceful was pelted with eggs.

Ibn Alkhattab, 21, said: "It will be all about the war. There is enormous anger. No one will vote for her."

His friend added: "She represented these people and then voted for the war. We all hate her. She comes here with her Jewish friends who are killing our people and then they come to our back yards.

"It is out of order. What do they expect?"

(Hat tip: David)


At 5:45 pm, Blogger caryne said...

This kind of reporting is, of course, what we have come to expect from the 'Daily Torygraph' equate people throwing eggs at Oona King because of her pro-war standpoint with anti-semitism just shows the level that the right will go to attack 'Respect' and anyone against the likes of Ms King. Where she was is irrelevant, seriously if someone stands up for a particular point (as Ms King has in supporting Blair in Iraq) they have to accept that people will be opposed to that viewpoint.
That was no 'anti-semitic attack', it was merely people angry with Oona really angers me (as someone from a jewish background) when people cry anti-semitism in this way.

At 7:22 pm, Blogger Chris Brown said...

It's a matter of opinion, obviously, but I come from a Jewish background too and I think it does matter - not on her behalf, because as a public figure she has to expect that sort of thing - but on the behalf of the other people involved.

After all, there are plenty of other opportunities to throw things at politicians, especially during an election campaign.

At 8:05 pm, Blogger Laura Brown said...

From,7340,L-3071696,00.html :

David Russell, spokesman for the Jewish East End Celebration Society, which organised the event, told EJP he believed the attack was aimed at both King and the Jewish relatives of the victims.

Russell said: “The area of Tower Hamlets, where the ceremony took place, has a well-documented problem of unruly youths from the Bangladeshi community.

“One theory is that the abuse was directed at Oona King (…). However, quite a number of the attendees were wearing kippot (skull caps), and some of the abuse shouted was vocally anti-Semitic. I heard people shouting ‘you f***ing Jews’,” he declared.


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