A former Tory candidate has been heavily criticised for a recent article in which he wrote that statements by Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu were an extreme form of Zionism akin to National Socialism.
Kevin Algar, who stood against council leader David Ellesmere for the Conservatives in last years Borough Council election, has well known strident views on the State of Israel and the Palestinians.
But he went much further when he suggested that statements by the Israeli PM about the Jewish State were as offensive as the same statements with the word Jewish replaced with the word Aryan, a clear linking of Israel with the Nazi ideology that murdered millions of Jews in the middle of the 20th Century.
Mr Algar specifically links what he calls “extreme Zionism” with National Socialism and Global Marxism. He links the controversial building of settlements in the West Bank with the Nazi Crystal Night, referring to the night of the 9th – 10th November 1938 when Hitler’s Brownshirts, the SA, went on the rampage, killing 91 Jews, arresting 30,000 and destroying 7,000 businesses. Kristallnacht is often referred to by historians as the beginning of the Holocaust.
Mr Algar wrote that “In a lot of ways Extreme Zionism is National Socialism for Jews. This is because as National Socialism was formed as a localised form of Global Marxism, Zionism was formed as a Jewish friendly form of National Socialism. As it’s roots are clearly left wing, calling it right wing is part of the deception.
“Founder of Zionism Theodore Herzl was a rabid socialist as was the first prime minister of Israel, Ben Gurian. Ben Gurian was such a rabid socialist, his political hero was Joseph Stalin.
“As Extreme Zionism is a socialist ideology, one of its main tenets is the redistribution of wealth. As the Nazi’s had Crystal Night, the Zionist Extremists have house repossessions, house and village demolitions and colonial outpost illegal settlement building. It is all about redistributing wealth, land and property from the Palestinians to Extreme Zionists.
“Another aspect that makes Extreme Zionism akin to National Socialism is the way they talk about ‘the Palestinian problem’ as Nazi’s talked about ‘the Jewish problem.’ But what makes it even more akin to National Socialism is the way they claim Palestine or Palestinians never existed as the Nazi’s claimed the Warsaw Ghetto never existed.”
In his expression of these extremist views he has managed to hugely offend the Jewish community, some of whom have anonymously contacted Ipswich Spy to express their concerns.
Mr Algar insisted that he was not anti-semitic and that his criticism of Zionism should not be considered in that light. He told Ipswich Spy that “usually with these allegations, it usually means you’ve got a bit too close to the mark. George Galloway’s supporters call me a Zionist because they have no political argument left.”
Asked if he found linking Kristallnacht with settlements in the West Bank to be offensive, he responded that “it’s redistribution of wealth isn’t it, and basically I find any redistribution of wealth offensive.”
He insisted that “I strongly deny being anti-semitic. One of the problems is that criticising the actions of the State of Israel often leads to accusations of anti-semiticism because the State of Israel claims to represent world Jewry.
“I’m not going to be the first critic of Israel to be considered anti-semitic, and I won’t be the last.
“It wasn’t a very well written blog post and it is clear that someone has misunderstood my comments.
“I’m a political blogger, I exist to offend people, but I really don’t think this has offended the world at large. You’d probably read the same kind of thing in the Guardian. I went a bit over the top, fair enough.
“I decided to take the risk of being accused of being anti-semitic to make a political point about the statements of some politicians in Israel.
“As my political hero is Benjamin Disraeli, make of that as you will.”
In light of the criticism, Mr Algar has removed the blog posting from his website.
Chairman of Ipswich Conservatives, Cllr Judy Terry, expressed her concern. “Anti-semitic views have no place in the Conservative Party, nor, I would hope, in any political party, or any walk of life. Nor indeed does any form of racism or homophobic tendencies.
“My father was one of the first people into Auschwitz when the concentration camp was liberated, and I was brought up knowing the horrors Jews suffered before and during the second world war. He had photographs which have never been published, but are still imprinted on my mind.
“Conservatives believe in freedom: freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom to live your life as you wish, provided such freedoms don’t harm anyone else.
“I understand that, in his blog, Kevin was merely highlighting his concerns about the discord between Israel and Palestine, something which worries us all, and which we would all like to see amicably resolved. Perhaps the powers that be should listen to Prince Hassan of Jordan who has repeatedly called for a debate led by regional leaders, rather than the West.”