UK MP compares anti-Israel riot to Kristallnacht

Senior Conservative Party MP slams 'anti-Jewish' demonstration at Kings College London University, likens to Nazi pogrom.

Ari Soffer ,

Boycott movement (illustration)
Boycott movement (illustration)
Reuters

A senior British MP has compared a violent anti-Israel riot at a London university last week to kristallnacht, as condemnation of the violence carried out by pro-Palestinian activists continues to mount.

In an interview with Sky News on Sunday morning, Sir Eric Pickles - a former minister who now serves as the United Kingdom's Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues - likened the incident, in which windows were smashed and at least one Jewish student was physically assaulted, to the Nazi pogrom in which anti-Semitic thugs ransacked Jewish-owned synagogues, shops and other establishments in Germany.

"You've got a situation where a bunch of people are gathered, they were listening to a speaker who wanted to talk about how peace was going to be possible in the Middle East, and a bunch of Palestinian activists come in, smash the windows, smash glass," he said, branding the incident "anti-Jewish."

"It just seems to me that one thing you shouldn't do in an anti-Jewish protest is to smash glass - it's just ludicrous!"

Kristallnacht is German for "night of the broken glass," a reference to the shards of smashed windows which littered the streets following the deadly riots on November 9, 1938. The incident is widely seen as marking the start of the genocide of European Jewry.

The MP also echoed complaints by Jewish students of discrimination when it came to providing "safe spaces" on campus. While the incident last week was particularly severe, pro-Israel events are regularly heckled, picketed and attacked by anti-Israel activists, and Jewish students who openly support the State of Israel are often subjected to campaigns of intimidation.

"I think it is important that Muslim students and Jewish students and people from different religions should feel absolutely safe in that environment," Pickles said, lamenting that "there is a degree of rising anti-Semitism" on British university campuses.




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