A right-wing British political commentator has come under fire for a social media post she made following the mass-shooting in a Pennsylvania synagogue on Saturday, with critics calling the comment “anti-Semitic” and “repulsive”.
Two days after 46-year-old Robert Bowers burst into the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and gunned down 11 people, pundit Katie Hopkins seemingly tied British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and his “support for mass migration” to the synagogue attack.
"Watching the pin-the-blame-on-the-donkey after Pittsburgh Synagogue. ... Gab. Trump. White Supremcists [sic]. The Media. Muslims,” Hopkins tweeted.
"Look to the Chief Rabbi and his support for mass migration across the Med. There you will find your truths. #Pittsburgh"
Three years ago, Rabbi Mirvis visited a refugee camp in Greece, and has urged leaders to find a solution to the migrant crisis.
Bowers cited Jewish support for migrants and asylum seekers in social media comments hinting at his planned attack on the Tree of Life synagogue.
“HIAS [Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society] likes to bring invaders that kill our people,” wrote Bowers just minutes before the attack. “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
Hopkins’ comment provoked a firestorm of criticism, with The Times writer David Aaronovitch calling the comment “fascist”.
“And Hopkins goes the full fascist. From Apprentice to Auschwitz in five celebrity hops. And here's the question: since she didn't start off here, how on earth did she find this place?”
Following the backlash, Hopkins deleted the tweets, and issued a response to her critics, saying that her original comments had been “misinterpreted”, and that she had not meant to blame Rabbi Mirvis for the attack.
“I have deleted a tweet which has been misinterpreted to suggest the UK Chief Rabbi's support for mass migration was related to the horrific mass murder at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. Clearly the blame rests with the murderer alone.”
Hopkins went on to highlight her support for Israel, brushing off accusations of anti-Semitism.
“I have always been a staunch defender of the Jewish people, including through the mission to Israel that I led this summer,” Hopkins said in reference to a visit to Israel earlier this year with The Rebel Media. “I would never wish to detract from that and continue to offer my loyal support to my Jewish friends.”
A former presenter for the London Broadcasting Company, Hopkins was fired after she tweeted in the aftermath of the Manchester bombing attack in 2017 “We need a final solution.”
After her dismissal from the LBC, Hopkins joined the Canadian website The Rebel Media, led by founder Ezra Levant.