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British MP Investigated After Pro-Israel Activists Are Barred From Public Event

Not barred was the Palestinian Authority ambassador to Britain, who had choice words about Jews and the Holocaust

Liel Leibovitz
December 19, 2017
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MP Tommy SheppardVia YouTube

Tommy Sheppard, a member of parliament from the Scottish National Party, is under investigation after Jewish activists were barred from attending a meeting he hosted in which the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the UK, Manuel Hassassian, made incendiary remarks about Jews.

Initially advertised as a public event open to all, the event drew media attention after a number of pro-Israeli activists who had already secured tickets were told the event was private. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has launched an investigation to determine if Sheppard’s behavior violated the MP code of conduct.

One Jewish woman, Ambrosine Shitrit, said in a recent interview that she was only allowed into the event because she wore a hijab and pretended to be Muslim. “It was only putting in for a ticket in a Muslim name that allowed myself to gain entry into that event,” she said, “and witness anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

Blasting Britain’s foreign policy, Hassassian accused London of “still doing trade relations and still sympathizing with the Jews as being the victims of the Holocaust. Enough of this rhetoric. We have made and paid for this historic concession when we have agreed to give 78 per cent of this historic Palestine on a golden platter.”

Speaking to Christian Today earlier this week, Hassassian denied that his comments were anti-Semitic. Sheppard, too, denied any wrongdoing, saying that people were denied entry solely because the event was moved from a large room to a smaller one that could not accommodate such a large audience.

Dr. Irene Lancaster, a prominent Jewish academic, said the event should give all Jews cause to worry. “This is yet another example of poisonous anti-Semitism masquerading as support for Palestinians,” she said. “If we Jews have to disguise ourselves in a hijab to respond to the outrageous lies and defamations made against us, it demonstrates that the Jewish community can no longer trust the mother of parliaments.”

Liel Leibovitz is editor-at-large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One. He is the editor of Zionism: The Tablet Guide.