Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

British Politician: Jews Who Visit Israel Come Back As ‘Brainwashed Extremists’

(JTA) — A candidate for British parliament representing the Conservative Party said that local Jews who go to Israel “have come back as extremists – as people that are brainwashed.”

In a 2104 speech delivered to the European Parliament in Brussels, Amjad Bashir, who is running for parliament in a Leeds constituency, said this of “Young men are going over from England where I come from – people of the Jewish faith who my grandchildren have grown up with as decent young men,” he explained, according to a report Monday by The Jewish Chronicle.

“They will not listen to reason. There is something very peculiar and wrong going on in Israel,” he added, blaming “rabbis and politicians.”

Bashir apologized for his remarks, expressing “deep regret” and adding they were “born from personal experience.”

The elections are set for Dec. 12.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated his opposition to anti-Semitism in a letter to Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog. “The safety of Jewish people is a top priority for the UK Government,” he wrote.

Separately, a candidate for parliament for Labour, which has been dogged by allegations of anti-Semitism, has co-managed a group on Facebook that coached Holocaust deniers and other purveyors of hate speech about Israel and Jews on how to conduct themselves when dealing with disciplinary action by the party, the Daily Mirror reported Sunday.

The candidate, Maria Carroll of Wales, told the paper she was not aware of the hate speech or she “would have immediately condemned them.”


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.