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July 22, 2013 3:41 pm
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UKIP Leader Nigel Farage Supports Israel

avatar by Josephine Bacon

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UKIP Leader Nigel Farage. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

If you haven’t heard of Nigel Farage, you soon will! He and his party, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), are the biggest thing in British politics since the Liberals became the Liberal Democrats in 1988 — maybe bigger. Although they don’t currently have seats in the British parliament, that might soon change. UKIP has won several seats in non-parliamentary elections run on the proportional representation system, such as the European Union elections, and came very close to beating the Liberal Democrats in a recent mid-term parliamentary election. There is also a strong possibility the party will win seats in the London Assembly and other local elections next year.

UKIP’s popular political platform is very simple – OUT of the European Union. Nigel Farage, the Party’s charismatic leader, is demanding Britain’s instant withdrawal from the EU, which he explains costs the United Kingdom a contribution of nearly 70 million dollars a day! Ironically, he himself is a European Member of Parliament (along with several other UKIP members), since it is the quickest route to becoming an elected representative. He has nothing against Europe per se, and he pointed out that Britain is the only country that went to war—twice—to defend the interests of other European countries who were being overrun by ruthless occupiers. Farage believes in freely trading with every country equally, including the countries of the British Commonwealth against whom there is actually trade discrimination thanks to an EU policy that imposes trade restrictions on non-EU countries.

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So what are Farage’s views on the Jewish community? The Jewish Chronicle recently hosted a meeting with him. The meeting was packed, because Farage and UKIP, unlike other minority political parties in the UK (such as the Greens), are enthusiastic supporters of Israel – unequivocally so. The party even has a caucus called “the UKIP Friends of Israel.” Asked by Jewish Chronicle Editor Stephen Pollard about his stance on current Jewish concerns such as attacks on shechita, Farage explained that a UKIP politician recently investigated a kosher slaughterhouse in London’s East End and reported that Jewish ritual slaughter methods are actually more humane than those in the abbatoirs for the general population.

Another of the UKIP’s preoccupations is immigration. Farage, who asserts that prior to Tony Blair becoming Prime Minister, no more than 30,000 immigrants came to the UK annually, explains that the UK is now forced to accept a totally unsupportable minimum of 500,000 immigrants a year due to EU regulations. Next year, Romanians and Bulgarians will be allowed to enter the UK more or less freely – countries whose standard of living is substantially lower than that of the UK, with all that this implies.

Naturally, in an audience of Jews, many of whom are descendants of refugees, Farage was asked whether this meant he was against refugees. “Not at all”, he replied, “I myself am a descendant of refugees, French Huguenots who came here to avoid being burned at the stake!”  But there is a difference, he asserts, between genuine refugees fleeing persecution and people who emigrate to sponge off the state and work for below minimum wage.

UKIP’s anti-European, free trade platform is seriously frightening the incumbent Conservative government. They and the British press, which is overwhelmingly owned by Conservative proprietors, have done all they can to smear the UKIP and paint the party as a bunch of crazies. But Farage is a very convincing politician, and the Jewish vote might help propel a UKIP candidate to the mayoralty of London in 2016. Before that, there are the European elections and the local elections in 2014. If the UKIP does well, Prime Minister David Cameron has much to fear in the next General Election.

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  • Maor

    Listen, I am not British, but as far as I can see UKIP doesn’t really show interest in Middle East affairs. In fact, the advocate AGAINST intervening in Syria. Some of them support Israel, some support Palestine. But it’s not a primary issue, so people can openly express their opinions.

  • Drew

    What rubbish quickest way to be elected nobody gets elected to the e.u. utter propaganda

  • David Gibbons

    Israel IS a terrorist state. Flagrantly and consistently defying international and humanitarian law.
    U.K.I.P. just lost my vote.

    • And all those law-abiding countries, like Zimbabwe, Syria, Iran, they don’t “defy international and humanitarian law” do they? No, because they are part of the dictatorship-and-trillionnaire block of the United Nations. The United Nations singles out Israel as the ONLY country on the planet to commit what they invent as breaches of international and humanitarian law because it is the only Jewish state on earth and has no true allies. The international law you mention was invented by Harvard-trained Arab lawyers, how just and humanitarian is that?

      • Tony

        Josephine, I find your comments on here to be both racist and fascist. They are not even veiled.
        To suggest that someone who is Arab should not be involved in law is unforgivable

        • Ron

          Tony, I did not see the word Arab in the article. Could it be that you, my dear friend, are the one who is “both racist and fascist”?

    • N Morris

      I´m part Jewish on my fathers side and i reckon UKIP is best party for Jews in UK.

      Farage has resoundingly refused any affiliation with other European EU sceptic parties which have a history of anti semitism.

      And from my perspective, the EU has become a European Union Of Anti-semites. Jew hatred is now tolerated everywhere in Europe, its the new normal.

      • John Dean

        What do you expect when the respective Diaspora disproportionately support political radicalism, liberal immigration and ‘anti-racism’

    • Jayne Wood

      Israel is the only truly democratic state in the middle east and the only one which upholds equal rights for women and Arabs. Israel has been on the front line of terrorism since its existence. David you are extremely ill informed.

    • Valerie Sealey

      Mr Gibbons

      I worked in Israel for 8 years in the past and I can emphatically tell you that Israel is NOT a terrorist state. It is a democracy. I had full freedom both as a woman and as a Christian. They have Arab elected to serve in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) and all the professions are open to Israeli Arabs. Israeli Arabs can serve in the army (although that is not mandatory for them).
      I had Arab and Jewish friends when I worked in Israel. For the record also that Judge who oversaw the fairness of the last Israeli elections is an Arab who declines to sing the Israeli national anthem, HaTikvah, and the Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said that he would not expect him to sing it, and neither would he enforce it.

  • P.Shaw

    I have only ever voted Labour but i have been disgusted by the party ‘a demonisation of Israel and Jews.
    I am now hoping that UKIP has a candidate in my constituency.

  • Pete James

    Oh dear, they have just lost my support, I held out a lot of hope for them and Mr Farage, if they have a “UKIP Friends of Israel group, it’s a given that they are getting back handers from the Zionists

    • And who pays you backhanders, Pete James, the rich Gulf Arabs?

      Josephine Bacon

  • Ansab Gondal

    If UKIP supports Israel, then they shall not have any human support in the poitis, as we are better off with the devil we know then the devil we don’t.

    But if they Condemn Israel for their actions then they will certianly be the right party to stand for truth. PEACE

    • BonniePrinceCharlie

      What a load of rubbish? Should we not condemn Hamas for its rocket attacks on Israel? After all, if Hamas hadn’t launched rockets at Israel, there would be no need for Israel to retaliate to protect its citizens. Open your eyes.

  • Iron Lion Zion

    From reading the comments I can tell you guys don’t have a clue about the history of the Palestine/Israel conflict.

  • In reply to Dave Grinch, Farage is definitely against the Islamicisation of the UK. As an Anglican, he expressed absolute horror at the previous Archbishop of Canterbury’s plea for Sharia law to be made legal in the UK (as a matter of fact, in some instances it already is). Consequently, he can see the demonisation of Israel for what it is, veiled antisemitism, but he is not particularly au fait with the politics of the Middle East, he is far more concerned with the damage being done to this country through membership of the EU. This is the core of his popularity.

  • Dave Grinch

    @Josephine Bacon – had they not supported UKIP’s immigration policy they would not have called themselves UKIP Friends of Palestine ‘branch’ – although I suspect this came about to counter the Friends of Israel organisation, which is definitely much, much larger.

    Nigel supports Israel’s right to statehood – that is beyond question, but that does not mean he is justifying the means, or subscribing to current policies, especially global warfare, where Israel, to my mind, is used as a pawn rather than the other way round.

  • peter Lowe

    i am a UKIP member. I can add that UKIP has been supporting Israel for many years in so far as Farage has made a few speeches in the past so the speech he made for a ‘ Jewish audience’ was not just ‘tailor made’ for the occasion.

  • First of all, Farage was a guest of the Jewish Chronicle who organised the event. Secondly, UKIP has a Friends of Israel which has a large membership. Thirdly, he expressed his support for the State of Israel and gave some examples of the way British democracy is being undermined by members of a certain faith. I suspect the UKIP Friends of Israel are very different from their Friends of Palestine in that they have Farage’s wholehearted support. I can’t image his Friends of Palestine supporting his immigration policy.

  • Dave Grinch

    I wonder what exactly gave you the idea that Nigel and UKIP support Israel. The ‘branch’ you mention is not part of the UKIP network of branches and is not much different from the UKIP Friends of Palestine ‘branch’.

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