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August 6, 2015 5:55 pm

UK Times Editor Apologizes for ‘Stupid’ Tweet Calling for Nazi System to Identify ‘Jewish Pedophiles’

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Times Editor Dominic Kennedy apologizes for his offensive Twitter post. Photo: Twitter.

The Times Editor Dominic Kennedy apologized for his offensive Twitter post. Photo: Twitter.

An editor at famed British newspaper The Times apologized on Wednesday for claiming that most “VIPs” accused of being pedophiles were either Jewish or gay and should be identified with symbols used by the Nazis to single out Jews.

Dominic Kennedy sparked outrage when he tweeted on Wednesday that “So many of the VIPs accused of being pedophiles are Jewish or gay. Maybe we could have a system to identify these people: triangles, stars…”

Nazis forced Jews to wear yellow stars before and during the Holocaust to identify them as being Jewish, while homosexuals were forced to wear pink triangles.

While some Twitter users defended Kennedy, claiming the tweet was supposed to be taken as satirical, Jewish leaders and other social media users sharply criticized the editor.

“You should investigate how not to invoke the Holocaust to justify baseless sensationalism,” one Twitter user said. “Or better yet: delete your account.”

Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, called Kennedy’s comments “stupid” and “extraordinarily misplaced and offensive.” Simon Johnson, chief executive at the Jewish Leadership Council, also condemned Kennedy’s tweet and called on The Times to apologize for the “vile” comment, according to the U.K.s Jewish News.

“What on earth does religion or sexuality have to do with the investigations?” Johnson said. “The suggestion to brand or identify suspects in the way that he suggests harks back to the worst of Nazi ideology.”

Kennedy quickly removed the offensive tweet and claimed he was horrified to discover that the comment was seen as “critical of Jewish people.” He said his intention was quite the opposite and that the message had been “misunderstood.”

“I do not think it is a coincidence that some of the people being accused posthumously of wrongdoing are from minorities,” he said. “Minorities who have been persecuted down the ages, scapegoated and subjected to witchhunts… I would have hoped that the reference to the symbols of Nazi persecution would have shown that this was a continuation of scapegoating.”

Photo: Jewish News Online.

The offensive tweet. Photo: Jewish News Online.

Senior Vice President at the Board of Deputies, Richard Verber, said he welcomed Kennedy’s “forced apology” and called on The Times to open an investigation into his actions. “For anyone, let alone a senior journalist, to trivialize the Holocaust in such a way is unacceptable,” he said.

“Mr. Kennedy should also visit the Nazi death camps to help him understand why his remarks are so offensive,” he continued. “The Board of Deputies would be happy to arrange that for him. Mr. Kennedy’s ignorant remarks are a timely reminder of the importance of Holocaust education.”

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