Jewish London Mayoral Candidate Sees Antisemitic Tweets as Harbinger of Overall Trend in Europe
Conservative London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith said some critics on Twitter accused him of being at the center of a Jewish conspiracy, and pointed to such rhetoric as heralding a rising trend of antisemitism in Europe, the Jewish Chronicle reported on Tuesday.
“[They say on Twitter] I have this amazing control over the press – which should make my mayoral contest very easy; and that my family have completely infiltrated the royal family,” said Goldsmith.
“Sadly, social media is a reminder of the rising wave of antisemitism which sweeping across Europe. There is no denying or ignoring it. Particularly on social media, criticism of Israel has become a cover for an old hatred,” he said.
His comments reflect concerns of a growing trend of antisemitism in Europe, especially after violent attacks at multiple Jewish sites in France, Belgium and Denmark over the last year, and the spread of the movement to boycott and divest from Israel, which many also see as antisemitic.
Goldsmith’s father, Sir James Goldsmith, was a well-known British financier, and the mayoral candidate said he was brought up to be proud of being Jewish. His last name, Goldsmith, was actually changed from “Goldschmidts,” he said.
The candidate was speaking at the annual Conservative Friends of Israel lunch in London, where he is vying against Labour candidate Sadiq Khan to succeed fellow Tory Boris Johnson in the mayor’s seat.
The following are some recent tweets referring to Goldsmith’s Jewish background:
— O.G (@Kushmaster74) October 2, 2015
Sadiq Khan on his impending London mayoral battle with Zac Goldsmith: “Only in London could you have a Muslim versus a Jew. It’s fantastic.”
— David Singleton (@singersz) November 19, 2015