Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

McDonnell in Anti-Semitism Row over Website That Has Carried 'Tributes to Suicide Bombers' Exclusive

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

McDonnell in Anti-Semitism Row over Website That Has Carried 'Tributes to Suicide Bombers' Exclusive

Article excerpt

Byline: Joseph Watts Political Correspondent

SHADOW Chancellor John McDonnell was today caught in his party's growing anti-Semitism storm after directing people to a website that has carried "tributes" to suicide bombers.

Labour MPs reacted with fury after learning that in 2014 Mr McDonnell linked from his own web page to the site, which once carried sympathetic articles about at least two bombers.

One of the pieces focused on a man who murdered 19 Israelis outside a nightclub. Among other archived articles carried on the site was one posted in 2002 claiming Israel has no right to exist and should be "dismantled". When the Standard asked the Shadow Chancellor's office for a comment, his spokesman said the link from Mr McDonnell's site would be removed immediately.

Just days ago Mr McDonnell said Labour had to "sit up and listen" to claims of anti-Semitism in the party, adding that anyone with offensive views should be banned. A spokesman told the Standard: "John was supporting a peaceful campaign against the bombing in Gaza at the time in 2014. The campaign suggested using the link to this website in order to take part. He was obviously not aware of the views this website historically expressed 10 years previously but John's office has subsequently removed the link in question immediately. John has a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism and has a record of campaigning against all forms of racism." Mr McDonnell wrote a post on his MP website in 2014 promoting a boycott against Israeli goods but then directed readers to another website called Innovative Minds.

Among articles it has carried are one from 2001 entitled Why The Road To Paradise? An Interview With The Family Of A Martyr, about Saeed Hotary, who blew himself up outside a Tel Aviv disco, killing 19 party-goers. …

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