Vote to stop BNP
by: Ben Simons - Last updated: 2007-04-13
The Board of Deputies of British Jews is calling on all communities to unite in making sure voters across the country reject the far right British National Party (BNP) in May's local elections.
The move comes following a record number of candidates who will be standing for the BNP on May 3.
More than 800 BNP candidates will be contesting seats compared to 363 in 2006 and 221 in 2004.
"This development demonstrates once again the danger of complacency when it comes to the far right," said Board president Henry Grunwald. "Holocaust denial and Jewish conspiracy theories remain core elements of the BNPs ideology."
Grunwald added: "Any gains in the partys popularity damage society as a whole by stirring up tensions between communities and undermining the values of tolerance that have allowed the Jewish community, and other minorities, to flourish in Britain. Most importantly, this is a wake up call for us to work with other communities in making sure that we get out the vote to oppose the BNP at election time."
But in an email to SomethingJewish.co.uk, the BNP claims Grunwald is wrong.
"Can you show me where 'Holocaust denial and Jewish conspiracy theories' appear in BNP literature, web sites, manifestos, etc? I've never seen them," said BNP national press officer Dr Phill Edwards. "It's an own goal by Henry Grunwald because he is demonstrating his own paranoia and insecurities which, unfortunately, so many Jews seem to possess. The BNP has Jewish members - I know one of our elected councillors is Jewish and I know at least two regional organisers who say they are Jews. Grunwald is out of touch and does his people a disservice."
Meanwhile, Holocaust survivor and Unite Against Fascism supporter Henry Guterman has spoken of his concern. "Having lost many members of my family in the Holocaust, I do not want to see a repetition of the Nazis systematic annihilation of many communities who spoke up against their evil policies. That is why I am determined to fight the BNP who are trying to copy Hitlers method of coming to power."