Sinn Fein need to have an uncomfortable conversation about anti-Semitism

03 May 2018

South Antrim MP Paul Girvan has criticised Sinn Fein’s tacit support for anti-Semitism.

Paul Girvan MP

Paul Girvan

The Party's National Chairman and South Antrim MLA Declan Kearney was present for a speech this week in which the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas declared that the Holocaust was the result of their financial activities, not anti-Semitism. He described their “social function” as “usury and banking and such”.

Following the event Mr Kearney tweeted pictures from outside and inside the venue describing it as a “wide ranging speech from President Abbas on peace process”.

The DUP MP said, “The speech by Mahmoud Abbas was widely and rightly condemned for anti-Semitism. No so for Sinn Fein however, whose National Chairman whose description of it was merely “wide ranging” and being about a “peace process”.

Such bland commentary following a speech which caused reasonable people to react with disgust means Declan Kearney must have been comfortable with the conversation that day.

The self-styled champion of Sinn Fein’s “Stand up to Sectarianism” campaign has lent tacit support to racism that blamed Jewish people for their own mass murder. It may of course speak to Sinn Fein’s attitudes to any peace process that they appear to be so relaxed about one participant holding such views about those they are supposed to be making peace with.

Anti-Semitism has been on the rise across Europe and that includes Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein need to have an 'uncomfortable conversation' about this racism.”

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