London (The Inside Palestine)- The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) issued a statement on Thursday condemning the entry of far-right Israeli MK Bezalel Smotrich to the United Kingdom.
The Muslim Association of Britain has said it is “appalled to learn” that Smotrich has been allowed entry to the UK.
“Smotrich is a racist hate preacher that has openly called for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and said David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, should have “finished the job” and thrown out all the “Arabs” in 1948. The party he leads promotes abhorrently racist views, advocates for Jewish supremacy and calls for the eradication of all non-Jews,” the MAB said in the statement.
“That a man who has expressed such abominable views was allowed to not only enter the UK freely but to conduct a hate tour where he can continue to spread his fascist views calls into question the rigor of the Home Office’s security checks and exposes their double standards,” it added.
MAB welcomed the “alignment across the majority of the British Jewish community who have rightly condemned these abhorrent views,” and welcomed “the Board of Deputies of British Jews’ tweet on this matter.”
MAB also called for all such views supporting “genocide of Palestinians to be similarly rejected, including those of the Israeli Ambassador’s, Tipi Hotovely, for whom the Board of Deputies
has unfortunately provided numerous platforms.”
Smotrich’s presence in the UK, MAB said, poses a severe threat to community harmony and therefore, to public safety.
MAB called on him to be “immediately expelled from the UK and for the UK government to explain how it allowed such a dangerous hate preacher entry into the UK.”
Smotrich arrived in the UK on Wednesday and he is currently on a tour of the United Kingdom and France to rally opposition to the Israeli government’s plans to reform conversion to Judaism, citing assimilation concerns.
This started with the Board of Deputies (BoD), the community’s mainstream umbrella organization, telling the far-right Israeli MK that he is not welcome in the UK, and urged British Jews to “show him the door”.
“We reject his abominable views and the hatred ideology of Bezalel Smotrich and call on all members of the British Jewish community to show him the door,” the top UK Jewish body tweeted in Hebrew on Wednesday in an unprecedented intervention.
“Get back on the plane Bezalel and be remembered as a disgrace forever,” it added while tagging a number of prominent Israeli media outlets and journalists in a subsequent tweet.
In response, Smotrich tweeted: “British Jews: I love you. All of you.”
Bezalel Smotrich, who belongs to the controversial Religious Zionist Party, is a political ally of former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
He is a notorious racist, homophobe and Jewish ultra-nationalist.
Smotrich has a long history of making inflammatory and outlandish statements.
In April 2021, he said during remarks at a faction meeting that “Arabs are citizens of Israel, for now, at least. They have representatives, MKs, for now at least.”
During a heated exchange in the Knesset on October 13, 2021, he said that Palestinians exist in ‘Israel’ because Israel’s first prime minister and the architect of the Nakba, David Ben Gurion, did not “finish the job” of clearing out the territory of its indigenous populations.
Smotrich said to the Arab Knesset members, “I am not talking to you, anti-Zionists, terror supporters, enemies. You’re here by mistake because Ben Gurion didn’t finish the job and didn’t throw you out in 1948.”
He is also a staunch supporter of the construction of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian-owned lands.
Describing himself as a “proud homophobe”, he organised a “parade of beasts” to counter Gay Pride, marching donkeys and goats through the streets of occupied Jerusalem.