The Deputy Leader of the Wales Green Party, Pippa Bartolotti, has claimed in a Facebook post that Palestinians are “effectively trapped in an open air concentration camp” and that “the government of Israel is only interested in the final solution”. The comments followed a previous post in which she claimed that US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would “appease the wealthy Zionist backers who paid for Trump’s election campaign”.
Writing on 7th December, Ms Bartolotti posted an aerial view of Jerusalem’s Old City, commenting: “I think it’s important to explain that Jerusalem is not a Jewish city – any more than Israel is a Jewish country. Israel is in fact a western state, taken by force in 1948, in bloodshed and massacres of the unarmed and innocent indigenous population.” In the post to her almost 5,000 followers, Ms Bartolotti peddled the conspiracy that Israel is a “Western puppet state” and that wealthy Arab oil states are “in cahoots” with the British and western governments to to legitimise Israel’s claims to the land.
Ms Bartolotti went on to explicitly level two accusations at Israel of behaving like Nazis against towards the Palestinians. She wrote: “Palestinians in Gaza are effectively trapped in an open air concentration camp from which there is only slim means of escape”. She then invokes the Nazi language of the Holocaust in her claim that “The government of Israel is only interested in the final solution”. The Final Solution (Die Endloesung) is the name given by the Nazis to their programme to exterminate six million Jews during the Holocaust. Ms Barolotti’s statements qualify as antisemitic discourse under the terms of the International Definition of Antisemitism by “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”. When confronted on Facebook with the notion that “Comparing the Israeli government to the Nazis is grotesquely offensive and antisemitic”, she responded: “The Roma and disabled were similarly targeted by the Nazi regime, but they have not gone around demanding a state of their own”.
Ms Bartolotti, who stood as a Green Party parliamentary candidate in 2010 and then as an Assembly Member a year later, was once a leadership contender for the national Green Party. She seems to glory in her words, having said: “Some might call me antisemitic, but I don’t care”. Ms Bartolotti was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport and detained overnight at Givon Prison when participating in the ‘flytilla’ of activists attempting to enter Bethlehem in 2011. She objected to being represented by a UK diplomatic staff member who had a Jewish name, and questioned the loyalty of the UK ambassador to Israel (Britain’s first Jewish ambassador to the country). She said at the time: “The vice -consul was called Levi. From the university of life I have learned that Jews often have a conflict of interest in matters relating to Palestine.” In doing so, she was “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations”. In claiming Israel is “in cahoots” as part of a suggested international plot, and that “wealthy Zionists” determined President Trump’s presidential campaign pledges, she is making “stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as…the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”
Ms Bartolotti has appeared on Channel 4’s culinary show Come Dine with Me, where she was described as a “peace activist”, but has appeared in photographs posing with the flag of the Syrian National Socialist Party, which bears an emblem resembling a Swastika and has been described as the the oldest terrorist organisation in existence today. The SNSP aspires to gain control of a Greater Syria including what is now Israel, and has been accused of having links to fascism.
Having clearly breached the International Definition of Antisemitism on multiple counts, Campaign Against Antisemitism now looks to the Green Party to expel Ms Bartolotti from the Party.
Image credit: Stand for Peace