St Anne’s Church in Soho has apologised for letting the American-Israeli activist Miko Peled give a lecture in its hall titled “Journey of an Israeli in Palestine”, regretting that the event “may not have accurately reflected our values or those of our community.”
Mr Peled is an American-Israeli activist who has said that people should be free to ask “Holocaust, yes or no” because “there should be no limits on the discussion,” and has compared Israel to the Nazis, in breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism.
At the event, which was apparently booked by an organisation called “Keep Talking”, Mr Peled made jokes about antisemitism in the Labour Party which were greeted with laughter and applause from an audience filled with individuals with troubling records.
According to researcher David Collier, other attendees included the disgraced conspiracy theorist Rev. Dr Stephen Sizer, who claimed that an Israeli conspiracy was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and Elleanne Green, a prolific poster of conspiracy theories and friend of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who founded the virulently antisemitic “Palestine Live” Facebook group.
The church has donated the room hire fee to a Jewish charity, as part of its apology.
Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “This event illustrates how meaningless is the distinction between far-right and far-left when it comes to antisemitism. Right-wing Holocaust deniers and extremist campaigners on the political Left are united in their disdain for Jews and should be treated with like contempt by wider society. While we welcome St Anne’s apology, we urge churches and other institutions to conduct greater due diligence before hosting figures with such troubling records in future.”