Veteran leftist British Labor MP Tam Dalyell has charged that Prime Minister Tony Blair was "being unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers," the Telegraph newspaper reported yesterday
The comment echoed remarks by U.S. Republican Patrick Buchanan, who was accused of anti-Semitism when in an article last March, he described a predominantely Jewish group of advisers to President Bush as "a cabal of polemicists and public officials [who] seek to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America's interests."
The statement also coincided with publication of research showing that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom rose by 75 percent during the first three months of 2003, according to a report issued by the Community Security Trust (CST), which says the increase was directly linked to the war in Iraq.
The Telegraph quoted an interview with Vanity Fair, in which the Labor MP named "Lord Levy, Tony Blair's personal envoy on the Middle East, Peter Mandelson, whose father was Jewish, and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, who has Jewish ancestry, as three of the leading figures who had influenced Mr Blair's policies on the Middle East."
Dalyell told the Telegraph Saturday that he was "fully aware that one is treading on cut glass on this issue and no one wants to be accused of anti-Semitism but, if it is a question of launching an assault on Syria or Iran... then one has to be candid. I am not going to be labeled anti-Semitic. My children worked on a kibbutz. But the time has come for candor."
The Prime Minister, Mr Dalyell claimed, was also indirectly influenced by Jewish people in the Bush administration, including Richard Perle, a Pentagon adviser, Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, and Ari Fleischer, the President's press secretary.
"They very much have captured the ear of the President of the United States. I said [to Vanity Fair] I thought that Blair was very sympathetic to them. I cannot understand why," Dalyell said.
Mandelson said in response: "Apart from the fact that I am not actually Jewish, I wear my father's parentage with pride. As for Tam, he is as incorrigible as ever."
Lord Janner, a Labor peer and the chairman of the Holocaust Education Trust, said: "I think these comments are sad and unfounded. Tony Blair is his own man. He will follow advice if he considers it correct and not otherwise. He has been a good friend of the Jewish people and the Jewish state."
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now