Member of European Parliament Calls Israelis ‘A Rash’

European Jewish Congress responds, saying that ‘The comparison of Israelis, or more precisely Jews, to a disease is incitement’ and demands disciplinary action against MEP Martina Anderson.

The national flags of the member states hang outside the European Union (EU) parliament building in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013.
Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

A European Parliament lawmaker compared Israelis to a skin disease, spurring the European Jewish Congress to demand disciplinary action.

“We can give you a list of all the things we attempted to do, the Israelis are all over this place like a rash,” Martina Anderson of Northern Ireland said  at a parliament meeting in Brussels on May 25.

On Monday, EJC President Moshe Kantor called on European Parliament President Martin Schulz to punish Anderson.

“Once again we hear deeply offensive statements about Jews from a European public figure and we demand action,” Kantor said in a statement. “The comparison of Israelis, or more precisely Jews, to a disease is incitement and has its roots in neo-Nazi and far-right discourse. Thus demonstrating once again that the far left and the far right too frequently speak the same language and use the same terminology when referring to Jews or the Jewish state.”

Anderson represents the Sinn Fein party, which favors independence for Northern Ireland from Britain and once was affiliated with the now-disbanded Irish Republican Army, which was considered by many as a terrorist group.

She served part of a life sentence after being convicted of taking part in a bombing of a hotel in Brighton, England, in 1984 and planning mass bombing attacks on 12 English resort towns.

“Anderson’s views are rooted in a bloody ideology that was shaped when the IRA and the PLO were partners in terrorism and bloodshed,” Kantor said, adding that her views and statements “should be condemned and we call on the European authorities to take a stand as strongly as if they were made by a member of the far right.”