Chris Williamson, a former Member of Parliament for the UK’s Labour Party, described Israel as worse than Nazis and the Gaza Strip as a concentration camp in an interview with TalkTV on November 8.
The interviewer asked Williamson whether he thought that a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas would benefit civilians in Gaza. The interviewer also added the contextual concerns by UK leaders that a ceasefire would enable Hamas to rearm and reorganize for future attacks.
Julia clashes with former Labour MP Chris Williamson over the Israel-Hamas war.Chris: “How you can defend a regime which is behaving worse than Nazis?”Julia: “Why don’t you just come on this show and shout ‘I hate Jewish people’ and save everyone time?”@JuliaHB1 pic.twitter.com/ioi0pBJZ2Q
— TalkTV (@TalkTV) November 8, 2023
In response to the question, Williamson said “Well they [Gazans] are being massacred on a daily basis…So, of course, a ceasefire would be beneficial for the people living in Gaza…”
The interviewer then interjected: “Why are they being massacred?” To which Williamson disregarded and continued “to which, let’s remember, is a concentration camp.”
The interviewer quickly condemned Williamson’s statement as a falsehood, stating “It is not a concentration camp.” Audibly distressed, the interviewer asked Williamson “How dare you use that phrase! How dare you.”
Williamson continued “Well, I’m sorry…” Before the interviewer continued “Are Palestinians working gas chambers in Gaza?”
Getting closer to the camera and raising his voice, Williamson questions “Julia, what is the definition of a concentration camp?”
Merriam-Webster defines a concentration camp as “a place where large numbers of people (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees, or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under armed guard.”
“I’m just so appalled,” the interviewer continued. “You seem like a normal person… You seem like a normal person with normal values and yet you say…”
While the interviewer spoke, Williamson continued “They are penned in. Nobody is allowed to go into Gaza. They have a fence around them. They are regularly bombarded by the Israeli regime. What an absolute outrage! And how you can defend a regime which has behaved worse than Nazis actually, in some respects…”
“Worse than Nazis, there we go,” the interview interrupted. “Worse than Nazis.”
“Yes, absolute,” Williamson reaffirmed without establishing which of the “some respects” Israel was behaving worse than Nazis.
“What we are seeing,” Williamson continued. “1000s of children have been murdered by this Israeli regime.”
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza has claimed that over 10,000 Palestinians were killed as casualties in the war and that 40% of those casualties are children. However, Hamas is a terrorist organization, and the Jerusalem Post, along with many other organizations, has found the statistics to not be a reliable source of information.
Additionally, the IDF has issued warnings that residents of Gaza should evacuate south to avoid being caught in the crosshairs of the Hamas war, however, Hamas has prevented many of these evacuations and continued its well-documented use of human shields.
“Why don’t we just save time?” the interviewer proceeded to ask. “Why don’t you just come on this show and just shout ‘I hate Jewish people’ and save everyone time?”
“Well, what do you say about the Jewish people that have joined the rallies and marches in support of a ceasefire, in support of the Palestinian people? What do you say about them, Julia?” Williamson countered. “Because there are thousands of Jews who are utterly opposed…”
“There are thousands,” responded the interviewer, “tens-of-thousands of Jews in this country who are terrified about what is happening because people like you, who are basically saying you support terrorist organizations, that don’t think that Israel or the Jewish people have a right to exist.”
“The terrorist organization is the Israeli regime,” Williamson continued. “They are the terrorists. They are terrorizing the Palestinian people.”
Hamas is legally considered a terrorist organization in the United Kingdom, under the Terrorism Act. Support for Hamas can result in up to a 14 year prison sentence.
“They are a democratically elected government,” the interviewer clarified at Williamson’s accusations that the Israeli “regime” is a terrorist organization. “They are not a proscribed terrorist organization, which Hamas is.”
“The Palestinians living in Israel have not got a vote so don’t give me that nonsense,” Williamson pushed.
Israeli-Arabs have the legal right to vote, as does everyone with Israeli citizenship.
“There are plenty of Arab Israelis,” the interviewer explained. “No, if you are not an Israeli national, and there are plenty of Arab Israelis who are, you do have a vote in Israel.”
“Well, I’m sorry Julia,” Williamson pressed, “you need to actually look. There are tens-of-thousands, if not millions, of Palestinians living in the area outside of Gaza who do not have a vote. And indeed, it is an absolute apartheid regime, there is no doubt about that.”
The interviewer then finished by insisting “It [Israel] is not an apartheid regime…”
Gary Mond, Chairman of the National Jewish Assembly, told the Post that “Chris Williamson’s remark was abhorrent, but even worse than that, it is based on total ignorance and I worry that it will mislead younger or less knowledgeable viewers.
“The Nazis put into practice a systematic method of murdering six million Jews, simply because they were Jewish. The Jews were innocent victims and posed no threat at all to their Nazi persecutors. On the other hand, Israel suffered the brutal murders of 1,400 of its citizens and is acting to rid Gaza of the organisation which perpetrated this outrage.
“Any Gazan civilian deaths are regretted and accidental. The two situations are utterly incomparable, and it is such a tragedy that this even needs to be said.”
Who is Chris Williamson?
Williamson served as MP for Derby North from 2010 until 2015, later serving again between the years of 2017-2019.
In 2019, Williamson was suspended from the Labour Party after a formal investigation into comments made about the Party’s antisemitism investigation. He was reinstated in the same year but suspended again only 2 days after his reinstatement.
Since the end of his career in formal politics, he has begun hosting “Palestine Declassified,” alongside disgraced former academic David Miller. Miller was fired after a number of antisemitism complaints were investigated by his former employer, the University of Bristol.
Williamson has made a number of claims on his show, including claims that the IDF were behind the October 7 Hamas attack, which took the lives of 1400 people.
In the latest episode of #Palestine Declassified, (@PDeclassified) we examine why Israel’s military killed so many of its own citizens on Oct 7, with @21WIRE and @Tracking_Power. We also expose foul Zionist hate speech.Watch the full show on Rumble.https://t.co/A7QaTgV3Ao
— Chris Williamson (@DerbyChrisW) November 7, 2023
Next episode of @PDeclassified will address the lies peddled about what happened on October 7.We’ll also cover the official Israeli tactic of deliberately killing their own people to stop them being taken prisoner.#FreePalestineNow https://t.co/nyM77zWBKr
— Chris Williamson (@DerbyChrisW) November 3, 2023