Richard Millett (pictured) said Jewish people were ‘scared on a physical level’ and demanded an apology from Jeremy Corbyn
A Jewish blogger who was targeted in Jeremy Corbyn’s attack on ‘Zionists’ who did not understand ‘English irony’ has demanded an apology from the Labour leader.
Richard Millett, whose father founded the Millets chain of outdoor clothing stores, said Jewish people were ‘scared on a physical level’ amid Labour’s ongoing anti-Semitism crisis.
Speaking in 2013 at a London conference promoted by Hamas’s propaganda website, Mr Corbyn said British ‘Zionists’ did not want to study history or understand irony ‘despite having lived in this country all their lives’.
Mr Millett, 50, called it a ‘racist comment’ and said Mr Corbyn had implied Jewish people were ‘not part of his Britain’, The Times reports.
Contrary to Mr Corbyn’s claims, Mr Millett studied history at Soas and specialised in the Middle East’s history and politics.
His father Alan, a cricket fan who launched his company in south-west London and turned it into a thriving chain, while Richard Millett worked a solicitor and then a journalist.
Demanding a sincere apology, he said: ‘I wouldn’t want to hear him say, “I’m sorry if I offended you”.
‘It’s almost implying that I’m not English, Jewish people are not necessarily part of this English milieu that he has been part of, I am not part of his Britain.
‘I am scared on a physical level and the Jewish community is upset about what they see is happening, I think we are all scared’.
In the footage Mr Corbyn accused a group of British Zionists who had criticised Palestinian ambassador Manuel Hassassian after an earlier speech of having ‘two problems’.
He went on: ‘One is they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all of their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.’
He said the speech had been ‘dutifully recorded by the thankfully silent Zionists who were in the audience on that occasion’. Mr Millett was the only blogger covering the event.
In a statement released on Friday evening Mr Corbyn said he had been defending the ambassador from ‘what I thought were deliberate misrepresentations’ by people ‘for whom English was a first language, when it isn’t for the ambassador’.
Mr Corbyn said: ‘I described those pro-Israel activists as Zionists, in the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people – and that is made clear in the rest of my speech that day.
‘I am now more careful with how I might use the term ‘Zionist’ because a once self-identifying political term has been increasingly hijacked by anti-Semites as code for Jews.’
Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger had earlier said that the video contained ‘inexcusable comments’ which made her feel ‘unwelcome in my own party’.
Speaking in 2013 at a London conference promoted by the Hamas’s propaganda website, Mr Corbyn said British ‘Zionists’ did not want to study history or understand irony ‘despite having lived in this country all their lives’
She wrote on Twitter: ‘The video released today of the leader of @UKLabour making inexcusable comments – defended by a party spokesman – makes me as a proud British Jew feel unwelcome in my own party.
‘I’ve lived in Britain all my life and I don’t need any lessons in history/irony.’
The Labour leader made the comments at a conference at Friends House in Euston. The event was advertised online by Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, which is designated a terrorist group by Britain, the EU, the United States and other countries.
In one of the speeches, made by 9/11 conspiracy theorist Alan Hart, ‘Zionism’ was described as a ‘cancer at the heart of international affairs’. It was also called a ‘monster’ and compared to Nazi Germany.
Several speakers were connected to Hamas. One called for attacks on the Royal Navy in the past, and led a boycott of Holocaust Memorial Day.