Hero Against the
Hero #1--Tam Dalyell
Jews call for MPs scalp
following influence exposure
Dalyell may face race hatred inquiry
By NICHOLAS WATT, Political Correspondent
The Guardian, London Monday May 5, 2003
LONDONï¿½ï¿½Tam Dalyell, the veteran Labor MP and opponent
of countless wars, faces an investigation for inciting racial hatred
after he accused Tony Blair of being unduly influenced by Jewish
ministers and officials.
As leading British Jews criticized Mr Dalyell for his "misguided"
remarks, a former Labor MP said he would refer the father
of the Commons to the Commission for Racial Equality.
Professor Eric Moonman, president of the Zionist Federation,
who was a Labor MP from 1966 to 1979, said he was seeking
advice on whether there was a case for referral. "I believe there is,"
"I will be distressed to do it because of a relationship with a man
I admire enormously," Prof. Moonman said. "But he made the
statements and he knew what he was doing."
The row started when Mr Dalyell, who for 20 years has opposed
every war involving British soldiers, told Vanity Fair magazine
that Mr. Blair relied too much on Jewish figures in Britain and
Mr. Dalyell named the former cabinet minister Peter Mandelson,
the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, and the prime minister's
Middle East envoy, Lord Levy.
Mr. Dalyell said: "I am worried about my country being led up
the garden path on a Likudnik, [Ariel] Sharon agenda", adding
that "Straw, Mandelson and Co." were leading "a tremendous
drive to sort out the Middle East."
Mr. Dalyell's critics took exception after it was claimed that he
felt Mr. Blair was influenced by a "cabal" of Jewish advisers.
But Mr. Dalyell said he used the word cabal only in reference
to the Bush administration, not Downing Street.
"The cabal that I referred to was in the US," he said. "That is
the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. I was thinking
of [Paul] Wolfowitz, [deputy defence secretary], [Richard] Perle,
[Douglas] Feith, [Ken] Adelman, [Elliott] Abrams and [Ari]
Fleischer, [Mr Bush's press secretary.] Those people drive
But Jewish figures were furious. David Garfinkel, the editor-
in-chief of the London Jewish News, said: "Coming a few days
after the BNP won council seats in the north of England this
is the kind of menacing candor which the country certainly
does not need."
Ministers were also aghast. One said: "Quite apart from how
offensive his remarks are, Tam is wrong. Tony and Jack have
faced strong criticism in Israel because of their pressure for
the road map to be published."