UKIP defends its new Holocaust-denying friends

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

UKIP defends its new Holocaust-denying friends

Shoulder to shoulder: UKIP's Nigel Farage and Polish MEP Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz.
Shoulder to shoulder: UKIP's Nigel Farage and Polish MEP Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz.
Shoulder to shoulder: UKIP's Nigel Farage and Polish MEP Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz.
Shoulder to shoulder: UKIP’s Nigel Farage and Polish MEP Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz.

UKIP has defended its alliance with a Polish politician whose party leader doubts whether Hitler knew much about the Holocaust, saying: “Everyone has odd bedfellows in the European Parliament.”

The bedfellow in question is Polish MEP Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, a member of the KNP party, whose leader has been described as being “in a league of his own as far as political incorrectness is concerned”.

UKIP needed to recruit a eurosceptic MEP from another country in order to save the dissolution of its wider European grouping, on which it relies for funding and secretarial support. In its haste, it enlisted Iwaszkiewicz, whose party leader talks of a “Holocaust industry”.

Janusz Korwin-Mikke, leader of the Polish Congress of the New Right (KNP), said all Jews in Poland were communists and once wrote: “If every other Jew had a weapon in 1939, the Holocaust might have been prevented.”

A UKIP spokesman defended the partnership, saying: “All groups in the European Parliament have very odd bedfellows. The rules to get speaking time and funding are set by the EP, not UKIP.”

He added: “The only comment Robert Iwaszkiewicz made on Hitler was that he was an evil man who should have been executed.”

But the Board of Deputies reacted with anger to UKIP’s justification, with Vice President Jonathan Arkush saying he was “gravely concerned” by the reports.

The European Parliament

“We entirely reject UKIP’s justification that all groups in the European Parliament have very odd bedfellows,” he said. “Extremists and racists should be roundly rejected, not embraced. Even France’s far right Front National rejected the KNP as being too extreme.”

Arkush added: “For UKIP to choose such a figure as Robert Iwaszkiewicz as a bedfellow, apparently for money, is beyond belief. Nigel Farage now has some very serious questions to answer. He has placed in issue the credibility of UKIP.”

Shneur Odze, a rabbi and former UKIP candidate, hit back at the criticism of UKIP’s alliance, noting that other parties also had dubious political liaisons.

“The Tories are in bed with (Turkish) AK Party which funds Hamas,” he said. “The Greens’ former leader supports paedophilia, and serving Labour MEPs make extreme anti-Israel comments. How can this not be biased?”

But Tal Ofer of the European Jewish Parliament said: “It is a worrying development considering how UKIP say they wholeheartedly reject anti-Semitism inside their own party”.

Herman Kelly, a communications assistant at the eurosceptic group EFDD who speaks for UKIP, was keen to make the point that “both the party and the group abhors and rejects any scent of anti-Semitism”.

Yet Simon Johnson of the Jewish Leadership Council said it would be judged on its friends.

“If the community is not to judge UKIP by the company that it keeps, then it needs to urgently clarify its position on Holocaust denial,” he said. “Having stated that they wholeheartedly reject anti-Semitism within their own party, UKIP should state clearly that it will hold its partners to the same position.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: