By S. Ghermezian
British-Jewish Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party Lee Scott told BBC London last week that he has received five death threats over the past year because of his Judaism and was also called a “dirty pig.”
Scott, the MP for Ilford North, and his wife check their cars every day because of the threats. He has also stopped holding drop-in surgeries, and his constituents now must make appointments to see him. He said the anti-Semitic abuse began during the last election when he was called a “dirty pig” by two people who said they would kill him.
“Whenever I’m scared, I’ve always since I was a child used humour and I said to them ‘shall I put you down as a possible or have you not decided how you’re voting’?” Scott told BBC London’s Vanessa Feltz. “I realized how stupid I was, and ran as fast as my little legs could carry me.”
Scott, who is a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel group, said he was so shaken by the incident that he cried when he returned home that day. He added, “The people who tell you they’re going to do something to you, will very rarely do it. It’s people who aren’t going to tell you that you’ve got to worry about.”
In another incident, which he revealed on Tuesday during a Parliamentary debate on anti-Semitism, Scott said he received a phone call in which he was told he should be “stoned to death.”
He told BBC London that his Judaism does not justify the threats against his life.
“Being Jewish is my religion, that’s the end of it. I was born a Jew, and that’s what I’ve chosen to practice,” he said. “I would never enforce my religious beliefs on anyone so why should I have that for just my religion? I do the best job that I can to the best of my abilities. Some will like me other won’t, some will like my party others won’t, but whether they like me or not, it’s not a reason to try and kill me.”
The BBC cited a report by London’s Metropolitan Police stating that the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in the capital has increased by 92 percent from 167 from October 2012-13, to 322 from October 2013-14. Scott said his constituents told him they are increasingly concerned about anti-Semitism and he urges people to report anti-Semitic incidents so that they are included in statistics.
“If someone does do something and it’s not reported then it simply hasn’t happened,” he explained. “Then when the authorities want to tackle something, they’ll say ‘this is what the figures are and what they show’ so it is important that they report it.”