Peres Calls British Anti-Semites
Nazi-Battling UK Furious
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2010 3:40 AM CDT
President of Israel Shimon Peres attends a news conference in Brdo, Slovenia, last week.   (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

(Newser) – Shimon Peres is furiously backpedaling after accusing the UK of anti-Semitism, a comment that enraged the British public, who still deeply identify as the country that "stood alone against Nazi Germany during the Second World War," the Telegraph reports. The Israeli president "never accused the British people of anti-Semitism,” his spokesman insisted last night. “The president does not believe that British governments are motivated by anti-Semitism, nor were they in the past."

In an interview last week, Peres complained of a pro-Arab, anti-Israeli tendency in the British establishment. Asked if this was because of anti-Semitism, the Israel president said: “Yes, there is also anti-Semitism. There is in England a saying that an anti-Semite is someone who hates the Jews more than is necessary." Peres says the motivation for his comments was that "some people in Britain do not fully appreciate the difficulties of facing an onslaught of terror while adhering to democratic practice, as Israel does.”