It was the Tweet heard around parts of the United Kingdom. Then it disappeared. Now it’s back.
“The reason the left has such ire for the Jews is jealousy. They want to replace the Holocaust with slavery in order to wield its legacy as a weapon against Western culture,” said David Starkey, a British historian and television presenter, in a talk this week at the National Conservatism Conference in London.
Starkey, a specialist in Tudor history who is not new to controversy, was part of a panel titled “History and Heritage.”
The conference’s official account tweeted Starkey’s quote, removed it and then reposted it. The statement drew criticism, including from Daniel Sugarman, public affairs director of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
Sugarman tweeted that the board “supports the building of a Holocaust Memorial by Westminster and a permanent memorial to the victims of Transatlantic Slavery. If this quote is accurate, such pathetic attempts to drive a wedge between communities will not work.”
In a 2020 interview, Starkey claimed that the transatlantic slave trade was not a genocide, using offensive language for which he later apologized and called a “bad mistake.”
Earlier this month, Starkey said in a media interview that British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is of Indian heritage, is “not fully grounded” in the culture of the United Kingdom. He later claimed his criticism was not racist, but that Sunak is part of a “highly technical elite.”