update desk

British historian under fire for saying left to ‘replace’ Holocaust with slavery

David Starkey, who is no stranger to controversy, drew criticism from the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

David Starkey. Credit: Landmark Media/Shutterstock.
David Starkey. Credit: Landmark Media/Shutterstock.

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.”

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates