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SNP MSP Apologises To Jewish Group After Retweeting An Anti-Semitic Cartoon

First minister Nicola Sturgeon condemned the image as "abhorrent".

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Sandra White MSP with first minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Sandra White / Via Facebook: sandrawhitesnp

Sandra White MSP with first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

An SNP MSP has apologised to a Jewish group after she retweeted an anti-semitic image.

Sandra White MSP retweeted an article on Monday headlined "Why Murdoch and Rothschilds push for war" alongside the cartoon which features five piglets, including one with an Israel flag on its back, suckling from a larger pig with "Rothschild" written on it.

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCJC) brought the tweet to the attention of first minister Nicola Sturgeon, condemning it as "reminiscent of the very worst of Nazi propaganda". An SNP spokesperson said the image was retweeted in error and that White apologised for any offence caused.

On Wednesday, White wrote to the SCJC to apologise personally for retweeting this image, saying she was "horrified" when she realised what she had done.

Charles Frith / Via Twitter: @charlesfrith

"I would like to take this opportunity to apologise unreservedly for the offence that has been caused by my accidental retweeting of this offensive image which I too find repellent and offensive," wrote the MSP for Glasgow Kelvin. "I had not intended to retweet this picture, and was horrified to learn that I had done so. As soon as this was brought to my attention, I deleted the tweet.

"Anyone who knows me or has known me over the many years I have served in public office will know of my love and tolerance for all peoples; all faiths and religions. They will know of my steely commitment to stand up for all suffering prejudice regardless of race of creed.

"There is nothing that happens in Israel or Palestine that can be justification for any racial of religious hatred."

Sturgeon also wrote to the SCJC, calling the image "abhorrent" and saying she had spoken to White about the incident:

Having spoken to Sandra directly about this matter I know that she understands the seriousness of this accidental re-tweet and deeply regrets the offence it has caused. We all share the view that nothing must be done that provides the views expressed in the image any legitimacy whatsoever.

I do hope that Sandra's letter addresses your concerns in relation to her actions. Regarding the original tweet itself, I find it and the image it contained abhorrent. As I stated at Giffnock, I will not tolerate anti-Semitism or religious or racial hatred of any kind at any level in our society.

SCJC director Ephraim Borowski called on White to tweet her apology.

"We welcome Sandra White's apology," he said, "but have pointed out that her original post was exceptionally public, broadcast on Twitter to an international audience, and remained there for 3 days before being deleted, and we have therefore asked her to make her apology and her unqualified condemnation of antisemitism in all its forms wherever it may be found equally public, by posting that on Twitter too."

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

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