A rising UK politician believes the West has “got it wrong” on Iran and that the Islamist Republic should have been “love-bombed” long ago, the Jewish Chronicle reports.
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said that measures taken by the United States and European Union aimed at forcing Iran to forsake its nuclear weapons program are misguided and have harmed Israel.
Speaking at a Jewish Chronicle event on Wednesday evening, Farage was quoted by the publication as saying: “I think the West has got Iran wrong. This is pertinent to us and even more to Israel.
“The approach we have taken with sanctions has been a mistake. By putting sanctions on Iran we have helped foster the view that all the West is against it, and Israel’s mates have forced Iranians into poverty.
“A more intelligent approach would have been to love-bomb Iran and give everyone free access to the internet. We can be cleverer about how we deal with issues like Iran.”
Farage told the audience he would not support a preemptive Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“I do not support acts of aggression, even from countries that feel their existence is threatened. I’d go for a non-intervention policy.”
But he added: “I’m very sympathetic to Israel because it’s surrounded by states that want to obliterate it. The Jewish people need and deserve a homeland.”
Farage also addressed concerns over claims made by a UKIP party candidate in May’s local council elections that Jews engineered the Second World War, and who advised supporters to “read the Protocols of Zion,” saying: “We have done more than any other party in British politics to make sure there are no extremists in our ranks.”
“We are the only party to actually forbid former members of the BNP or other extremist groups from joining as members. I’ve got that written into the constitution of the party.”
He added that only a handful of the 1,700 new party candidates have “caused us embarrassment.”
“Those half dozen who have brought the party into disrepute by breaking our charter have been got rid of. It’s as simple as that.”
The growth of the party’s Friends of Israel group, and the increasing number of Jewish candidates and members, is proof that the UKIP is not hostile to Jews, he said.
Farage added: “I’m not coming here like everybody else to be fawning to the Jewish community, saying you are the most important group of people in the country — although you may be!”