Wiley accused of antisemitism after likening Jews to Ku Klux Klan

Wiley performing in August 2019. 
Photograph: Joseph Okpako/WireImage
London Wiley, the chart-topping grime rapper and producer, has made antisemitic comments on Twitter, including a statement that places Jews alongside the Ku Klux Klan.

In a string of tweets on Friday, he said: “Listen to me Jewish community Israel is not your country I’m sorry … The Star of David that’s our ting … Some people have gotten too comfortable on lands that don’t belong to them.” He also wrote “Israel is ours”, apparently referring to the black community, later referring to his comments as “Black History Lesson For Today”. The Guardian has contacted his management for comment.

He also advanced an antisemitic trope, that Jewish people control business interests, in an incendiary comparison with the Ku Klux Klan. “There are 2 sets of people who nobody has really wanted to challenge #Jewish & #KKK but being in business for 20 years you start to undestand [sic] why … Red Necks Are the KKK and Jewish people are the Law...Work that out.” He added: “If you work for a company owned by 2 Jewish men and you challenge the Jewish community in anyway of course you will get fired.”

He later rejected the charge of antisemitism, saying: “Forget anti Semitic racism is racism and ya can’t hide the fact that systemic racism exists and it wasn’t set up by us”.

Danny Stone, chief executive of Antisemitism Policy Trust, said: “The parallel is offensive & the inference is antisemitic. Jews and money. Dress it up however you like.”

Elsewhere in the tweets, Wiley switches focus: “I can see and feel the Arab control presence around Africa and I don’t like it...Looks like a big ol set up...infact I know the set up Europeans and Arabs have got Africa in a headlock”.

He also addressed the coronavirus pandemic, saying: “Fuck the mask and virus it’s all bullshit … it’s a fucking lie.”

His comments were widely criticised, including by journalist Joshua Zitser, who said he perpetuated “age old antisemitic tropes”.

Wiley is credited with being one of the key forces behind grime music, and went on to have a solo No 1 single and two other No 1s with the group Roll Deep. He is known for his combative stance on Twitter, frequently criticising other rappers, such as Drake and Stormzy.

He announced his retirement from grime with his album Godfather 3, though he has continued to release new music.

Source: The Guardian