Auntie | 17.02.2006 19:37
RACISTS' 'NO JEW SCHOOL' LEAFLETS
RACISTS have launched a vicious antisemitic campaign to block King David schools' £15 million relocation plans.
Leaflets have been distributed to homes surrounding the proposed site calling for "No Jew school in Heaton Park".
The leaflet claims to have been produced by the British People's Party, whose branding and London address feature prominently.
The self-proclaimed white nationalists call the Holocaust "much-doubted" on their website.
The apparent intervention of far-right activists comes as Manchester City Council's plan to move KD's nursery, infant and junior schools from their present Crumpsall site to Heaton Park goes to public consultation.
Leaflets dropped through letterboxes in Sheepfoot Lane, Prestwich, last Thursday.
The slogan "Supporting the Campaign to Defend our English Park" appears beneath a man holding a Union Jack.
Police have launched a thorough investigation into the leaflet's potential to incite racial hatred.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "We will not tolerate any acts of racial discrimination and are committed to working with local communities to tackle any issues that may arise."
Sheepfoot Lane resident Liz Travis said it was "very disturbing and not pleasant" to receive the literature.
Alex Warrents, 18, who lives on the same road, said it was a shame that the BPP had to resort to such measures.
The Manchester Grammar School pupil said his mother showed him a copy of the leaflet.
"I don't think these people object to a school being built, but they object to a Jewish school being built because they're antisemites," Alex said.
He added: "I've no objection to the school whatsoever.
"I think it will be good for the Jewish community."
Alex added that a police officer had called round to talk to the family about the leaflet.
Community Security Trust officials, who are working with GMP, added: "These leaflets have caused great distress to many people."
But officials from the BPP insisted they had no knowledge of the antisemitic campaign.
National organiser Edmund Morrison told the Jewish Telegraph: "We do not endorse it and we utterly condemn it. We are not anti-Jewish."
Mr Morrison added that the BPP leadership must approve any official material while claiming that communists could have produced them in a sabotage bid. National secretary Kevin Watmough blamed anti-fascist groups for planting the leaflets.
"I've nothing against Jews personally," he said. "It's that I think you're a bunch of hypocrites.
"You're always going on about how your race needs defending, how you don't want Jews marrying out. Yet we say the same thing and we're a bunch of Nazis."
Policy 23 on the BPP's list of objectives is: "Complete opposition to Zionism and the State of Israel as weapons of the New World Order."
And an article by "spiritual leader" John Tyndall, "Why we don't need Jewish candidates", is flagged up on the BPP website.
Julia Kennedy, who is leading opposition to KD's move through the Heaton Park Action Group, is concerned that the BPP leaflets may have harmed their campaign.
She maintained that her grievances have nothing to do with religion - they are just aimed at protecting the park.
"We're totally supportive of the need to move, but just not to Heaton Park," she said.
Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, declared the leaflets to be "completely outrageous".
He said that he had been shown a copy and had sent it to the police.
Sir Howard added: "I just cannot understand why somebody would do this. It's totally racist."
Joshua Rowe, King David High School chairman of governors, said the leaflets were appalling.
Mr Rowe added: "It's a reflection of the blatant antisemitism that's alive and well on the streets of our community."
But he claimed that the racism will improve the chances of the building going ahead.
"People may be scared to oppose the move as they may not want to be associated with racism," he explained.
Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on 0161-872 5050