UK: Union official admits to anti-semitic outburst, apologises (sort of)

About two weeks ago, we reported on an anti-Semitic outburst by a British trade union official at a pro-Palestinian event on 24 October. ¬†Initially, there were denials that he used the term “chosen people” — and it’s true that this bit of the outburst was not on the widely-circulated video of the event. ¬†But it was clearly discernible on the audio version.

Two weeks have passed and Steve Hedley has now issued a statement in which he “apologise[s] to anyone who may have been offended by this remark” and “regret[s] that I was provoked into making statements that could be deliberately and maliciously miscontrued by right-wing Zionists who are openly hostile to trade unions, openly consort with the neo-fascist EDL and who wish to smear my reputation and that of my union.”

Not exactly the sort of apology we would have necessarily wanted to hear, but quite different from earlier denials that anything was said – and different from the usual things we have grown accustomed to hearing from the anti-Israel crowd.