Government Condemns Racism And Antisemitism

The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, is to refer recent anti-Semitic comments made in respect of Marlene Hassan Nahon, to the Royal Gibraltar Police for investigation as aggravated racism.

A statement from the Government follows below:

The Government roundly and unhesitatingly condemns the racist and anti-Semitic comments which have been made by some in respect of Together Gibraltar MP Marlene Hassan Nahon. 

Based on untruths about Ms Hassan Nahon holding dual nationality with Israel, some persons on social media have suggested that Ms Hassan Nahon should somehow not be trusted. 

These allegations clearly seek to bring people’s estimation of Ms Hassan Nahon down by reason of her religion. 

The Chief Minister, as Leader of House, will refer these comments to the Royal Gibraltar Police for investigation as aggravated racism. Mr Picardo will also address the Parliament tomorrow in respect of these comments. 

Mr Picardo said: “Challenging and robust political debate about ideas and policies is what makes our nation such a rich, diverse and respectful democracy. For that reason, we must all decry and denounce those of a small minority who fail themselves and all of us by making racist and anti- Semitic statements about a Member of our Parliament based on her religion. This is in addition to insults also apparently made about her relating to her ethnicity and which she has rightly countered in correspondences and which I am also reviewing. 

“My Government and I disagree with Marlene on many things and agree on many others – but our debate is about our differing policies and ideas on how we each think we can improve Gibraltar for all Gibraltarians and residents of Gibraltar. We have had to read similar comments recently insulting the Minister for Transport, Business and the Port arising from his ethnicity. For some to make racist and anti-Semitic remarks as part of supposed political debate is just anathema, alien, to the Gibraltar I know and love. 

“People who say these things do so because they have lost the argument and can only attack a person's religion or ethnicity when they have no arguments of substance left. Gibraltar is let down by such people who do not have the first understanding of democracy, respect and debate. I will be saying more about this in Parliament tomorrow, when I will call for solidarity of all members with Ms Hassan Nahon in respect of these grave racist and anti-Semitic insults. As Leader of the House, I will also be referring these comments - and those making them - to the Commissioner of Police."