A 2020 video podcast featured an interview with the antisemitic hate preacher David Icke, who explained to Mr Rose how Israel was was using the COVID-19 pandemic to “test its technology”. He then went on to detail how the Jewish state was supposedly responsible for orchestrating the 9/11 attacks, and that a group of American “ultra-Zionists” were responsible for covering up the story.
Mr Icke also suggested that there was a hidden hand of “ultra-Zionist extremists” who run the world through a series of shadowy organisations. In addition, he referenced the Rothschild family and its supposed role in the “Illuminati”, another common antisemitic trope.
Mr Rose failed to challenge Mr Icke on any of his points during the interview.
Mr Rose also drew the ire of fellow mayoral candidate, Luisa Porritt. Ms Porritt, running as a candidate for the Liberal Democrats, criticised Mr Rose’s passivity, stating: “No candidate seeking to represent our diverse and liberal city should be giving a platform to sickening, antisemitic conspiracy theories about the tragedy of 9/11. Brian Rose is not only weird but dangerous and he should withdraw immediately.”
However, when questioned on hosting Mr Icke, Mr Rose did not believe he had acted inappropriately. He stated: “When he was on my show we didn’t discuss these things and I don’t allow anything illegal to be discussed. We weren’t discussing what you were talking about. You’re reading off titles, but I’m talking about what content was – I believe in freedom of speech, I believe in people.”
Ofcom sanctioned the television channel London Live for originally airing the video last year.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It is very worrying that Brian Rose would see fit to interview the antisemitic hate preacher David Icke, let alone not to challenge him when he peddled antisemitic tropes about Rothschilds, 9/11 conspiracies and claims about Israel using coronavirus to ‘test its technology’. London Live was censured by Ofcom for airing the interview, but the fact that it remains on Mr Rose’s website appears to show that, in Mr Rose’s judgement, Mr Icke’s views should be promoted.”
Mr Icke uses social media, his books and his stage performances to incite hatred. His preaching is so absurd that since the 1990s he has been dismissed as a crank, but because he is dismissed, there has been no major opposition to him and he has built up a following of thousands upon thousands of disciples whom he has persuaded to adamantly believe that the world is in the grip of a conspiracy run by the “Rothschild Zionists”. His repertoire includes conspiracy myths and tropes classified as antisemitic according to the International Definition of Antisemitism, adopted by the British Government. Campaign Against Antisemitism has successfully persuaded some venues to pull out of hosting his events.
After years of pressure from Campaign Against Antisemitism, Mr Icke was banned from most social media platforms.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and candidates and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.