NEW YORK (Feb. 26)
An official of the Board of Deputies of British Jews has described as “an irresponsible use of language” the characterization by a British rock star of the Holocaust as “a perverted tea party” compared to the present situation in Ethiopia.
Bob Geldorf, lead singer of the Boomtown Rats, made the comment on the Holocaust after receiving a special presentation earlier this month at the Phonograph Industry’s annual awards’ ceremony in London, broadcast live on BBC television and radio.
Geldorf inspired the Band Aid project last year which brought together numerous British rock musicians to record the hugely successful single, “Do They Know Its Christmas Time,” the proceeds of which have gone to aid famine victims in Ethiopia. Geldorf has personally visited Ethiopia to present officials there with funds for famine aid.
Board of Deputies defense chief, Dr. Jacob Gerwitz, told the weekly Jewish Telegraph of Britain that “it was tasteless remark, but it didn’t appear to be meant in an offensive way. He was obviously more concerned with the victims of the drought in Ethiopia.
“This is just a form of over-statement which a scholar wouldn’t have made and not something we would complain about … In all such cases, we examine the motive. There is no evidence that he meant to minimize the Holocaust. This was just an irresponsible use of language,” Gerwitz said.