Today, in the span of five hours, the British Labour party suspended three officials for anti-Semitic statements made on social media. This action comes on the heels of the suspensions of Labour parliament member Naz Shah and former mayor of London Ken Livingstone, also for anti-Semitic offenses. The deepening scandal has cast a shadow over the upcoming elections across Britain, including the race for London’s next mayor.
All three Labour officials suspended today were local party councillors. The first was Nottingham councillor Ilyas Aziz, who advocated relocating Israel to America and posted a meme from anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist David Icke alleging that the Rothschilds control Britain.
The second suspended official was former Blackburn mayor and current councillor Salim Mulla. He also posted on Facebook advocating the relocation of Israel to America, in addition to arguing that Israel was behind ISIS and its terror attacks. Mulla also approvingly posted video claiming Israel perpetrated the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown. When confronted, he defended himself by saying, “I have very, very many Jewish friends.”
The third official suspended was Burnley Labour councillor Shah Hussain, who was found to have likened Israel to Hitler and Nazi Germany in tweets directed at an Israeli soccer player.
It is important to note that these suspensions are not expulsions, but rather temporary measures taken pending investigation of the individuals. In fact, in March, the Labour party reinstated another councillor who had previously been suspended for claiming that Israel was behind ISIS.
As such, whether these latest suspensions are evidence that the party leadership is taking its anti-Semitism problem seriously, or whether they are simply a way to sweep it under the rug before this week’s elections, remains to be seen.
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