3 British City Councilmen Suspended in Labour Anti-Semitism Purge
A third British city councilman was suspended by the Labour Party on Monday for tweeting anti-Semitic comments.
Shah Hussain, a member of the Burnley Borough Council in Lancashire, was suspended hours after two other lawmakers who had made anti-Israel statements on social media were suspended.
An investigation will be launched into tweets Hussain sent to the Israeli soccer player Yossi Benayoun in 2014, the Labour Party announced Monday evening.
One of the tweets, from July of that year during the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, read “you and your country doing the same thing that hitler did to ur race in ww2.” Another tweet, which uses the hashtag #FreePalestine, tells Benayoun: “Yossi, ur an idiot” and expresses sadness that a competing player “didn’t kick you hard enough in the head.”
Also Monday, Ilyas Aziz, a lawmaker in Nottingham in north-central England, was suspended hours after the Guido Fawkes British political watchdog website posted screenshots of his Facebook posts, including one from July 2014 calling for the relocation of Israeli Jews.
Other of Aziz’s posts shown on Guido Fawkes included one comparing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews and another perpetuating the blood libel myth that reads “Stop drinking Gaza’s blood.” Another post shows an Israeli flag with the words “God didn’t give you the land – the UK did … Illegally” superimposed on it.
The former mayor of Blackburn, also in Lancashire, Salim Mulla, was suspended less than an hour after his anti-Israel posts were outed, also by Guido Fawkes.
Mulla, whose Twitter profile said he was born in India, charged in an August 2015 Facebook post that Israel is behind ISIS. A month earlier he posted a conspiracy theory video blaming Israel for the Sandy Hook elementary school murders in Connecticut, adding his own comment that “He is talking facts.” A June 2015 post reads ”Zionist Jews are a disgrace to humanity.”
The suspensions come days after Labour suspended a British Parliament member, Naz Shah, for a 2014 Facebook post calling for relocating the entire State of Israel to the United States.
On Thursday, the party suspended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone for saying that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist for advocating in 1932 a policy of moving Europe’s Jews to Israel.
The following day, Labour said it would launch an investigation into anti-Semitism in the party. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn also said in a statement that he would propose a new party code of conduct that would “make explicitly clear for the first time that Labour will not tolerate any form of racism, including anti-Semitism, in the party.”
Corbyn, a harsh critic of Israel who has called Hezbollah and Hamas activists “friends,” has been criticized for not doing enough to curb the rising anti-Semitic rhetoric in his party.