Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Naz Shah has resigned. Naz Shah has resigned. © Twitter

MP resigns after alleged anti-Semitic comments

THE MP for Bradford, Naz Shah, has stepped down from her position over her previous anti-Semitic Facebook posts. The ex-Parliamentary private secretary to shadow Chancellor John McDonnell ranted on social media that Israeli Jews should be relocated to the US.  

Since the massive blunder Shah stated: “I deeply regret the hurt I have caused.” It emerged later that she had stepped down as PPS to McDonnell.

Shah also shared a picture on Facebook of the outline of Israel superimposed onto the United States with the headline, ‘Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States’, and added the comment “problem solved.”

Aspiring politicians should always think before they tweet as the post in question dates back to 2014, nine months before Shah even became an MP. The post also stated that Americans would welcome Israeli Jews with open arms and that the relocating the Jews would bring peace to the Middle East by putting an end to “foreign interference.”

With plenty of land to accommodate the Israelis, Shah suggested US create a 51st state, allowing Palestinians to “get their life and their land back.” She also added a smiley face emoji and added that the plan would save the US some “pocket money,” as the transportation costs would be less than the amount currently used on defence spending. 

Shah’s initial statement read: “This post from two years ago was made before I was an MP, does not reflect my views and I apologise for any offence it has caused.”

In an ironic twist, Shah was a member of the House of Commons home affairs select committee, which was conducting an inquiry into the rise of anti-Semitism.

The Labour party released a statement stating Shah´s comments: “I deeply regret the hurt I have caused by comments made on social media before I was elected as an MP.

“I made these posts at the height of the Gaza conflict in 2014, when emotions were running high around the Middle East conflict. But that is no excuse for the offence I have given, for which I unreservedly apologise.

“In recognition of that offence I have stepped down from my role as PPS to the shadow chancellor John McDonnell. I will be seeking to expand my existing engagement and dialogue with Jewish community organisations, and will be stepping up my efforts to combat all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism.”

 “One cannot simply apologise for ‘any offence caused’ and expect evidence of gross and brazen anti-Semitism to disappear,” Jonathan Sacerdoti, director of communications at the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism said.

He continued: “Once again the Labour party has been revealed to have within its ranks people who express extreme prejudice towards Jewish people in their public statements. Once again the party has failed to find these statements itself, and reject those who freely and willingly express them.

“How can we believe Labour when it says it takes the problem of Jew-hatred seriously when it repeatedly defends anti-Semitic MPs? It seems that Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-racism policy only operates when convenient.”

“We have offered to assist the select committee in its work investigating anti-Semitism. However, if Naz Shah remains on the committee it will be hard for those of us giving evidence to take the inquiry seriously,” he added. 

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