In the most high-profile incident yet of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, it has emerged that Bradford West MP Naz Shah called for the State of Israel to be removed from the Middle East and “relocated” to the United States.
In a Facebook post dating from 5th August 2014, uncovered by the Guido Fawkes blog and since deleted, the Labour MP shared a graphic arguing for the “transportation” of the Jewish Israeli population out of the Middle East and into the US. She claimed in the post that the “transportation costs” of deporting Israelis would be “less than 3 years of defence spending”.
It has now also emerged Ms Shah urged people on Facebook to back suggestions Israel was “committing war crimes” in a poll in 2014 and said that “the Jews are rallying” to vote.
A new report released this afternoon revealed that Ms Shah had made another Facebook post comparing Israelis to Hitler. In September 2014 she posted the words “#APARTHEID ISRAEL”, above a graphic which stated: “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal”.
In light of the new report, CFI Parliamentary Chairman, Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP wrote on Twitter: “Surely after comparing Israelis to Hitler, Naz Shah cannot remain a Labour MP? Her remarks bring shame to her party and to Bradford”.
Today, Ms Shah resigned as Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s PPS, and her position on the Home Affairs Select Committee is now in question. The Committee is currently investigating anti-Semitism in the UK.
Several leading Conservatives have today called on Jeremy Corbyn and Labour to take decisive action and dismiss the Bradford West MP in light of her racist remarks. Many of them have drawn attention to a promise made by the Labour Shadow Chancellor to remove any Labour member espousing anti-Semitic views.
MP for Hertsmere, Oliver Dowden, has written to Jeremy Corbyn this afternoon to demand Ms Shah’s expulsion from the party. He wrote: “Could you confirm that this zero tolerance approach will be applied to the shadow Chancellor’s former Parliamentary Private Secretary? A failure to act would call into question the commitment of the Labour Party to deal with wholly unacceptable behaviour and would constitute a betrayal of the values that all those who believe in democracy should uphold”.
CFI Parliamentary Chairman, Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP said: “These harmful words echo the acts of hate and intolerance we as a country have always stood against and for them to come from a Member of Parliament about to conduct an inquiry into the rise of anti-Semitism is outrageous. I would urge Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to take immediate action”.
Calling on the “cancer” of anti-Semitism to be eradicated from the Labour Party, CFI Honorary President, Lord Polak CBE said: “One can only conclude that the Labour Party tolerates these kind of comments – which are coming thick and fast now – otherwise they would act. The time has long passed for Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan to take decisive action to eradicate this cancer from their Party”.
Finchley and Golders Green MP, Mike Freer, said: “She is another example of the poison that is coursing through the Labour Party. She should have the whip withdrawn and she should recuse herself from the Home Affairs inquiry into anti-Semitism”.
CFI Officer, Oliver Dowden MP said: “It is completely unacceptable for anyone to use phrases like “transportation” and “solution” when it comes to Israel. Labour’s Naz Shah must know the dark historic significance they have for Jewish people. The Home Affairs Select Committee on which she sits is to conduct an inquiry into the rise of anti-Semitism; this raises serious questions about her fitness for it”.
David Morris MP said: “These posts are simply disgraceful and will upset people in all parties. Labour can’t just brush this under carpet – Naz Shah should have the whip removed immediately”.
James Cleverly MP said: “There is no place for anti-Semitism in politics, Jeremy Corbyn must now show he’s willing to deal with it in his party. Why has the Labour whip not been withdrawn from Naz Shah?”
Michael Fabricant MP said: “Naz Shah has appeared to have out done George Galloway in sheer spite and loathing. Her sitting on a Home Office inquiry into antisemitism means she will bring her own personal expertise to the Committee. If it weren’t so tragic, it would be laughable”.
Suella Fernandes MP said: “In light of these comments, it is entirely inappropriate for Naz Shah to remain on the Home Affairs Select Committee. How can an inquiry into anti-Semitism be taken seriously if it is conducted by someone who has expressed these disgusting views”.
Andrew Bridgen MP said: “If Jeremy Corbyn was serious about tackling anti-Semitism, he would put his money where his mouth is and remove the whip from Naz Shah immediately”.
The graphic posted by Ms Shah read: “Solution for Israel-Palestine conflict. Relocate Israel into the United States”. It was accompanied by a map of America with a small section representing Israel shaded in.
It went on: “Israelis are most loved by Americans. Americans will welcome Israelis with open arms into their homes….America has plenty of land to accommodate Israel as its 51st states. Israel can have a real safe Jewish state surrounded by friendly states. America will no longer have to spend $3 billion tax payer money per year for Israel’s defense…The transportation costs will be less than 3 years of defence spending. Palestinians will get their land and life back. Middle East will again be peaceful without foreign interference. Oil prices will go down, inflation will go down, whole world will be happy”.
In the comments section Naz Shah wrote: “Only problem with that is Israel would need to return all the land and farms it has stolen and give the Palestinians rights which is not possible”.
She added: “Therefore I will tweet Barack Obama and David Cameron and put this idea to them? Save them pocket money?”
Ms Shah made the following statement today: “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”.