British Labour MP Naz Shah resigned Tuesday from her unpaid post as an aide after a virulently anti-Israel post and one that was plain anti-Semitic, both written on Facebook in 2014, were highlighted this week on the Guido Fawkes political website.
She apologized publicly Tuesday (April 26) on Twitter for both.
I am truly sorry and I will be putting out a more detailed explanation later. pic.twitter.com/x74FDKNCJE
— Naz Shah MP (@NazShahBfd) April 26, 2016
She was careful, however, not to resign from her position on the parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee – which is set to investigate rising anti-Semitism in Britain.
The first offensive post was displayed within the context of an article on the Guido Fawkes political website that explained Shah had “argued Israel should be ‘relocated’ to America and praised the ‘transportation costs’ of deporting Israeli Jews out of the Middle East.” (italics courtesy of Guido Fawkes site) “As these stories go, it is at the more controversial end of the scale…” the writer noted.
Shah had shared a graphic showing an outline of the State of Israel, superimposed on to a map of the United States with the headline “Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States.” The graphic adds:
• “America has plenty of land to accommodate a 51st state;
• The transportation cost will be less than 3 years of defense 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.”
Shah added a comment to the graphic: “Problem solved and save u bank charges for 3 billion pounds you transfer yearly.” In the comments section she 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 then added: “Therefore I will tweet Barack Obama and David Cameron and put this idea to them? Save them pocket money?”
All of her 2014 Facebook posts have since been deleted, prompting one to wonder just what else she had opined during that year in which Israel had been forced into another defensive counter terror war with Hamas in Gaza.
For example, Shah had also posted a link on Facebook to a newspaper poll asking whether Israel had committed war crimes, urging her constituents to vote “yes.” Her post screamed in capital letters, “URGENT ACTION… WILL TAKE TEN SECONDS (link) The Jews are rallying to the poll at the bottom and there is now 87% disagreeing and 13% agreeing. CLICK “YES” I AGREE WITH JOHN PRESCOTT THAT ISRAEL IS COMMITTING WAR CRIMES.” FORWARD ON TO ALL CONTACTS RIGHT NOW.”
As the Guido Fawkes site noted, she had also tweeted a link to a blog post comparing Zionism to Al Qaeda, and accusing Zionists of “grooming” Jews to “exert political influence at the highest levels of public office.”
Shah, who is Muslim, was elected to the British parliament the next year, in 2015. She defeated incumbent George Galloway, who had declared his district off-limits to all Israelis, including tourists.
As she stepped down Tuesday from her unpaid position as Parliamentary Private Secretary to shadow chancellor John McDonnell, the virulently anti-Israel post and a another deeply anti-Semitic one were both made public.
It was the British Jewish Chronicle who had published that second post, reporting that in August 2014, Shah had tweeted the link to a blog called ‘Walk Together.’
On that blog an article entitled “Colonization, Israel, Palestinian resistance and…”, claimed Zionism was “like Al Qaeda.” This was the article that claimed Zionism is used to “groom” Jews to “exert political influence at the highest levels of public office.”
When the Home Affairs Select Committee publishes its report on its investigation into Britain’s rising anti-Semitism, the findings should be most illuminating.
Perhaps the committee members can begin with a mirror as an initial exercise.
A Labour MP said earlier this month the party is starting to look as if it doesn’t care about prejudice against Jewish people.
“We have now got a problem where too many of our Jewish members and people out there in the country think the Labour Party is apathetic to anti-Semitism,” said MP Wes Streeting.
Former Labour parliamentary candidate Vicki Kirby was suspended twice last month over tweets in which she called Hitler a “Zionist God” and said Jews have “big noses.”
Prominent British politician Lord Michael Abraham Levy sounded the alarm in March that anti-Semitism is rising in the Labour Party. Levy has threatened to leave the fold if something is not done to stem the tide.
The Jewish peer has been a chief fundraiser for Labour, and is a longtime friend of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair.