Zarah Sultana, 26, Labour’s candidate for the Coventry South seat in the UK House of Commons, on Monday night apologized for her online post that suggested she would rejoice in the deaths of former UK PM Tony Blair and current Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, which she explained had been written out of her frustration, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
Coventry South is part of the county of the West Midlands who last elected a Conservative MP in 1960 – and since then it has been Labour all the way down.
Last week, after Sultana had won Labour’s nomination to replace MP Jim Cunningham (first elected in 1997), folks at the Chronicle looked at her online history and discovered that back in 2015, as part of a discussion of whether it was appropriate to celebrate someone’s demise, she tweeted: “Try and stop me when the likes of Blair, Netanyahu and Bush die.”
She also expressed her support for Arab “violent resistance” against the Israeli occupation in Judea and Samaria (but not in those words).
Her apology came mostly in the form of an explanation: “I posted these tweets five years ago when I was a student, from an account I then deleted. I wrote them out of frustration rather than malice, in response to the endless cycles of global suffering, violence and needless killing resulting from decisions by political leaders. In particular, the Iraq War and the killing of over 2000 Palestinians in 2014, mostly civilians, which was condemned by the United Nations. I do not support violence and I should not have articulated my anger in the manner I did, for which I apologize.”
Of course, she actually wrote “apologise.”
She went on to explain that “criticism of Israel is not, of course, anti-Semitic in and of itself.”
So, file wishing Netanyahu a quick and joyous death under “criticism.”
She also innovated the following troublesome notion: “And I believe that the conflation between the actions and policies of the Israeli government with the beliefs and actions of Jewish people can itself be a form of anti-Semitism.”
You got that one? Zionism + Judaism equals anti-Semitism.
“I wholeheartedly condemn anti-Semitism – whether it is propagated by the far-right or tolerated and unchallenged by some on the left,” Sultana insisted. “As an anti-racist campaigner and a Muslim, I’m committed to fighting racism in all its forms and I know that these forms are interconnected and must be fought collectively.
“For me, the liberation of my Jewish comrades from the scourge of anti-Semitism is indivisible from my own liberation.
“I have marched against the anti-Semitic far-right all my life and if elected as the Labour MP for Coventry South, I will do all I can to support my Jewish constituents and to stand with them in fighting the prejudice and oppression they face.”