Naz Shah MP

A number of British Jewish voices came out in support of Naz Shah MP today after her apology and suspension yesterday from Labour.

Her former Facebook posts were widely criticised for their anti-semitic nature.

The Jewish Labour Movement group issued a statement yesterday:

Naz Shah is a politician who is clearly on a political journey, from a Respect firebrand in the choppy waters of local Bradford politics to the Labour Party. She courageously stood up to George Galloway’s bigotry at the General Election. However, her historic remarks and posting were repugnant and completely unacceptable.

Her contrition expressed over the past day seems to be genuine and sincere. This is part of that journey. We are optimistic that she will now take steps to deepen her understanding of Jewish identity. We do not ask or expect her to mute her criticism of the actions and policies of the Israeli government. We do ask and expect her to build upon her apology and contrition with a programme of education and action that includes standing up to anti-Semitism on the left and within the Palestine Solidarity Movement.

This afternoon, the Ham And High reported that Rabbi Janner-Klausner said she didn’t believe Naz Shah was anti-semitic, and wanted to take her to Israel to show her a different side to the country

I’m certain that she is up for change and learning, and from the point of view of a modelling change in Britain, that is excellent. If only we could all do that in our lives because we know that racism and as and homophobia are all out there.

I would love to take Naz to Israel and to the territories not just to the Holocaust Museum, just down to the street or to hang out in a café because that’s how you learn about normality.

 

She got support from newspaper commentators too.

 

…and some local support

 

 

An investigation is still pending, however

 

  1. Shirley Dent says:

    I have no doubt that Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone understand that protocol needs to be followed and they will be exonerated from any wrong-doing and reinstated. With that will hopefully raise the awareness needed, regarding the Israeli slaughter of Palestiniens as opposed to Jewish behaviour in general. If they are not reinstated, as a Labour Party supporter, I would have to rethink my allegiance – which took much to win back after Blair & Iraq

  2. Sally Carter says:

    Totally agree with Shirley Dent above. One risks accusations of racism to criticise the Israeli government on any level these days. I can think of no other administration which is beyond criticism. The “anti-Semite” tag is too easily hurled at anyone who dares to question the conduct of the Israeli army or the country’s policy towards Palestinians. I only joined the Labour Party since Jeremy Corbyn’s election; this seems to me like a campaign to destabilise him. I am very, very disappointed.

  3. Agree with both the above. I would like clarity as to whether criticism of Israel’s policies and conduct (the wall, the illegal settlements, the execution) is classed as anti-Semitism. It would clarify just what people are being accused of.

  4. David Foxall says:

    What on earth is “Jewish Behaviour” Shirley Dent?.

    Naz Shah has shown sufficient contrition for what she posted and for that reason i do not wish her suspension to become permanent. However she needs to learn that as a representative of an area with large Muslim population that she needs to behave responsibly and not fan the flames of racial hatred.

    Ken Livingstone for me is irredeemable, Of course there is no link between showing concern for the plight of the Palestinians and racial discrimination nor is is it racist to be scathing of Israels actions.
    Suggesting that the country should be relocated or linking Hitler to Zionism is informed by racial prejudice however.

  5. In France you can actually be arrested for calling to boycott Israeli products. I hope it’s not going that way in Britain.

  6. As someone who joined the Labour Party again because of Jeremy Corbyn, I am disappointed at his capitulation to the Tory demands, whose opportunistic use of this issue to detract from their myriad of failings. The State of a Israel and it’s treatment of the Palestinians cannot be above reproach. That way lies Facism, I can support the Palestinians right to exist without any hatred of Jewish people.

  7. I’m jewish but not Zionist, like most of the Jewish people I know. I have been unable to attend any event for the Palestinian people for years because of the constant overwhelming antisemitic hate speech. I’m just fine with criticisms of Israel, I have plenty of my own to add. But a lot of people in the Palestinian movement don’t seem to be able to distinguish between blaming Israel and blaming the Jews. It makes me feel very threatened. This has been going on for years.

  8. juliet solomon says:

    Everybody seems to need a permanent scapegoat for everything. A lot of people make unthought, off the cuff comments which mean very little and which will never be followed up by any kind of action. If I say “I’d like to kill x!” (most members of the Cabinet) I don’t mean I am going to do anything about it; it’s just how I feel. If I went back into politics, I suppose all those remarks would somehow become significant.

    One of the ways human beings improve is by making mistakes, having them pointed out, and thinking. Ms Shah seems to have done this. Better to have a reformed “sinner” than one of the smug prigs who don’t often make that kind of mistake (but instead, commit huge crimes against decent human existence). This is, however, no longer considered acceptable – and that’s the reason why the chap who opened the Hillsbrough gate was scared to own up to it.

  9. So when did she change her views? Why didn’t she make that public then, voluntarily, rather than wait to be confronted? she obviously didn’t think it that important. Or it was a very recent realisation, eg when it became politically convenient, last week?

  10. Maria, what change in views? She is still a fierce opponent of the Israeli regime all that has happened after the Hasbara trolling is she has clarified that it is Israel she takes issue with and not the entire Jewish people. Like many others I despise the Israeli government and their policies even more than I despise our own Government, that does not mean I am anti-Semitic anymore than I am anti-british.

  11. Seems like anyone who criticises Israel or supports the Palestine state are rampant anti semitic extremists.We must stop this ridiculous fascism!

  12. Naz Shah’s comments were unacceptable and unthoughtful. I welcome her apology.

    Ken Livingstone’s were unacceptable, malign and thought through. He is quite unapologetic. He has form.

    Those of us who are particularly critical of many policies of the Israeli government and are appalled by the situation of the Palestinians have nothing but contempt for Livingstone and his determined self-promotion.

  13. Hannah Slade says:

    I’m a Jew and truly believe, It is not anti-Semitic to oppose the unbridled Israeli colonial settlement programme on the West Bank, to oppose the frequently brutal treatment of Palestinians, the seizure of their land, the imprisonment of their children and the denial of their basic human rights to self-determination and self-governance.

  14. Anthony Collins says:

    I am a member of the Palestine movement as are many Jews I have even met Israeli Jews who served in the IDF who are members of the PSC and they have much to contribute and are made most welcome.

    There are also Jewish organisations work very the get justice for the Palestinians.
    “Jews For Justice For Palestine”(jfjfp) “Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods,(JBIG), “Judaism against Zionism”, “Jews For Peace” to name a few.

    I admit there are people who wrongly blame Jews for the crimes of Israel but you will not find them in the Palestine movement

  15. when the bnp shut down,most of there anti semite supporters joined the labour partry when corbyn got elected,

  16. Stephanie Samat says:

    I’m not anti Semitic, but we have to be allowed to criticise Israel on its treatment of Palestinians. It’s all too easy for those being criticised to immediately through the anti Semitic card

  17. Jens Bollarod says:

    Think most of you are missing the point – her comments weren’t about the Israeli Govt. but the whole of Israel. I’ve read her apology in full and remain to be convinced these aren’t the words of someone who has no other option in an attempt to save what’s left of her reputation. Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt then and wait for the Labour party investigation. That still leaves me wondering why so many people who probably couldn’t find Israel on a map, let alone visited it have such an obsession with it. No country is above criticism but one in particular is held to higher standards than any other – Israel. If you want to criticise it get your facts right – don’t be lazy and rely on openly anti Israel propaganda, READ some history, and while you’re at it consider how you’d feel and behave living with neighbours who openly call for your death and destruction.

  18. It happens. There is massive anti-Muslim feeling these days because of ISIS and terrorism. There was massive anti-Irish feeling when the iRA were bombing London. Any anti-Jewish feeling is entirely due to Israel killing Palestinians and taking their land.

  19. Jan Wallace says:

    I am a tad confused about this whole issue, was it the retweeting of the diagram depicting the relocation of the state of Israel to the USA or was there something else written by her that I’ve not seen. Perhaps I’m risking being anti semitic when I ask why this satirical diagram by Norman Finkelstein has caused so much offence ? Is there anyone out there that can tell me ?

  20. Cantsayasdontwanttogetkilled says:

    The explicit and implicit anti-semitism being expressed is deeply offensive. I know many say it is just about Israel’s foreign policy but to be honest I am always suspicious of people who particularly hate Israel yet are not bothered about other terrible regimes around the world. I would like both Israel and the Palestinians to enjoy peace in their own lands, but many do not want this, they just want to destoy Israel and are willing to see Palestinian people suffer to achieve this goal. Also Israel is compared to South Africa yet Jews returned to Israel after being expelled by the Romans (who were crucifying 500 Jews a day at the time before finally expelling them) and they have then been made scape goats and persecuted time after time. They just want a homeland where they can live in peace how is this fascist, surely the many who want to destroy Israel are the fascists?

  21. gentletruth says:

    That many Jews in the global diaspora have yearned for a return to an ancient homeland, and for the security implied by it, is understandable and respectable.
    Zionism is grounded in that ancient yearning, but the ends don’t always justify the means. Modern political Zionism is ALSO just another of those other 19th century European nationalisms that emerged in reaction to Napoleon and the ensuing ethnocratic tendencies amongst European elites. Whereas previously the power of governments and rulers had been “divinely” decreed (absurdly so), the legitimacy of modern nation-states has been excessively grounded on ethnocratic legitimacy. Ethnic cleansing was justified not just by Nazis, but even after WWII (e.g. Yugoslavia/Bosnia).
    Zionism may be motivated by a Jewish desire for refuge, but it’s approach and methods (occupation & expulsion) were also very much instructed by what’s transpired in Europe over the past two centuries, condemnation of which isn’t motivated by hatred.

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