Former UK Labor mayor forced to resign from party after anti-Semitic row

“The party didn't give me a fair hearing to listen to my side before the suspension," former Bradford mayor Khadim Hussain said.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 2, 2016 16:29
2 minute read.
British parliament

A woman holds a Union flag umbrella in front of the Big Ben clock tower (R) and the Houses of Parliament in London. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Offensive social media posts about Jews and Israel have forced the former mayor of an English city to resign from the UK Labor party, The Jewish Chronicle reported Saturday.

Former Lord Mayor of Bradford Khadim Hussain said he is quitting Labor after it was revealed that he had uploaded several offensive posts to Facebook, including a suggestion that Israel was surreptitiously arming international terror organization Islamic State.


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Hussain, 57, has also been accused of promoting a derogatory Facebook post aimed at Holocaust education. The post states:  “Your school education system only tells you about Anne Frank and the six million Zionists that were killed by Hitler.”


Speaking to The Jewish Chronicle in response to the allegations, the native-born Pakistani immigrant denied he was in anyway anti-Semitic, but said after receiving no reply to a letter sent to Labor officials clarifying his alleged actions, he was "left with no choice” but to quit the party.


“The party didn't give me a fair hearing to listen to my side before the suspension," Hussain said.

"That left me with no choice to sever my links with the party. I made this decision with heavy heart and extreme sadness because I still believe in social justice and equality. I worked hard for interfaith dialogue and community cohesion. I will continue to play my role in that regard,” he added.


The incident is just the latest in a string of ostensibly anti-Semitic incidences emanating from Labor party officials and members over the past few months.


In march, Labor candidate for parliament Vicky Kirby was suspended (for the second time) after she posted tweets stating that Jews have “big noses” and “slaughter the oppressed.”


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The episode came shortly after Oxford Labor Union Club co-chairmen Alex Chambers quit his position with the the organization after he claimed the OLUC  had “some kind of problem with Jews.”


In a post on Facebook, Chambers explained that his decision was made in light of the Oxford University Labor Club’s decision to endorse Israel Apartheid Week on campus, stating that “the attitudes of certain members of the club towards certain disadvantaged groups was becoming poisonous."


In addition, Labor found embarrassment earlier this year after having readmitted party member Gerry Downing after he was suspended the previous year for making public statements referring to "The Jewish Question."


The "Jewish Question" refers to a centuries old debate in Europe pertaining to the appropriate status and treatment of Jews in society.


Downing also found controversy in 2014 when he referred to "Hamas heroism" in a tweet posted in 2014. 


He was subsequently fired from the party once more in March.


Head of the opposition Labor party, Jeremy Corbyn, has denied that anti-Semitism was a pervasive problem within his faction, and said that the Labor has been unequivocal in its condemnation of racism in any form.


"[Since] I became leader I’ve absolutely condemned anti-Semitism, I’ve condemned Islamophobia, I’ve condemned any form of racism anywhere in our society," Corbyn told Sky News in a recent interview


"It is absolutely something I totally passionately believe in and I’m disappointed that Lord Levy has made these remarks," he added.


The far-leftist himself has been dogged by allegations of anti-Semitism, and in the past has called terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah "friends." 


JTA and Herb Kenion contributed to this article.


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