Jewish leaders call for URGENT MEETING with Labour over new shadow minister Naz Shah | Politics | News – UK



In 2014 she had shared on Facebook a graphic with Israel’s outline superimposed on a map of America under the headline “Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States”, and the comment: “Problem solved”.

She had also used a Twitter post to urge supporters of Palestinians to vote in an online poll about Israeli military action, claiming “the Jews are rallying” to influence the result.

After being reinstated to Labour, Ms Shah insisted she “wasn’t anti-Semitic” but “what I put out was anti-Semitic”.

She said she had been “stupid and ignorant” about the hatred Jews faced and had not recognised it as racism, and she vowed to win back their support.

After she met Jewish leaders last year for talks on strengthening her relationship with the community, then Board president Jonathan Arkush said she was one of the only people involved in Labour’s “anti-semitism crisis” who had tried to make amends, and she was now seen as “a sincere friend of our community.”

This week after she was promoted in a mini reshuffle to fill vacancies on Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench, a Labour source said: “Her unreserved apology demonstrated a full understanding of why her comment was anti-Semitic and it was welcomed by Jewish groups.

“She has since worked very closely with Jewish community organisations on educating and raising awareness about anti-semitism, and she is held up by many as an example of what people should do if they have made an anti-Semitic comment.”

A spokesperson for the Board said today: “This is an important role, and we look forward to working with Naz Shah on it.

“As we said after meeting her in 2017, Naz Shah is one of the only people involved in Labour’s anti-semitism crisis who has sought to make amends for her actions, and for this we commend her.

“However, since then we have raised various concerns with her, including her attendance at events organised by seriously problematic organisations. “We have asked to meet Naz again soon to discuss the outstanding issues.”

The Board’s concerns are believed to include Ms Shah joining several Labour MPs including Jeremy Corbyn at a meeting last November in Parliament organised by the Muslim Engagement and Development group, Mend, which is accused of previously hosting “extremist Islamist speakers”.

In February this year, she was among Labour MPs attending a meeting where some speakers denounced “false charges of anti-Semitism” and a “purge” of party supporters who had been suspended on charges of anti-Semitism.

The Board has long criticised Mr Corbyn and his team for failing to take anti-Semitism in Labour ranks seriously enough.

Bradford-born mother-of-three Mrs Shah is a former disability rights advocate and mental health charity chief who had a troubled early life.

Her Pakistani mother was married to a violent man who left home to run away with a teenage neighbour, when Ms Shah was six.

The future MP’s mother then suffered more than a decade of rape and beatings by a local gangster, who she was jailed in 1992 for murdering by poison.

Ms Shah’s mother sent her daughter aged 12 to Pakistan to live with her grandparents, to protect her from also suffering at the abuser’s hands. Aged 15 Ms Shah has said she was “emotionally blackmailed” into an arranged marriage.

Labour did not immediately respond to the Board’s call for a meeting with Ms Shah, a source instead repeating their previous comment about how she understood the issues, worked closely with Jewish organisations and was an example of what people should do if they made an anti-Semitic comment.



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