The children’s charity Barnardo’s is investigating one of its staffers for reportedly sharing inflammatory social media posts, including an image that resulted in Naz Shah MP’s suspenion from the Labour Party in 2016.
Rubina Halim, a Barnardo’s teacher, shared an image on Facebook that situates Israel in the middle of the United States and calls for the relocation of Israel to America. She added the comment: “The perfect solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.”
This was the same image for which Naz Shah MP apologised and was suspended from the Labour Party in 2016 under then Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Labour’s Deputy Chair of Newham Council, Cllr Nazir Ahmed, was also suspended for sharing the same image earlier this year.
Ms Halim made the inflammatory post on Facebook. In a separate post, she stated that Israel has “governments around the world in their pockets” and alluded to how Israel “controlled and manipulated” the media.
“Think about their spyware – can they not hack anyone anywhere? Think about how [Israel] have governments around the world in their pockets,” the Facebook post read. It continued: “Think about how the media is controlled and manipulated.”
Ms Halim’s posts were not limited to Facebook, however, as it appeared that she had shared several more on LinkedIn, including one that depicted an American dollar bill, folded into the shape of a Star of David. On a separate post, another comment written by Ms Halim read: “Are you surprised that the UK government have been bought by Israel.”
Ms Halim also appeared to endorse a controversial post that was shared by a user who went by the name of Mohammed Sadat Ali, in which he shared an article titled “Jewish Faith, Talmud, and Zionist in Islamic Review”. Mr Ali wrote that the article explained “why the Jewish state of Israel is referred to as a racist, chauvinistic, theocratic, conservative and highly dogmatic state,” a post that Ms Halim shared and added: “Need to read this!”
In response to the criticism surrounding her post, Ms Halim said: “I am not antisemitic and truly do not recognise how my post could be described as antisemitic. My sincerest apologies if my post has offended you in any way.”
In a statement, Barnardo’s said: “We would like to assure the public that these are strictly the personal views of the staff member and do not represent the views of Barnardo’s. Barnardo’s does not tolerate any kind of racism, including antisemitism and all our staff and volunteers are required to adhere to strict codes of conduct and policies on equality and diversity. The individual has been instructed to remove the offending content immediately and firm action has been taken pending a full and thorough investigation.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.