Campaign Against Antisemitism has submitted a complaint against a teacher and former union official who has reportedly referred to “dirty Zionists” and made other inflammatory remarks.
Latifa Abouchakra, who works in Ealing as a Citizenship and PHSE teacher, has reportedly shared a post on social media saying that “Zionism is not just racist and genocidal. It’s stark raving mad”; described the antisemitic terrorist and Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani as a “hero”; and claimed that the antisemitic US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is “considered a threat to the Zionist and Islamophobic elite in America”.
She has also share an image of a Jewish effigy represented as the devil and a post appearing to question why the Holocaust is memorialised at the expense of other genocides. She has further reportedly described Israel as an “illegal” and “colonial” state; talked of “Zionist elites” and complained of “Zionist influence in American politics”.
She also claimed, after a football player unveiled a Palestinian Authority flag at a match, that “Apparently the dirty Zionists have been complaining to Leicester City FC re the players showing their support for Palestine”.
At an event two years ago, the notorious antisemite Tony Greenstein reportedly stated that “Nazi Germany in a sense built the state of Israel at a crucial time and you can actually say that the state of Israel today is Hitler’s bastard offspring”. Ms Abouchakra, who was chairing the event, reportedly reacted saying “Can I just say that that was an excellent contribution and thank God it was a Jew that said it.” The antisemitic former Labour member Jackie Walker was among 50 attendees at that event.
Ms Abouchakra is a former official with the National Education Union (NEU), which has itself repeatedly come under fire lately in connection with antisemitism. When asked about Ms Abouchakra, who is apparently still a member, the union reportedly said: “The NEU deplores antisemitism and all forms of racism and treats these issues very seriously. The NEU is aware of the concerns raised. This matter will be dealt with as a matter of urgency and will be looked into according to the union’s internal processes relating to member conduct.”
According to her Twitter biography, Ms Abouchakra says that “References to Zionism = Israeli government and it’s [sic] supporters”. It is not clear when this misleading disclaimer was inserted.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “These inflammatory posts are not remotely appropriate for someone charged with the education of our children. Offensive comments about ‘Zionists’, ‘dirty Zionists’ and ‘Zionist influence in American politics’ and sharing posts equating Zionism to racism, not to mention minimisation of the Holocaust and praise for an antisemitic terrorist commander, are unacceptable in the teaching profession, and we shall be submitting a complaint to the Teaching Regulation Agency. Antisemitism has no place in our schools or unions, and we expect the NEU to take disciplinary action to demonstrate where they stand on anti-Jewish racism.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism has submitted a complaint to the Teaching Regulation Agency in respect of Ms Abouchakra.
Campaign Antisemitism has produced teachers’ guides for classes on antisemitism, which have been endorsed by the BBC. We have also recently produced a short resource for pupils and parents who encounter antisemitism at schools.Do you or your friends/family have stories of schoolteachers or pupils facing antisemitism at schools in the UK? Contact us at [email protected] or call +44 (0)330 822 0321.