Jacqui Harris, a local councillor, has been suspended again from the Conservatives after Campaign Against Antisemitism brought her social media history to the Party’s attention.
Cllr Harris is currently a Conservative councillor on Stratford-upon-Avon District Council, having previously served as an Independent as well after being suspended by the Conservatives over allegations of antisemitism in 2019. In 2018 she was selected as a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Party.
Some of the examples of her social media history that we brought to the Conservatives’ attention are below.
In January 2019, Councillor Jacqui Harris tweeted: “At this time when we are remembering the horror of Auschwitz – those who were treated so badly back then, seem to have a short memory and are now behaving badly against fellow human beings now! look how they are treating the innocents in GAZA?” According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is an example of antisemitism.
In March 2019, Cllr Harris responded to a tweet which alleged, “The whole AS [antisemitism] thing is a false flag, probably masterminded by mossad/cia…Its [sic] not about AS, its [sic] about removing JC [Jeremy Corbyn]”, by saying: “Spot on, don’t you find it timely that this was encouraged fanned and exploded just before the release of the report on Israel and war crimes?” Suggesting that antisemitism accusations are a political-motivated smear orchestrated by Israel represents several antisemitic tropes woven into one.
In December 2019, Cllr Harris ‘liked’ and retweeted a tweet stating: “Trump ran for office on a platform of ‘America first’ — his actions over the last 3 years have clearly demonstrated, he is ‘Israel first’ #Puppet”, which also linked to an article claiming that “All the credible, independent, and objective evidence proves that Israel and the United States were behind 9/11. Despite the fact that the Zionist controlled US mainstream media simply ignores all the evidence.” According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism to characterise Israel or Israelis” (in this case the outsized power of the Jews and their involvement in evil events) is an example of antisemitism.
In January 2020, the antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, Jewish Voice for Labour, shared an article on Twitter which alleged that Labour’s performance in the general election had been undermined by a “concerted campaign to falsely describe [it] as antisemitic”, and described those making accusations of antisemitism as “witch hunters”, most of whom were doing so for cynical reasons. Cllr Harris ‘liked’ this.
Campaign Against Antisemitism brought these and other examples of Cllr Harris’ conduct on social media to the attention of the Conservative Party, which has advised us that she has now been suspended from the Party for a second time pending further investigation.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We applaud the Conservatives for taking swift action within days of being alerted the Cllr Jacqui Harris’ social media activity, some of which breaches the International Definition of Antisemitism. Anti-Jewish racism has no place in British political parties or in local politics, and we urge the Conservatives to conduct the investigation quickly and transparently and deliver a verdict that takes into account that this is her second suspension.”
Recently, Campaign Against Antisemitism criticised the Conservative Party for taking so long to investigate two MPs and one parliamentary candidate over antisemitism allegations.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.
Campaign Against Antisemitism recently published its first Audit of Local Authorities, documenting the campaign for widespread adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism by local authorities.