The Labour Party has reportedly suspended one of its campaign poster boys and cancelled the publication of thousands of leaflets on which he appeared after it emerged that he had compared Israel to the Nazis on Twitter,
Kierin Offlands had been due to feature on the front cover of a campaign flyer produced by Labour Unions titled “Real Change for Young Workers”, before it was reported that he had said: “Remembering I need to hate Israeli Jews and people who think the State of Israel was/is a good idea.” Another social media post read: “To some extensiveness [sic], Zionism is Nazism.”
Mr Offlands had already been given a formal warning for calling Israeli soldiers “storm troopers” and “Zio Nazis” while he was an officer for Southport Labour Party, but he was still selected for the poster nonetheless.
In Coventry South, Labour candidate Zarah Sultana, who has already courted controversy by adopting the language of antisemitic genocidal terrorist groups in advocating for “violent resistance” against Israelis and by claiming that “the Labour Right are scum and genuinely make me sick. Is there any form of discrimination that they won’t weaponise to politically point score like they’ve done in the past with antisemitism and now with homophobia?”, is now embroiled in yet another scandal.
In social media posts, Ms Sultana reportedly described another user as being pro-Israel and telling them to “jump off a cliff”, and compared the Holocaust with the wars in Iraq, Afganistan, Israel and Chechnya. She also apparently told an officer at the National Union of Students (NUS) who had spoken out against antisemitism that “Under your ‘leadership’ you lost control of NUS….and you didn’t serve Israel as well as you would’ve liked.”
In a social media post directed at a Jewish student, Ms Sultana said: “I can’t believe this YT thinks she can represent us,” ‘YT’ being a slang expression for a white person. She later wrote, once she was employed as a Labour campaign organiser in the West Midlands: “Yay, the white woman didn’t win the Ethnic Minorities Officer Election!”
In Blackburn, Labour’s candidate Kate Hollern was revealed to have retweeted a post saying that “Labour’s ‘antisemitism crisis’ is about Israel”. Ms Hollern has been serving as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Labour leader, acting as Mr Corbyn’s go-between with his parliamentary party.
In Totnes, Labour’s candidate Louise Webberley reportedly engaged with a Facebook post alleging that “the Israeli state is proven to be interfering in UK politics far beyond anything convenient scapegoat Russia is allegedly doing, but nobody wants to risk upsetting them because they are judged to be so powerful.”
In Stoke on Trent South, Labour’s candidate Mark McDonald is revealed to have previously belittled the Party’s institutional antisemitism as “racism smears” that were “politically motivated”, claiming that the scandal was the result of an “unholy alliance” between the Conservative Party and a “small group” of Labour MPs.
In Mid Norfolk, Labour’s candidate Adrian Heald suggested that Labour’s antisemitism was being “weaponised” as he engaged in a long Twitter thread in which another user claimed that allegations of Labour antisemitism were a “smear”.
In Rother Valley, it has emerged that Labour’s candidate Sophie Wilson signed a petition in support of disgraced MP Chris Williamson. Ms Wilson endorsed the petition, which was circulated last November and called on Sheffield Labour Students to “reverse the decision made to un-invite Chris Williamson to speak,” which reportedly followed a plea from the university’s Jewish Society.
In North Thanet, it was revealed that Labour’s candidate, Coral Jones, had previously been suspended for bizarrely referring to the Israel Defence Forces as “Zionist Israeli Forces”.
In Amber Valley, Councillor Neil Ploughman has been readmitted to the Labour Party following his suspension after sharing social media posts saying that antisemitism meant “anything Israel wants it to mean” and reportedly making his own comments attacking the “Zionist state of Israel”. Cllr Ploughman had apparently claimed that the posts were fabricated. He has also been reinstalled as the Derbyshire branch chairman of the trade union Unison.
Elsewhere, in Hastings and Rye, former Labour councillor Dany Louise, who bravely quit Labour in February, has revealed the dismissive reactions of erstwhile colleagues when she rightly raised the issue of antisemitism, including that “Jews should complain quietly”, references to “the Jewish question” and that she herself might have a “right-wing motivation”.
On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Over 58,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.”
On 8th December, regardless of religion, race or politics, Jews and non-Jews alike will gather in Parliament Square to declare that they stand together against antisemitism in the face of Jew-hatred in politics and mounting anti-Jewish hate crime.