Antisemitism in Political Parties

Waheed Rafiq

2019: Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, Birmingham, Hodge Hill

2014: Liberal Democrat candidate, Washwood Heath ward, Birmingham City Council

2010: UKIP parliamentary candidate, Birmingham, Hodge Hill


  1. On 4th November 2010, Waheed Rafiq wrote on Facebook: “Man it was really good and shocking, good to see our brothers and sister, shocking to see how the Jewish government call them self [sic] Jews when they are wiping out all the people of Gaza”.
  2. On 16th May 2012, Mr Rafiq shared an image on Facebook which showed a man with a large hooked nose, ferocious-looking teeth and a helmet displaying a Star of David, who was in the act of biting into an ice-lolly in the colours of the Palestinian flag.
  3. On 19th July 2014, Mr Rafiq shared a photograph on Facebook which appeared to have been taken at an anti-Israel rally, and showed a Palestinian flag adorned with the words “Genocide / Apartheid / Holocaust” over a Star of David. The words “baby killers” were also reportedly shown next to the Star of David, although they were only partially visible in the image shared by Mr Rafiq.
  4. On 7th August 2014, Mr Rafiq wrote on Facebook: “As you are already aware WhatsApp was brought [sic] by Facebook in February 2014 for 19 Billion dollars. Facebook and Instagram are owned by Mark Zuckerberg who is a open donor and supporter of Zionist Israel. He has blatantly donated billions to Israel who are inhumanely killing our Palestinian brothers and sisters. [a] Please note Jeff Rothschild is the Vice President of Infrastructure software and thus also a share holder in Facebook…[b] Never forget WhatsApp is Zionist backed so all we do and say is monitored and can leave us vulnerable to be exploited later. Also as we continue to stay members of these sites and apps we’re directly supporting Zionist companies.”


Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis is that Mr Rafiq’s actions and statements amount to breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism and qualify as antisemitic discourse according to our methodology.

By referring to the “Jewish Government…wiping out all the people of Gaza” [1], he was “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel.”

By sharing an antisemitic caricature [2]; by citing conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family, which promote the trope that a Jewish family dynasty secretly controls governments and banks [4a]; and by promoting a conspiracy about Facebook (which he described as a “Zionist company”) spying on its users for the benefit of Israel [4b], he was “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

By sharing an image of a Palestinian flag on which was written “Genocide / Apartheid / Holocaust” over a Star of David [3], he was “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”


On 20th November 2019, it was reported that Mr Rafiq had been suspended by the Liberal Democrats. A spokesperson was reported to have indicated that Mr Rafiq would be removed from all roles within the Party and would no longer receive the Party’s backing during his election campaign.

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson reportedly said: “At 3pm Waheed Rafiq Hodge Hill PPC was suspended from the party. The public posts on his Facebook and Twitter account from 2010 to 2014 are clearly and unambiguously antisemitic and bring the party into disrepute and are also of material disagreement with the fundamental values and objectives of the Party.”

Mr Rafiq was reported to have commented: “I am absolutely shocked and horrified that I am being left alone in the dark to deal with the Press as, I have had BBC, Skynews [sic], ITV, GEO News, Press TV and many more trying to get in touch with me to reply back with regards to Liberal Democrat suspending me from the party. I can confirm that those comments are mind [sic] and I honestly don’t see them as anti-semitic [sic] because the public need to know the fully story.”

On 21st November 2019, it was reported that Mr Rafiq would still stand in the election as it was too late to nominate another candidate. It was further reported that Mr Rafiq had claimed that his Twitter and Facebook accounts had been “hacked”, saying: “It has not been confirmed to me by the party that I have been suspended, though I can understand the party’s position in terms of wanting to distance themselves from someone who has the type of character these remarks imply. But they are not my remarks and I will be asking Facebook and Twitter to investigate.”

It was also reported that Mr Rafiq had expressed his intention to appeal against his suspension.

In September 2020, Campaign Against Antisemitism put this matter to both Mr Rafiq and the Liberal Democrats. Mr Rafiq responded by supplying his final press release from November 2019, in which he insisted that he had never been antisemitic or racist, but expressed regret for his posts, saying: “I fully understand that those Facebook feeds [sic] were offensive to the Jewish community especially the cartoon which was [forwarded] to me by another associate…For this I am humbly apologising to the Jewish community.” He also expressed his intention to visit Israel in 2020 “to further support Israel in the peace process.”

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said: “Antisemitism is abhorrent and has no place in society. The Liberal Democrats therefore take all allegations of this nature extremely seriously. Following remorse expressed by Mr Rafiq, an independent investigation panel concluded he must provide evidence of undertaking extensive antisemitism training and wait 10 years before being considered to hold a position in the Party.”


Campaign Against Antisemitism has rated the Party’s handling of this matter as “bad”. Our rating system is explained in our methodology. This case was last updated on 1st Monthember 2019.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has rated the Party’s handling of this matter as “unsatisfactory”. Our rating system is explained in our methodology. This case was last updated on 11th September 2020.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has rated the Party’s handling of this matter as “good”. Our rating system is explained in our methodology. This case was last updated on 1st Monthember 2019.