On 14th November 2019, Ms Al-Faifi was featured prominently in the Plaid Cymru election broadcast video.
On 17th November 2019, it was reported that Plaid Cymru had suspended Ms Al-Faifi following accusations of antisemitism. The Party reportedly said: “Plaid Cymru will not tolerate anti-Semitism [sic], racism or intolerance in any form. That includes the appalling abuse the individual has been subject to. It is not a part of the Wales we want to build.”
On 18th November 2019, Ms Al-Faifi tweeted a statement in which she wrote: “Several years ago, I made a handful of social media posts that I deeply regret as they crossed the boundary of criticism of Israel into anti-Semitism [sic]. I deleted the tweets more than five years ago and issued an apology to Jewish organisations and others. I have also undertaken anti-Semitism [sic] training, both formally through the Board of Deputies and informally with Jewish colleagues to ensure I never repeat the same mistakes.”
It was also reported that Helen Mary Jones, Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, had told BBC Radio Wales’ Breakfast programme that a disciplinary panel would look at the case. She reportedly said: “We felt we had no choice but to suspend her because we have to send a clear message to the Jewish community that we won’t tolerate antisemitism, just as we need to send clear messages to the Islamic community that we won’t tolerate Islamophobia, and indeed to women that we won’t tolerate the kind of misogyny that infects public life in Wales. We have to take a stand.”
On 19th November 2019, it was reported that the Board of Deputies had issued a clarification regarding its interaction with Ms Al-Faifi over her social media posts. A spokesperson reportedly said: “We met Sahar Al-Faifi to confront her over concerns we had over antisemitic social media postings. Ms Al-Faifi apologised to us and made some amendments to her social media output. However, we were clear that the situation still remained unsatisfactory.” It was further noted that the Board of Deputies had asked her to edit or delete some of her social media posts from 2012 and 2017, including , but that the amendments had not been made.
On 27th February 2020, it was reported that Ms Al-Faifi had been reinstated by the Party and would be putting herself forward for selection as a candidate to stand for the Welsh Assembly. It was noted that Ms Al-Faifi had finally deleted two social media posts, as she had been asked to do eighteen months previously. It was further reported that, in a statement released on Twitter the previous week, Ms Al-Faifi had said that a Party panel had decided on 8th January that there was no need for sanctions against her and that her membership had since been reinstated in full, adding that she was “more committed than ever before to creating a more just, inclusive and welcoming Wales.” She also reportedly shared a quote from an article on her reinstatement by the organisation Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), which stated: “While antisemitism must never be tolerated and should be challenged wherever it is found, the use of the term as a political tool for shutting down criticism of the Israeli government devalues the experiences of those who face antisemitic abuse on a daily basis.”
On 5th March 2020, it was reported that Welsh Jewish community leaders had issued a joint statement calling on Plaid Cymru to reconsider their reinstatement of Ms Al-Faifi, citing what they described as her “unrepentant attitude”. They wrote that Ms Al-Faifi “clearly still believes that it is acceptable to make antisemitic statements and comments, apologise and then blame her comments on the Middle East conflict. She takes any challenge to her bigoted, hateful views to be an attack on her right to speak out on events in the Middle East, when in fact, she has been saying hateful things about Jews worldwide. Coming from someone who purports to be an activist for human rights, freedom and tolerance, this is very regrettable. In light of Ms Al-Faifi’s comments and her unrepentant attitude to the whole affair and investigation, we call upon Plaid Cymru to reconsider their decision.”
On 26th June 2020, it was reported that Plaid Cymru was facing calls to take action against Ms Al-Faifi from one of its own candidates for the Welsh Assembly, William Rees, in response to her tweet in . Mr Rees reportedly said that he would raise concerns internally and that “anti-Semitism [sic] should not have a home in Plaid Cymru. Plaid Cymru adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism [sic] at our National Council. Having already expressed concerns internally regarding Sahar Al-Faifi last year, I shall do so again tomorrow following further posts. This saga has gone on for far too long, and I hope Adam Price and our NEC show leadership on this issue. As Plaid Cymru’s candidate in Cardiff Central I believe when senior members of the Jewish community in Cardiff express their concerns, we should listen to them.”
On 30th June, it was reported that a Jewish leadership organisation had called for Ms Al-Faifi to be “excluded permanently” from Plaid Cymru, writing: “The attempt to blame Israel for terrible situations in other countries is regarded by many in the Jewish community as anti-Semitic [sic]. We would urge you, as the leader of Plaid Cymru, to show that you are serious about anti-Semitism [sic] and Ms Al-Faifi in particular by permanently excluding her from the party. She has had too many chances already and it is clear that she will not change. By allowing her to again get away with it, Plaid Cymru would be sending a very negative message to the UK’s Jewish community.”
It was further reported that Ms Al-Faifi had said: “My tweet on 1st of June 2020 was based on [an] Amnesty USA report from 2016 titled: ‘Where do many police departments train? In Israel’. Amnesty made a clarification, four years after the report, on 25th of June 2020, stating that the Israeli state is one of the countries where American policemen trained. Subsequently, my tweet was deleted. I understand the fear of [the] Jewish community and I would like to assure them that I stand firmly with them against anti-Semitism [sic] as I am committed to work with them for more just, welcoming and inclusive Wales for all.”
It should be noted, however, that the clarification issued by Amnesty International explicitly stated that its report had not documented any evidence of the technique of kneeling on necks — or any other specific tactics — having been taught by Israeli secret services to US police officers.
On 8th October 2020, it was reported that Plaid Cymru had decided not to take any further action against Ms Al-Faifi. She was reported as having responded to the decision by saying: “I understand the concern of the Jewish community and I will always continue to work with Jewish members in Cardiff to make a more safe and open society for all. I presented all evidence required in response to the anti-Semitism [sic] allegation to the Plaid Cymru hearing panel who made the decision to exonerate me. I and Plaid Cymru pride ourselves on being open and inclusive as a party and members. We reject all forms of discrimination and prejudice and challenge it wherever and whenever it may arise.”
Plaid Cymru was reported to have said: “The disciplinary process has finished and no further action is being taken in this case. Plaid Cymru respects the views of the Board of Deputies and will continue to have constructive discussions. The party has a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism [sic] and all forms of prejudice and discrimination.”
On 30th October 2020, it was reported that Ms Al-Faifi had been selected as a Plaid Cymru candidate for the Welsh Assembly.
In December 2020, Campaign Against Antisemitism put this matter to both Ms Al-Faifi and Plaid Cymru. Ms Al-Faifi did not respond, but a Plaid Cymru spokesperson said: “Plaid Cymru is committed to building a Wales where all members of society feel safe and valued, and we are completely opposed to any form of discrimination.”
On 14th January 2021, it was reported that Plaid Cymru was again facing calls to expel Ms All Faifi after she claimed on Twitter that the Israeli government was attempting to hack her emails.