JLC: Tory response to candidate’s anti-Semitic slur ‘insufficient’

JLC: Tory response to candidate’s anti-Semitic slur ‘insufficient’

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

miliJewish leaders have condemned the Conservatives’ response to an anti-Semitic slur by one of its council candidates as “insufficient”, writes Justin Cohen

As reported exclusively yesterday by the Jewish News, Gulzabeen Afsar, who is standing in Derby, wrote on Facebook that she would never “drop that low and support the al yahud [Arabic for Jew] lol” in a reference to Ed Miliband.

A Tory spokesman branded the comments “offensive and wrong”, adding that Afsar had removed them and apologised.

But the Jewish Leadership Council said in a tweet: “Insufficient response to an anti-Semitic slur. JLC believes disciplinary proceedings should be launched asap.”

The CST’s Mark Gardner said: “She knew exactly what she was saying and thought it funny. It was all public on Facebook, making her doubly stupid.”

Jonathan Arkush, vice-president of the Board of Deputies, added: “This was a disgraceful comment that should never have been made. I note the Conservative Party was swift to disown it.

“I intend to contact Ms Afsar and speak direcrtly to her about her very disturbing attitude towards Jewish people.”

It marks the first time Miliband’s religion had been raised by a candidate seeking office during this election campaign.

A spokesman for Derby Labour Party added: “With anti-semitism on the rise across Europe it is abhorrent and terrifying that a prospective Conservative politician would say something like this.

“Derby Conservatives should launch an immediate investigation into this incident and take the appropriate action. Derby must be free from prejudice, especially from those seeking elected office.”

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