Labour urged to ‘expel’ mayoral hopeful who shared Rothschild bankers article

Labour urged to ‘expel’ mayoral hopeful who shared Rothschild bankers article

Former vice-chair of George Galloway's 'Respect' Party, Salma Yaqoob, is standing to be its West Midlands candidate

Salma Yaqoob speaking at an anti-Israel rally in London
Salma Yaqoob speaking at an anti-Israel rally in London

Labour has been urged to expel a left-wing activist who shared a post about ‘Rothschild bankers’, after she was shortlisted to be its hopeful for West Midlands’ mayor.

Yaqoob who once said “Zionists abuse the memory of the Holocaust to bolster support for Israel and its murderous policies”.

The former vice-chair of the now defunct Respect Party, set up by George Galloway, is looking to challenge incumbent Conservative mayor Andy Street in May 2020.

Her candidacy was welcomed by Jon Lansman, a member of Labour’s ruling national executive and co-founder of grassroots group Momentum, and she has also received backing from Julia Bard of The Jewish Socialists’ Group, with a video message on Twitter.

However, in a comment piece for The Guardian in December 2006, while arguing for Muslims to take part in Holocaust remembrance services, she said conflict in the Middle East had been the principal reason for Muslim reluctance.

In March 2013 she shared a post about Iceland arresting 10 “Rothschild bankers”, which the Board branded an “antisemitic trope”.

Earlier this week, a video emerged of her speaking at a protest in London against Israel’s hosting of Eurovision, in which she said Israel is a ‘European coloniser’.

She told the crowd: “They’re not part of Europe..but they’re trying to consolidate this image of one of us, the white European against those brown ‘other’ Muslim Arab dehumanised species. That is what this game is about”.

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “Not only was Salma Yaqoob formerly a senior associate of George Galloway in the Respect Party but she has also retweeted an article about ‘Rothschild bankers’ arrested in Iceland – a clear antisemitic trope.

“Her claim that  Israelis are European colonisers is a calculated insult to the thousands who fled to Israel having survived the Holocaust and the hundreds of thousands more who arrived in Israel having been persecuted by Arab states.

“No-one who refers to Jews as ‘pigs’ could possibly considered for high office by any reputable party. Labour must withdraw her from the shortlist for West Midlands Mayor and expel her immediately.”

Yaqoob and the Labour Party have been approached for comment.

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