Naz Shah admits some Palestine protests ‘infiltrated’ by antisemites

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Naz Shah admits some Palestine protests ‘infiltrated’ by antisemites

Labour MP's comments come after video emerged of inflammatory speech made at event she attended in support of the Palestinians

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Naz Shah speaking in parliament
Naz Shah speaking in parliament

Labour MP Naz Shah has suggested pro-Palestinian demonstrations are being infiltrated by those wished to “spew” antisemitic hatred.

The Bradford West parliamentarian issued a statement recognising the problem after video of a march she spoke at in city included footage of a female activist whose chant in Arabic included the verse:” God lift the curse of the Jews off the Muslims in Palestine!”

Shouting her lines through a megaphone, the same female told the demonstration: “God, purify al-Aqsa from impure people! God, make the earthquake under their feet!

“God, support them with your soldiers! God, we ask you to make the Jews lose!”

Speaking at the protest earlier on, Labour’s shadow minister for community cohesion called for “collective” efforts to campaign for the Palestinians and added; “Don’t just stop here today. It has to carry on..”

In a statement, which appeared to have been issued in response to the footage of the inflammatory speech by the female activist being shared on social media, Shah said: “I will never shy away from using my voice to raise the plight of the Palestinian people but I will never tolerate antisemitism and I totally condemn anyone perpetrating it.”

She claimed that over “recent weeks a small minority of individuals have been trying to infiltrate demonstrations about the situation in Palestine to spew hatred.”

Directly addressing the anti-Jewish remarks made at the May 30 demo in Bradford, Shah said she was “made aware” that this individual had “made remarks following the rally in Arabic – a language I do not speak.”

Shah said this individual was not a speaker at the event but had “gained access to a microphone.”

She said the translation of the comments were “not remarks I’d ever make.”

Last month’s protest was also attended by David Ward, the former Liberal Democrat MP who was sacked from the party over antisemitism allegations.

Ward who recently failed in his attempt to be elected as an independent councillor in Bradford was photographed behind a Palestine Solidarity Campaign banner.

Ex-MP David Ward

In 2016 Shah was briefly suspended from Labour after she reposted on social media a call for the Jews of Israel should relocate to America.

She as suspended over the 2014 post, but apologised and said her views on Israel had moderated.

Shah said she had shown “ignorance” and that the post was antisemitic but that she was not. She spoke at a synagogue in Leeds to try to patch up differences with the Jewish community.

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