Shamima Begum’s lawyer criticised over ‘Isis copied model from Israel’ comment
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Shamima Begum’s lawyer criticised over ‘Isis copied model from Israel’ comment

The comments were condemned by a Board of Deputies spokesperson

Shamima Begum’s lawyer
Shamima Begum’s lawyer

Shamima Begum’s lawyer faces criticism from Jewish leaders over reported comments drawing parallels between Isis and Israel in an interview with the New Statesman.

Tasnime Akunjee appeared to compare the Jewish state to ISIS in comments reportedly made during an interview with the weekly magazine’s editor-in-chief Jason Cowley.

According to the New Statesman, Akunjee said: “Isis learned a lot from Israel about how to build an expansionist state.

“Israel can go into Palestinian territory and build buildings there, then it will call on people from abroad to join the state-building exercise.”

He continues: “Isis copied their model directly from Israel. You have Israel calling on Jews from around the world.

“They have an automatic right to be a citizen of Israel. That’s exactly the same as Isis, in the sense that if you’re Muslim and you come over here, you’ll be looked after.”

A Board of Deputies spokesperson said: “Comparing Israel to the murderous death cult of Daesh is not only false but offensive to Jews and to Israelis.

“The attempt to do so is both disingenuous and cynical.”

Akunjee said: “The article in the New Statesman truncated statements made during an academic discussion of the attempt by ISIS to build a caliphate.

“To clarify I did not compare Israel to ISIS, I merely pointed out that ISIS had attempted to copy aspects of Israel’s expansionist policy.

“I did not intend for any offence to arise from the discussion.”

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