A former Lord Mayor of Bradford suspended by Labour for posting a link to an article alleging links between Israel and Islamic State has claimed he did so to rubbish such claims.
Khadim Hussain, a serving councillor on Bradford Metropolitan district council, posted a link on his Facebook page to an article entitled ‘Greater Israel courtesy of ISIS’. Above the post, the councillor wrote: “There is no doubt who created the so called ISIS and who is arming those vile terrorists!”
But in a response to the party, which he also forwarded to the Jewish News, Hussain said: “My intention was to contradict the thrust of the original post within which the author argued that ISIS was a ‘conspiracy’ initiated and perpetrated by the State of Israel.
“In my opinion, the responsibility for ISIS lies solely with the vile terrorists themselves and those who not only fund them but also support their ideology. At no point was I suggesting that the State of Israel could be held responsible for ISIS.”
The local politician also shared a post on Facebook which featured an image of Hitler and decried the fact the deaths of millions of Africans are not taught in schools. It referred to “Anne Frank and the six million Zionists that were killed by Hitler”.
Hussain, in his letter, claims his intention was to highlight that all “genocides were appalling acts committed by barbarians. I am very saddened that my repost has been misinterpreted. However, in light of recent events, I appreciate and acknowledge that I must exercise far greater care when utilising social media in the future in order to avoid any such misapprehensions arising.”
Hussain said he has opposed anti-Semitism wherever it has manifested and been thanked by a local rabbi for his interfaith efforts during his mayoral year that included visits to shuls. He says he was reduced to tears at an Anne Frank event during his term.
“If I had known my reposts would have been misinterpreted, in the way it appears they have, of course I would not have reposted them. This has been a salutary experience for me and I am upset and distressed with the thought somebody could accuse me of being anti-Semitic.”
Meanwhile, a Momentum activist has been become the latest Labour party member to be suspended after claiming “ISIS is run by Israel”. Bob Campbell, from Middlesborough, made the claim on social media the day after the attacks on Brussels last week.
The Sunday Times reported he also had a picture of a rat with a Star of David, with the caption “the real plague”, on his Facebook timeline – though he denied posting it. The party confirmed to the Jewish News he was suspended after local MP Tom Blenkinsop demanded an investigation, though Campbell reportedly denied such action had been taken.
Campbell was quoted as saying: “I post lots of pro-Jewish posts but I [also] post anti-Zionist posts.”
He is the fourth member to be suspended by the part over the past month including Gerry Downing, who posted material on “the Jewish question” and Woking Labour vice-chair Vicki Kirby after the Guido Fawkes website revealed she had been readmitted despite posts suggesting Jews having “big noses” and that Hitler might be a “Zionist God”. Labour has also launched a probe into allegations of intimidation at the Oxford Labour Club.