An activist for Plaid Cymru has expressed “deep regret” over social media comments she said “crossed the boundary into antisemitism.”
Sahar Al-Faifi’s membership to Plaid Cymru was suspended on Sunday as the party investigates the material dating back to 2012.
A spokesperson for the party said: “We have taken immediate action to suspend the person in question. We will investigate all allegations.
“Plaid Cymru will not tolerate antisemitism, racism or intolerance in any form. That includes the appalling abuse the individual has been subject to. It is not a part of the Wales we want to build.”
The decision came after the activist was featured in Plaid Cymru’s political broadcast which aired on BBC Wales, ITV Wales and S4C last week.
In a statement, Al-Faifi, who is from Cardiff, said: “Several years ago, I made a handful of social media posts that I regret deeply as they cross the boundary of criticism of Israel into anti-Semitism.
“I deleted the tweets more than five years ago, and issued an apology to Jewish organisations and others.
“I have also undertaken antisemitism training, both formally through the Board of Deputies and informally with Jewish colleagues in order to ensure I never repeat the same mistakes.”
Al-Fafi, who said she received verbal and physical abuse, lamented “the current political climate is one in which many minority groups – including Muslim women – face an impossible tidal wave of abuse, suspicion, and guilt, by simply being active in public life, all of which is most vitriolic online.”
But a spokesperson for the Board of Deputies criticised Al Faifi for “dragging” the representative body into the row over antisemitism. “We met Sahar Al-Faifi to confront her over concerns we had over antisemitic social media postings,” the spokesperson said.
“Ms Al-Faifi apologised to us and made some amendments to her social media output. However, we were clear that the situation still remained unsatisfactory.”
The Board pointed to two Facebook posts, including one from 2012 featuring a photo of Hamas leaders doing a victory symbol, with a Quranic verse in the caption.
Another post from 2017 about the London Bridge terror attacks, which appears to have been deleted, reportedly contained a reference to “pro-Zionists,” the Board said.
“This was a significant time ago, and according to Ms Al-Faifi’s apology, she has learned a lot since then. We would have hoped that deleting these two posts in their entirety should not have been a question,” the spokesperson said.