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UK Jewish groups to Labour: Suspend MEP who compared Israel to Nazis

Afzal Khan won’t face disiplinary action; ‘Another day, another Labour anti-Semite caught red-handed,’ says Tory lawmaker Eric Pickles

Labour MP Afzal Khan (Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0)
Labour MP Afzal Khan (Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0)

British Jewish groups and lawmakers have called on the Labour Party to suspend a member of the European Parliament who compared Israel to the Nazis.

The Labour Party said last week that Afzal Khan had been “reminded of his responsibilities as a Labour representative,” but that he would face no disciplinary action, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Kahn tweeted in August 2014, during the war with Hamas in Gaza: “The Israeli government are acting like Nazi’s [sic] in Gaza.”

Khan in 2008 received a high national honor, the CBE, for his community and interfaith work, and is co-founder of The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester.

“It is staggering how often Labour politicians casually reference the Nazis when discussing the world’s only Jewish state,” Conservative MP Andrew Percy told the Telegraph. “This is deeply offensive, causes a great deal of hurt to the Jewish community in the UK. Labour should move to suspend Afzal Khan immediately and start to take the issue of anti-Semitism more seriously.”

Fellow Conservative Sir Eric Pickles, who is the government’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues, told the Telegraph: “Another day, another Labour anti-Semite caught red-handed. [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to even suspend this MEP makes an absolute mockery of his promise to tackle anti-Semitism within his party.”

Concerns about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party surfaced last summer, when Corbyn — a far-left politician who in 2009 referred to Hezbollah and Hamas activists as his “friends” — was elected to head the party. The anti-Semitism scandal began in earnest early this year amid claims that Jews were targeted at its chapter at Oxford University. Since then, at least 19 Labour officials have been suspended from the party for making statements deemed offensive to Jews or vitriolic about Israel.

According to the Daily Telegraph, however, up to 50 Labour members have been quietly suspended for anti-Jewish remarks.

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