Azhar Ali, a candidate for Britain’s Labour Party, apologizes after recordings emerged of him saying that Israel had “allowed” the October 7 onslaught by the Hamas terror group in southern Israel to take place to give a “green light to do whatever they bloody want” in Gaza.
The candidate in this month’s Rochdale byelection “apologized unreservedly to the Jewish community” for his “inexcusable comments,” The Guardian reports.
“Hamas’s horrific terror attack was the responsibility of Hamas alone, and they are still holding hostages who must be released,” Ali says.
The apology comes after recordings emerged of Ali making the controversial comments.
“The Egyptians are saying that they warned Israel ten days earlier… Americans warned them a day before [that] there’s something happening… They deliberately took the security off, they allowed… that massacre that gives them the green light to do whatever they bloody want,” he says in the recordings, obtained by The Mail on Sunday.
Labour is still facing criticism for allowing Ali to be a candidate despite the comment, The Guardian reports.
In November, Labour leader Keir Starmer was hit by a string of resignations from his frontbench in the House of Commons, after he faced a rebellion from his MPs over his refusal to back a ceasefire in Gaza.
Under the leadership of previous party chief Jeremy Corbyn, Labour was accused of allowing antisemitism to fester within its ranks. Starmer has said he had to “rip antisemitism out” the party.
Israel launched its Gaza offensive, aimed at eliminating Hamas, after the terror group’s October 7 massacre, which saw some 3,000 terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages of all ages under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities. The vast majority of those killed as gunmen seized border communities were civilians — including children and the elderly — many of them massacred amid brutal atrocities.