UK Jewish groups on Sunday called on the UK Labour Party to disown a candidate who liked a Facebook post that said British Prime Minister Theresa May had a “Zionist Slave Masters agenda,” in yet another anti-Semitism scandal to rock Britain’s main opposition party.
A recent investigation by an independent journalist uncovered that Lisa Forbes, who is running as Labour’s candidate in a byelection in Peterborough on Thursday, had liked the slave master post. She also commented: “I have enjoyed reading this thread so much” on a post that repeated the conspiracy theory that the Mossad and CIA are behind the Islamic State terror group.
Forbes said it was a misunderstanding and apologized, adding that she would nevertheless take anti-Semitism awareness training.
However, a joint statement by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust said her excuse that she had not seen the anti-Semitic content “stretches the limits of credulity, especially given the high profile problems in Labour and the previous anti-Semitism scandals in Peterborough Labour circles.”
Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Simon Johnson, Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council and David Delew, Chief Executive of the Community Security Trust, have released the following joint statement: https://t.co/rYNOfQIpWF pic.twitter.com/77YxfafhNm
— Board of Deputies of British Jews (@BoardofDeputies) June 2, 2019
“Unless Labour disowns Lisa Forbes as a candidate, it will only confirm the Party’s shameful descent into the racist mess for which they are now being investigated by the EHRC,” the statement said, referring to the recent probe launched by the UK racism watchdog.
The UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission announced Tuesday it had launched a formal investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour party.
EXCL: I discovered that Labour Peterborough candidate Lisa Forbes liked a post saying Theresa May has a “Zionist Slave Masters agenda”. She also commented on a post claiming ISIS was created “by the CIA and Mosad [sic], Forbes wrote "I have enjoyed reading this thread so much" pic.twitter.com/VMuUgUr4jJ
— Iggy Ostanin (@magnitsky) June 1, 2019
The EHRC, the main government anti-racism watchdog, said it would probe whether the main opposition party led by Jeremy Corbyn had discriminated against, harassed or victimized Jews in violation of the UK’s 2006 Equality Act.
Jewish groups have accused Corbyn, a far-left politician, of allowing a massive surge in anti-Semitism within the ranks of the party that was once considered the natural home of British Jewry. Thousands of cases of alleged hate speech against Jews have been recorded within Labour since 2015, when Corbyn was elected to lead the party.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews has accused Corbyn of encouraging anti-Semitic rhetoric and at times engaging in it, though he disputes the claim.
Corbyn has vowed to punish any party member caught making racist statements, yet he has defended a number of members who made vitriolic anti-Semitic remarks, and has expelled hardly any members despite more than 850 formal complaints. Last month he admitted in a secret recording that evidence of racism against Jews in his party may have been “mislaid, ignored or not used.”
Corbyn himself has drawn criticism for his actions. Last year he expressed regret for having defended a 2012 anti-Semitic mural in London’s East End. The mural, named Freedom of Humanity, was painted on a property near Brick Lane by the Los Angeles-based graffiti artist Kalen Ockerman. It depicted a group of men — seemingly caricatures of Jewish bankers and businessmen — counting their money on a Monopoly board which is balanced on the back of naked workers.
Earlier this month, Corbyn was found to have authored a glowing foreword to a book that claims that Jews control global financial systems and describes them as “men of a single and peculiar race.”
In addition, the Hamas terror group has thanked Corbyn for his solidarity in recognizing Palestinian mourning over the 71st anniversary of the formation of the State of Israel.
The Labour leader has in the past been criticized for calling terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah “friends” when inviting members for a parliamentary meeting in 2009. He later downplayed the comment and said he regretted using the term.
Last year it emerged that in 2014 Corbyn attended a ceremony that honored the terrorists behind the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre. He later said, “I was present when [a wreath] was laid, I don’t think I was actually involved in it.”