(JTA) — Britain’s Labour Party suspended a city councilman on Monday after a British political watchdog produced Facebook posts in which he said Israel should have been created in the United States and it was not too late to move Israeli Jews there.
Hours later it suspended a second city councilman for anti-Israel posts.
Ilyas Aziz, a lawmaker in Nottingham in north-central England, was suspended hours after the Guido Fawkes website posted screenshots of his Facebook posts, including the one in July 2014 during the Israel-Hamas war calling for the relocation of Israeli Jews.
Other of Aziz’s posts shown on Guido Fawkes included one comparing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews and another perpetuating the blood libel myth that reads “Stop drinking Gaza’s blood.” Another post shows an Israeli flag with the words “God didn’t give you the land – the UK did … Illegally” superimposed on it.
Later on Monday, the former mayor of Blackburn in Lancashire, Salim Mulla, was suspended less than an hour after his anti-Israel posts were outed, also by Guido Fawkes.
Mulla, whose Twitter profile said he was born in India, charged in an August 2015 Facebook post that Israel is behind ISIS. A month earlier he posted a conspiracy theory video blaming Israel for the Sandy Hook elementary school murders in Connecticut, adding his own comment that “He is talking facts.” A June 2015 post s”Zionist Jews are a disgrace to humanity.”
Mulla told Guido Fawkes that “I don’t agree with Zionism at all. I have very, very many Jewish friends.”
The suspensions come days after Labour suspended a British Parliament member, Naz Shah, for a 2014 Facebook post calling for relocating the entire State of Israel to the United States.
On Thursday, the party suspended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone for saying that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist for advocating in 1932 a policy of moving Europe’s Jews to Israel.
The following day, Labour said it would launch an investigation into anti-Semitism in the party. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn also said in a statement that he would propose a new party code of conduct, that would “make explicitly clear for the first time that Labour will not tolerate any form of racism, including anti-Semitism, in the party.”
The latest suspension comes days before local elections, including for mayor of London, in a race that Labour’s candidate, Sadiq Khan, is favored to win, which would make him the first Muslim mayor of a major Western city. Khan, who is running against Conservative Party candidate Zac Goldsmith, is part of a growing chorus of Labour politicians calling for Livingstone’s expulsion.
Corbyn, a harsh critic of Israel who has called Hezbollah and Hamas activists “friends,” has been criticized for not doing enough to curb the rising anti-Semitic rhetoric in his party.