British Jewish groups call on Labour Party to suspend lawmaker


(JTA) — British Jewish groups and lawmakers have called on the Labour Party to suspend a Parliament member who compared Israel to the Nazis.

The 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 Thursday.

Kahn tweeted in August 2014, during Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza, “The Israeli government are acting like Nazi’s 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,” Parliament member 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.”

Eric Pickles, the UK’s special envoy for post-Holocaust Issues, told the Telegraph: “Another day, another Labour anti-Semite caught red-handed. 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 left-wing politician who called Hezbollah and Hamas activists his “friends” in 2009 — 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.

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