Board calls on Plaid Cymru to expel candidate over post linking George Floyd death to Israel

Sahar Al-Faifi was previously suspended over antisemitic posts before being reinstated earlier this year


RHONDDA, WALES - APRIL 06: A rosette worn by Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood as she campaigns in Ton Pentre on April 6, 2015 in Rhondda, Wales. Britain goes to the polls in a general election on May 7. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

The Board of Deputies has called on Plaid Cymru to permanently expel one of its candidates after she posted a tweet linking the death of George Floyd to Israel.

Board senior vice president Sheila Gewolb wrote to the party’s leader, Adam Price, concerning a tweet by Sahar Al-Faifi, candidate for South Wales Central in the Welsh Assembly, urging him to show that he was “serious about antisemitism and Ms Al-Faifi in particular by permanently excluding her from the party".

Last month, Ms Al-Faifi wrote on Twitter: “If you wonder where did these American cops trained [sic], look no further than Israel. Oppression is one and the struggle is transitional."

“Some US police officers have received anti-terror training in Israel, as they have from many different countries – law enforcement agencies across the world cooperate with each other,” Ms Gewolb explained in the letter.

“There is not now, nor has there ever been, any evidence to suggest that Israel instructed US police officers in the techniques they have used against African Americans or that any of the officers involved in such attacks received Israeli training.

“The attempt to blame Israel for terrible situations in other countries is regarded by many in the Jewish community as antisemitic, stemming as it does from a long and ignominious history of blaming Jews for any and all misfortunes.”

A Plaid Cymru spokesperson said the party was investigating and “committed to challenging all forms of discrimination.”

Ms Al-Faifi was previously suspended from the party last year following the discovery of several social media posts which deployed antisemitic tropes.

One post by Ms Al-Faifi from 2017, after the London Bridge attacks, linked “pro-Zionists” to the atrocity, which was carried out by supporters of Al-Muhajiroun and Isis and left eight dead.

A 2013 tweet by Ms Al-Faifi, who is a geneticist, asked: “What about the Rothschild Jews and their branches in Palestine, would such genetic research effect [sic] their banking empire…” Counter-extremism organisation Qulliam described the tweet as a “conspiracy theory” akin to those espoused by David Icke.

The Board met Ms Al-Faifi to “confront” her over the tweets, which Ms Al-Faifi claimed amounted to formal antisemitism training – a claim the Board distanced itself from.

Ms Gewolb said she had shown “reluctance” to delete the posts, taking 18 months to delete them before being reinstated to the party in February.

Ms Gewolb wrote in the letter that “[w]e do not understand why the Party saw fit to lift her suspension earlier this year.

“It is clear that Ms Al-Faifi has taken this as a signal that she has carte blanche to continue to promote such conspiracy theories”.

She warned: “By allowing her to again get away with it, Plaid Cymru would be sending a very negative message to the UK's Jewish community.”

Ms Al-Faifi has been contacted for comment.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive