A Labour candidate in Manchester has apologised for saying the sight of an Israeli flag made her feel “sick”, saying she was “a very different person” when she made the comment five years ago.
Jade Doswell, who is standing for the Fallowfield ward of the city council, wrote on Facebook in 2014 that seeing the Israeli flag hanging above the door of a house led her to being “a little bit sick in my mouth”, according to the Times.
Two months later she called the flag “so offensive and provocative.”
In a statement released before the Times story, Ms Doswell said she offered her “sincerest apologies for any offence caused” to the Jewish community or Labour.
She described how during her time at university from 2011 to 2014, she had been “a very active activist for the Palestinian cause.
“At that time I was much younger and far less politically informed. I was very much a different person in 2014… angry at injustice in the world and not always the most erudite or sensitive in displaying that anger.”
Ms Doswell described “re-entering the world of political activity” in 2016, when she joined Labour.
At that point, she said, she had sought to educate herself more “on the Israel-Palestine conflict, Zionism and antisemitism.”
She also described having attended events hosted by Jewish Voice for Labour, as well as an antisemitism training session run by the Jewish Labour Movement.
But Manchester University Jewish Society pointed our Ms Doswell's ward is "heavily populated by students... and collectively Manchester universities have a notable Jewish student population".
They said: "'Sincerest apologies can only go so far when the damage from such vitriolic remarks is already done.
"It is of course difficult for the Jewish student community... to have any form of trusting relationship with their potential representatives when hateful opinions like those of Ms Doswell have been broadcast."
Others questioned Ms Doswell’s contrition, saying that she had reportedly been photographed not long ago with Chris Williamson, the controversial MP who was suspended by the party earlier after repeatedly downplaying the antisemitism crisis and saying the party had been "too apologetic" over it.
I have my doubts about #jadedoswell when she says she is sorry and determined to drive antisemitism out of the party. This selfie wasn't taken that long ago #LabourAntiSemitism pic.twitter.com/o63AoQ9c7o— Tad Hastings (@IawnConts) April 15, 2019
“She should not she should not be standing as a candidate”, the @gnasherJew Twitter account, which documents Labour antisemitism online, tweeted.
“Zero tolerance means just that.”