Newly elected Green councillor apologises for October 7 anti-Israel tweets

Mothin Ali insisted ‘white supremacist European settler colonialism must end’ on October 7


A newly elected Green Party councillor who defended the right of “indigenous people to fight back” after October 7 has apologised for any “upset" caused by his comments on Palestine.

Mothin Ali shouted “Allahu Akbar” and declared his victory was “for the people of Gaza” after winning Gipton and Harehills ward in Leeds last week.

The 42-year-old has now been condemned by the Board of Deputies for appearing to celebrate the Hamas attack against Israel in which hundreds of civilians were massacred.

On October 7, Ali wrote on X/Twitter: "White supremacist European settler colonialism must end!"

In videos posted online following the attack, the accountant said Israel would, “use the pretext of the fightback by Hamas fighters or supposedly Hamas fighters this morning” to attack Gaza.

People should “support the right of indigenous people to fight back,” he claimed, before adding: “They are not victims, they are occupiers, they are colonialists, they are European colonialists…

"It’s one of the last European colonies in the world, and that’s why the European people don’t want to let it go. They use the weapon of antisemitism so effectively that anyone who criticises Israel is labelled as antisemitic.”

Ali also claimed: “Every single person, every single people have a right to fight back, every single people have a right to live free of occupiers.

“That includes people who are brown, that includes people who are Muslim, that includes people who are Arab. Just because they are brown and Arab doesn't mean they don't have a right to fight back.”

In a separate incident, the councillor disparaged Jewish university chaplain Zecharia Deutsch, who was forced into hiding after being accused of “war crimes” for volunteering for the IDF.

Ali wrote: “This is Rabbi Zecharia Deutsch. This creep, that’s the only way I can describe him politely, is someone who went from Leeds to Israel to kill children and women and everyone else over there.”

In a statement released on Tuesday, Ali said he was, “sorry for any upset my comments caused about the Gaza conflict.”

He continued: “I do not support violence on either side: violence leads to more violence and this is what I have tried to convey.

"I have consistently called for an immediate ceasefire and a release of all hostages. I hope to be working with a broad coalition including both the Jewish and Muslim Greens soon to discuss sensible ways for us to work on communicating our shared passion of bringing the conflict to an end.”

Ali’s election to the Gipton and Harehills ward was one of the proudest moments of his life, he said, as he condemned the “inaccurate reporting and misrepresentation” of his victory speech.

"I should also make clear that it is not unusual for somebody of my faith to use the words ‘Allahu Akbar’ as an expression of gratitude and celebration,” he said.

"Some have sought to misrepresent this and it suggests Islamophobia to me.

“I am not a career politician but I have campaigned for Gipton and Harehills for many years and have been consistently urged to speak up for these communities and on the issue of Palestine, which I will continue to do.

“My campaign united people from all backgrounds, races and religions in order to affect change for our local community.”

On social media, the Green Party shared Ali’s statement and said: “Mothin Ali has apologised for the harm caused by his recent comments.

"We are fully investigating all of the context around this and have nothing further to add at this moment. The Green Party’s commitment to non-violence is absolute.

The Board of Deputies said: “We are appalled by comments where Mothin Ali appeared to celebrate and attempt to justify October 7th.

"The Green Party has serious questions to answer over its utter failure of due diligence, which includes nominating Mr Ali for the role of Leeds Deputy Mayor for Police and Crime.”

Writing to the Green Party’s leaders, Simon Myerson KC, chair of the Leeds Jewish Representative Council, called for Ali to be suspended.

“You have known about Mr Ali’s views for a considerable time,” he wrote.

“It is 48 hours since he was elected, and your silence has now gone past the time during which – I accept – you must have been considering how exactly you cope with the disastrous effect of the video of his behaviour at his count.

“It is time for you to stop thinking about yourselves, and to think of the people directly affected by your choices. Those who want public support must condescend to explain themselves to the public.”

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