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Jewish Labour supporters' concern over NEC vote winner

Yasmine Dar appeared at pro-Iran rally alongside Israel-hating academic

    Jewish Labour supporters have voiced concern over a Momentum-backed activist who secured the largest vote in the party’s national executive committee election this week.

    The Jewish Labour Movement said Yasmine Dar had appeared at a pro-Iran rally on the same platform as a speaker who has used "antisemitic tropes".

    The group said Ms Dar had failed to respond to a letter asking her to explain her presence at the event.

    Ms Dar, 51, topped Labour’s NEC election poll on Monday to become one of three Momentum-backed candidates to win seats on the party’s governing body.

    The JC has learned that she was contacted by the JLM last November after concern was raised by several members over her appearance at an event in March 2017 to celebrate the 38th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

    A letter sent to Ms Dar also expressed concern that she had shared a platform with Professor Rodney Shakespeare, an economist who, JLM claimed, has backed anti-Zionist conspiracy theories.

    The JLM letter asked Ms Dar to clarify her position on the hard-line Iranian regime, on antisemitism, and whether she regretted appearing at the same event as Prof Shakespeare.

    In the past Prof Shakespeare has claimed 9/11 was a Zionist plot while discussing a United Nations report on climate change.

    He told the Iranian-backed television station, Press TV: “This report is part of Zionist fear-mongering to control the world. Just like 9/11 they brought down Tower number 7; their false allegations against Iran and their allies; and this is a batch of lies.”

    In another interview he spoke of alleged Zionist control of government and the media, saying: "Ofcom, more of a Zionist propagandist organisation you cannot imagine. That organisation is acting on direct political instructions coming from the Foreign Secretary.”

    In a further Press TV interview last year he said: “The UK is supporting Saudi Arabia’s regime as part of supporting what is going to be a coming war in the Middle East, essentially to forward the interests of the Zionist Israel… UK politics is controlled by Zionism.”

    At the rally, which took place in the Manchester Islamic Centre, Ms Dar praised the Iranian regime and told the audience: ”It’s the third year that I’ve been coming… I keep it in my diary and make sure that I’m here.”

    Meanwhile in a sign of the growing strength of Labour’s left-wing on the NEC, supporters of party leader Jeremy Corbyn used their new majority to oust the chair of the influential disputes panel, Ann Black, and replace her with a veteran left-winger.

    Ms Black will be replaced by Christine Shawcroft, who was herself suspended from the party for supporting Lutfur Rahman, the disgraced former mayor of Tower Hamlets, the London borough in which she previously led the local Labour group.

    Momentum-backed members of the NEC voted by 22 to 15 to oust Ms Black, meaning the left now has control of the body that decides whether to investigate sexist, racist, homophobic and antisemitic abuse and other disciplinary cases.

     

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