The Labour activist elected onto the party’s governing body with the largest overall vote has condemned comments made by a notorious anti-Zionist academic who she appeared with at a rally to celebrate the 38th anniversary of the Iranian Islamic revolution.
Yasmine Dar, one of three Momentum-backed candidates to be elected on to Labour’s national executive committee, (NEC), told the JC: “I strongly condemn the reprehensible comments made by Rodney Shakespeare, and antisemitism in all its forms.”
Ms Dar issued her response on Wednesday after the JC revealed how the Jewish Labour Movement had written to her last November asking her to explain her presence at the event in Manchester at which Professor Shakespeare, an economist spoke.
JLM claimed Prof Shakespeare had previously backed anti-Zionist conspiracy theories.
Ms Dar failed to respond to the JLM letter. But she now insists that she was unaware of Prof Shakespeare’s previous statements.
She told the JC: “I attended because I think it's important to maintain strong links with all of our communities across Greater Manchester.
“I didn't expect to speak, having been asked at the last minute to step in after I arrived at the event. I was entirely unaware of the identity of the other speakers.”
Ms Dar – who had stood for the Labour parliamentary nomination in the Manchester Gorton constituency last year – also emphasised her past record working with inter-faith community organisations.
She said: ”I have been long active in many interfaith and community cohesion organisations, including the Challenging Hate Forum based at Manchester Cathedral and the Nisa-Nisham Jewish-Muslim Women's Network. I am myself a multi-faith prison chaplain. “
On Tuesday the JC revealed how 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.”