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Naz Shah heckled for saying Israel has a right to exist

Naz Shah was readmitted to the Labour Party after apologising for a series of antisemitic social media posts

    Labour candidate Naz Shah
    Labour candidate Naz Shah (PA)

    Naz Shah, Labour’s candidate for Bradford West, was heckled with cries of “Jew, Jew, Jew” after asserting Israel’s right to exist at an election hustings.

    Ms Shah said: “Do I believe in Israel’s right to exist? I continue to stand by my statement that I believe in Israel’s right to exist.”

    Audible shouts of “Jew, Jew, Jew” can be heard in a video posted on Twitter by Aisha Ali-Khan, a local activist and former assistant to George Galloway, who held the seat for the Respect Party before losing to Ms Shah in 2015.

    Ms Shah said she was also branded a Zionist at the meeting.

     

    Credit: @aak1880, Twitter

    The 42-year-old candidate was suspended from Labour for a series of antisemitic social media posts in April 2016, but subsequently issued an apology to the Jewish community and has been praised for her commitment to learn from her mistake. She was readmitted to the party in July last year.

    In response, Michaela Vyse, Yorkshire and East Coast regional manager at the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) said: “We’re disappointed and saddened to see that at the hustings in Bradford West, the term 'Jew' was used as an abusive term towards a candidate. We’re very disappointed to see this take part in a debate in Yorkshire.”

    Ms Shah is defending a majority of more than 11,000 votes from 2015. Former Respect Party leader Salma Yaqoob is standing against her as an independent.

    At the same hustings, held at Carlisle Business Centre in Bradford, Ms Yaqoob argued for a boycott of Israel, saying it is possible to be both pro-Palestinian and not antisemitic.

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