UK Labour Student Resigns Post Over Antisemitic Tweets, Including ‘Hitler Was Jewish Himself’
The co-chair of the Manchester Labour Students group (MLS) was forced to resign on Tuesday, after revelations of a series of tweets that included one which said “Hitler was Jewish himself.”
Tayyib Nawaz, a student at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), was forced out after exposure a stream of his posts on social media from recent years, including comments like “the same victims of the Holocaust are now murdering and ethnically cleansing Palestinians…The irony” and accusing Israelis of using “the Holocaust card” to shut down debate.
Nawaz also wrote “150,000 Jewish SS who personally were involved in the holocaust,” “Zionism is scum, even Einstein was against the Zionist terrorism which pressured the creation of israel” and seemed to compares Israel to ISIS.
The tweets were first reported on by local news site The Mancunion last week, and a MLS motion calling for Nawaz’s resignation was subsequently brought Monday night. The following day, Nawaz “chose to resign,” according to the report.
Nawaz has reportedly said that the “main reason he ran…[was] to pass BDS policy [at MMU],” and he was “largely unknown” figure before winning the MMU co-chair position.
Members of the MLS have condemned the tweets, with group leadership calling them “abhorrent.”
In a Facebook post, the MLS wrote that “nobody should be in any doubt that they [Nawaz’s comments] have no place in our club or our party.”
According to The Mancunion, Leoni Benabú Morales, the president of the Manchester Jewish Society (JSoc), said, “Claiming that Hitler himself is Jewish and comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is an insult and should not be tolerated from anyone” and that concerns have already been “raised about [Nawaz’s] election and what that means with regards to the increasing number of antisemitic incidents in the Labour party.”
Josh Nagli, the campaigns director of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), “welcome[d] the resignation,” saying in a statement, “We were seriously concerned to see the numerous antisemitic social media posts, alongside other offensive posts that he made. Comments using antisemitic tropes, Holocaust inversion and offensive language have no place in campus discussions and certainly not in in the Labour Party, which purports to be a party of anti-racism in all forms.”
Jews took to social media to air their frustrations with this most recent incident Labour-related Jew-hatred.
Phillip Mark McGough, a UK-based lawyer and writer, commentator and critic, wrote on Facebook, “It’s getting silly now. Can we not find a Labour activist who hasn’t tweeted something bats-t crazy and antisemitic, for the novelty value.”
Also on Wednesday, The Daily Mail reported that Bethany Barker — who introduced Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at his local election campaign launch last month — quit from her positions general secretary of the Nottingham Labour Students Committee after exposure of racist tweets from 2012-2014, included one which referred to a kippah as a “jew cap.”
Barker apologized, saying in a statement, “I am appalled and ashamed by these comments and I condemn them in their entirety; they are outrageous and wrong and I should have never said them.”
Earlier this year, a program was launched by the national Labour Students group in an effort to repair its damaged relations with the Jewish community, including a major scandal surrounding the organization’s chapter at Oxford University.
Labour has been dogged by allegations of party-wide antisemitism, while UK campuses has been criticized repeatedly for hostility toward Zionists, though the change of leadership in the country’s major student organization at its national conference last month was cause for celebration and hope from Jewish leadership.