Top British Jewish Groups Slam Labour Party Candidate Who ‘Liked’ Antisemitic Post About ‘Zionist Slave Masters’
British Jewish groups slammed on Sunday a Labour party candidate in a special by-election for endorsing antisemitism on Facebook, saying it showed the party’s “shameful descent” into a “racist mess.”
Lisa Forbes, the Labour candidate in Peterborough, was found to have “liked” and praised two virulently antisemitic posts, one a rant about “Zionist Slave Masters” and another that claimed the Mossad created and funded ISIS and other Muslim extremist groups.
The writer of the posts, Ismail Ibn Saeed, said in one, “Unfortunately our leader Theresa May feeds off this rhetoric to keep her Zionist Slave Masters agenda alive.”
In another rant, Saeed wrote that the Mossad helped create ISIS and other Islamist groups, citing alleged “evidence in hand of the funding and creation of such extremists by the CIA and Mossad supported by British Imperialism.”
In response to the post, Forbes wrote, “I have enjoyed reading this thread so much. So much that trys [sic] to divide us, but there is far much more that unites us all.”
The posts were first discovered by journalist Iggy Ostanin who posted screenshots to Twitter.
EXCL: I discovered that Labour Peterborough candidate Lisa Forbes liked a post saying Theresa May has a “Zionist Slave Masters agenda”. She also commented on a post claiming ISIS was created “by the CIA and Mosad [sic], Forbes wrote “I have enjoyed reading this thread so much” pic.twitter.com/VMuUgUr4jJ
— Iggy Ostanin (@magnitsky) June 1, 2019
After the posts were made public, Forbes apologized for “not calling out these posts” and said, “Regardless of whether I am elected, I will deepen my understanding of antisemitism so I can act as an ally, challenging it wherever it occurs.”
In a public joint statement, the Board of Deputies of British Jews President Marie van der Zyl, Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council Simon Johnson, and Chief Executive of the Community Security Trust David Delew said of Forbes that the revelation “brings in to question her suitability for public office.”
“Ms Forbes has now apologized, saying she had not seen these words, but this stretches the limits of credulity, especially given the high profile problems in Labour and the previous antisemitism scandals in Peterborough Labour circles,” they added, citing the resignation of two councilors who said they had been pressured over antisemitism complaints.
“Ms Forbes also says she will seek antisemitism training. This is somewhat ironic given her previous rejection of the IHRA definition of antisemitism,” the statement read, referring to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s widely adopted definition of antisemitism.
“We are fed up hearing that Labour opposes antisemitism while repeatedly hearing excuses that its members accidentally missed the racism that was staring them in the face,” the statement asserted.
“Unless Labour disowns Lisa Forbes as a candidate, it will only confirm the Party’s shameful descent into the racist mess for which they are now being investigated by the EHRC,” the statement said, referring to a newly opened investigation of Labour antisemitism by Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission.
After far-left anti-Israel MP Jeremy Corbyn seized control of Labour in 2015, the party has been wracked by antisemitism scandals. Earlier this year, several prominent MPs left the party and formed an independent faction, citing institutionalized antisemitism in the party as one of the main reasons for the split.