British MP Naz Shah (File photo)
Corbyn backs British MP who called for moving Israel to US
UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has backed Naz Shah, a British member of parliament who was suspended from the party in 2016 for making anti-Israeli comments on social media.
Corbyn appointed Shah, a mother-of-three former disability rights advocate and mental health charity chief, as shadow equalities minister on Wednesday.
The decision prompted reactions from pro-Israeli groups, who have called for an urgent meeting with the MP.
In early July 2014, Israel waged a devastating war on the Gaza Strip. The 50-day offensive claimed the lives of nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children.
Before becoming an MP in May 2015, Shah shared a graphic showing the outline of the occupied territories superimposed onto a US map with the comment “problem solved.”
Her caption for the image read: “Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States.”
She posted yet another comment with the hashtag #IsraelApartheid, saying: “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”
The Bradford West MP stirred more outrage when she called on supporters of Palestinians to vote in an online poll on the Israeli military’s crimes against the people of Palestine.
While Shah has been forced to apologize for the posts, she has rejected accusations that she is anti-Semitic.
Shah returned to the headlines last November after joining several Labour MPs including Corbyn at a meeting in Parliament, which was organized by the Muslim Engagement and Development group, Mend. The organization is accused by British media of previously hosting “extremist Islamist speakers.”
She was also among Labour MPs attending a meeting in February this year, where some of the key speakers denounced “false charges of anti-Semitism” and a “purge” of Labour supporters who had been suspended on these grounds.
Corbyn and Labour have long been accused of what their critics call a lack of action to address anti-Semitism within the party’s ranks.
Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, was suspended from the party after bringing up the issue of Israeli war crimes and stating that Adolf Hitler was a supporter of Zionism.