EXCL Labour election candidate accused party Right of 'weaponising' anti-semitism

Posted On: 
5th November 2019

A controversial Labour candidate accused those on the right of the party of "weaponising" anti-semitism to score points against their internal political enemies.

Zarah Sultana is standentry for Labour in Coventry South.
PA Images

Zarah Sultana, who is standing in Coventry South at the general election, said they were "scum" and also accused them of disliking Muslims.

Ms Sultana has previously been forced to apologise for claiming she would celebrate the deaths of Tony Blair and Benjamin Netanyahu.

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It has now emerged that in a Facebook comment posted during the 2016 Labour leadership election, she wrote: "The Labour Right are scum and genuinely make me sick. Is there any form of discrimination that they won't weaponise to politically point score like they've done in the past with antisemitism and now with homophobia?

"Probably racism cos y'all got a serious deeply-rooted racism problem and Islamophobia cos y'all ain't even discreet about disliking Muslims."

The emergence of the post, which has since been deleted, will pile further pressure on Labour bosses to act against the 26-year-old, who hopes to retain Coventry South for Labour following the retiral of sitting MP Jim Cunningham.

In Twitter comments revealed earlier this week by the Jewish Chronicle, the party activist responded to a quote claiming it was wrong to “celebrate the death of any person regardless of what they did”by stating: “Try and stop me when the likes of Blair, Netanyahu and Bush die.”

She added: “The sooner they meet their creator the better. The concepts of justice and accountability don’t truly exist in this life. Only in the next.”

In a separate Facebook post, Ms Sultana wrote that while she had written that she backed the Palestinian right to “non-violent resistance”, she had in fact meant “violent resistance”.

She said: “Best believe that was an error and I meant to write ‘violent resistance’ ”.

In a statement after the latest social media comments were revealed, Ms Sultana said she had been the subject of racism in the Labour party, but apologised for her comments about anti-semitism.

She said: "I have experienced racism and Islamophobia from some individuals on the right of the party who at the time of this post, I felt didn't have the credibility to accuse others of prejudice when they themselves had discriminated against me and other young BAME and Muslim members.

"This message was from a number of years ago, before the narrative had gained the traction it has now dismissing deeply-felt concerns about anti-semitism in the party as 'smears', in which the word ‘weaponised’ is often used.

"I absolutely reject that narrative and, as Jeremy has said, I believe that anyone says it's 'all a smear', is wrong and is contributing to the problem. I would not use the word weaponise today and apologise for having done so."