Labour MP Naz Shah apologises for backing 'relocate Israel to North America' plan

She made the post on social media before becoming an MP

Jon Stone
Thursday 28 April 2016 12:23 BST
Labour MP Naz Shah
Labour MP Naz Shah

A Labour MP has stepped down as an aide to John McDonnell after it emerged that she once backed a plan to relocate the state of Israel to North America.

Naz Shah, who represents Bradford West and has now apologised, had shared an image on Facebook before she became an MP that argued the move was a “solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict”.

The message said said the US had “plenty of land” and that the move would restore peace to the Middle East.

Ms Shah added a comment alongside the image: “Problem solved”.

After the post, from August 2014, was spotted by the Guido Fawkes blog, Ms Shah said: “This post from two years ago was made before I was an MP, does not reflect my views and I apologise for any offence it has caused.”

However Jonathan Sacerdoti, director of communications at the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, said the apology was not good enough and that the suggestion had amounted to anti-Semitism.

The controversial Facebook posting

“One cannot simply apologise for 'any offence caused' and expect a evidence of gross and brazen anti-semitism to disappear,” he said.

“Once again the Labour Party has been revealed to have within its ranks people who express extreme prejudice towards Jewish people in their public statements; once again the party has failed to find these statements itself, and reject those who freely and willingly express them.”

The full text of the message read: “Israelis are most loved by Americans. Americans will welcome Israelis with open arms into their homes.

“America has plenty of land to accommodate Israel as its 51st states. Israel can have a real safe Jewish state surrounded by friendly states. America will no longer have to spend $3 billion tax payer money per year for Israel’s defense.

“The transportation costs will be less than 3 years of defence spending. Palestinians will get their land and life back. Middle East will again be peaceful without foreign interference. Oil prices will go down, inflation will go down, whole world will be happy.”

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