Peterborough Labour by-election candidate ‘active in Israel hate group’

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Labour’s by-election candidate in Peterborough was active in a hate group against Israel, it has been claimed.

Although there is no suggestion Ms Forbes posted anything antisemitic, the blog highlighted activity in the group from other people which promoted hate against Israel.

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These included, according to Guido Fawkes, mention of “Zionist rats”, content alleging the Jewish State has “improper influence” and “spends a fortune perverting our democracy”, the promotion of rallies organised by Hamas and proscribed terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and one person questioning why more Palestinians did not go out to stab Jews.

The latest material comes after Ms Forbes apologised for liking a Facebook post last month relating to the Christchurch shooting which described Theresa May keeping her “Zionist Slave Masters agenda alive”.

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The Labour candidate said she had liked the video accompanying the post, which was of children playing, and had not read the text.

Lisa ForbesLisa Forbes
Lisa Forbes

Ms Forbes also commented on a post from September 2014 which accused the CIA and Mossad, “supported by British imperialism”, of funding and creating extremists such as ISIS.

She wrote: “I have enjoyed reading this thread so much. So much that trys to divide us, but there is much more that unites us all.”

She said this was linked to the comments underneath the post discussing prejudice and hostility towards Muslims and not about Mossad or ISIS.

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Her Facebook activity, which was revealed by journalist Iggy Ostanin, prompted a joint statement from the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jewish Leadership Council and Community Security Trust which called on Labour to “disown” Ms Forbes ahead of Thursday’s by-election, or it will “only confirm the party’s shameful descent into the racist mess for which they are now being investigated by the EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission)”.

The Facebook post liked by Lisa Forbes. Photo: Iggy OstaninThe Facebook post liked by Lisa Forbes. Photo: Iggy Ostanin
The Facebook post liked by Lisa Forbes. Photo: Iggy Ostanin

The statement also criticised Ms Forbes for signing a letter which called on Labour’s ruling body not to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.

It added: “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.”

In response Ms Forbes, who a day earlier had promised to deepen her understanding about antisemitism, said: “I’m sorry. I have engaged in social media posts in error and realise it was wrong and have wholeheartedly apologised. I condemn antisemitism and have committed to work with the community to deepen my understanding of antisemitism, to challenge antisemitism wherever it occurs.”

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The Jewish Labour Movement has also announced it will not be campaigning for Ms Forbes ahead of Thursday’s by-election where she is one 15 candidates standing.

The by-election was triggered when voters recalled former MP Fiona Onasanya after she was jailed for perverting the course of justice after lying about speeding points.

A Recall Petition was signed by more than 27 per cent of constituents, far in excess of the 10 per cent needed to oust her from Parliament.