A COUNCILLOR from Preston has been suspended from the Labour Party after being accused by a member of the local Jewish community of sharing a tweet allegedly seeking to justify the murder of Jews at a synagogue in Israel.
Cllr Ismail Bax, who represents Preston’s Deepdale ward, was placed under investigation last month after sharing a tweet written by a religious advisor to a mosque in Blackburn.
The tweet came in response to the horrific terrorist attack in Jerusalem on January 27th that left seven Jewish worshippers dead at the hands of a Palestinian gunman.
The tweet’s author, Dr. Yusuf Shabbir, wrote: “You terrorise people. You strangle them. You destroy their homes. You occupy their lands. You murder their children. You bomb their hospitals. You restrict their movements. You blockade them. How will they react?”
Soon after Cllr Bax retweeted the message, an official complaint was lodged with the city council by a female Jewish resident of Preston.
The woman, who said it “doesn’t feel right” for an elected official to share such controversial and potentially bigoted comments, added: “When a councillor retweets something justifying the murder of these Jews… it’s not just offensive, it’s downright scary for us.
“There are many churches, temples and mosques in Preston – I don’t think any of them have security, but the synagogue I attend in South Manchester does. That’s how life is.”
Cllr Bax and Labour Council Leader Matthew Brown were among a group of Labour Councillors nationwide who signed a letter supporting Jeremy Corbyn amid growing accusations against the former Labour leader of racism and antisemitism.
Cllr Bax, who declined to provide a comment to the Lancashire Post, has also been removed from his position as chair of the council’s planning committee while the investigation into his online conduct is ongoing.
VoteWatch will provide an update in due course.
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