Labour suspends manager over anti-Semitic rhetoric

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

(JTA) — Britain’s Labour suspended a regional manager of the party allegedly for spreading anti-Semitic rhetoric on Twitter.

Separately, police questioned fans of the Chelsea soccer team of London suspected of chanting anti-Semitic slogans aboard a train near the British capital after a match. That incident closely followed similar behavior during a Chelsea match in Hungary.

Both the police and Labour’s ethics bosses acted relatively swiftly in dealing with these expressions of such hate speech, which recurs in British sports and politics.

The Labour official, Mohammed Yasin, shared anti-Semitic posts and 9/11 conspiracy theories multiple times while serving as Labour’s West Midlands regional organizer, The Sunday Times reported. One of the posts he shared blamed Jews for “all the wars in the world,” the report said.

Labour suspended him after the paper approached the party with a dossier of Yasin’s activity on social media.

The questioning of three Chelsea fans took place in the United Kingdom after the club’s game at Brighton on Sunday, The Guardian reported. Reports of the chanting on the train came three days after the club criticized fans for singing an anti-Semitic song during a game at Vidi, Hungary.

Chelsea is owned by a Jewish businessman, Roman Abramovich, who has led various initiatives against the proliferation of anti-Semitic discourse in sports.

In Britain, the Tottenham Hotspur soccer club — a strong rival of Chelsea – is often associated with Jewish themes, including by some of its supporters. According to The Express, the chants in Hungary were directed at Tottenham although Chelsea was playing there against the local Vidi team.

The match in Brighton was not against Tottenham.

Labour has faced considerable scrutiny in the British media amid claims that it has an anti-Semitism problem tied to the election in 2015 of Jeremy Corbyn, a far-left politician, as its leader.

Corbyn has called Hamas and Hezbollah his friends and said that British “Zionists” don’t understand British irony. He has rejected claims that his behavior encourages anti-Semitism, vowing to punish any member caught engaging in racist rhetoric.

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