British Member of Parliament (MP) Naz Shah—who was suspended in April from the Labour Party for suggesting that Israel should be relocated to the United States as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and was later reinstated—told BBC Radio 4 that she is not anti-Semitic, but admitted she had used anti-Semitic language.
Shah’s initial comment sparked an anti-Semitism scandal that resulted in the suspension of at least 50 other Labour members and extended to former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who was suspended for saying in a BBC interview that Hitler had supported Zionism.
In the new radio interview, Shah reflected on “how stupid I was and how ignorant I was” when she made her comment about relocating Israel. She said, “The truth is that some of the stuff I have since looked at and understood, I didn’t know at the time.”
“I didn’t get anti-Semitism as racism,” said Shag. “I had never come across it. I think what I had was an ignorance….And I had to really question my heart of hearts. Yes, I have ignorance, yes everybody has prejudice, subconscious biases, but does that make me anti-Semitic? And the answer was no, I do not have a hatred of Jewish people.” (JNS)