Labour councillor is suspended after accusing Israeli government of kidnapping Palestinian children to ‘harvest their organs’
- Yusuf Jan-Virman also compared Israeli people to ‘crocodiles’ during meeting
- Ex-councillor suspended from Labour, which is set to launch a full investigation
- He is third councillor to be disciplined by the party over alleged anti-Semitism
- Blackburn Conservative Association’s Rick Moore said comments ‘unacceptable’
A Labour councillor has been suspended after accusing the Israeli government of kidnapping Palestinian children to ‘harvest their organs’.
Yusuf Jan-Virmani, an ex-Blackburn with Darwen Council executive board member councillor, also compared Israeli people to ‘crocodiles’ during the group’s annual meeting last Thursday.
It is understood he has since been administratively suspended from Labour, which is set to launch a full investigation.
The suspension makes him the borough’s third councillor to be disciplined by the party due to alleged anti-Semitic comments since February last year.
Yusuf Jan-Virmani (pictured above), an ex-Labour councillor, has been suspended after accusing the Israeli government of kidnapping Palestinian children to ‘harvest their organs’
During a debate, the Audley and Queens Park ward’s councillor reportedly said: ‘I am not aware of any animal that is so cruel as the Israelis. Not even crocodiles.
‘They bomb schools day and night. Hospitals, they have bombed them. They have flattened them. Refugee camps, they are bombing them.
‘They kidnap the kids and harvest their organs.
‘They murder by land, sea and air and worst of all the Israelis slander the defenceless victims, Palestinians, as terrorists.’
Senior sources told the Lancashire Telegraph that Mr Jan-Virmani has been ‘administratively suspended, pending investigation’.
Rick Moore, Deputy Chairman (Political) of Blackburn Conservative Association, called for the party to carry out an urgent investigation.
He described the ex-councillor’s comments as ‘clearly anti-Semitic in nature’, saying that comparing Israeli people to animals is ‘clearly unacceptable’.
Mr Jan-Virmani said: ‘I stand by what I said. It was nothing to do with Jews. It was criticism of the Israeli government.’
Mr Jan-Virmani, an ex-Blackburn with Darwen Council executive board member councillor, also compared Israeli people to ‘crocodiles’ during the group’s annual meeting last Thursday (pictured: file photo of Darwen Town Hall)
In February last year, Andy Kay, a former cabinet member, an ex-cabinet member of Blackburn with Darwen Council, was expelled from the party over social media posts.
One of his posts on Facebook in 2014 said that ‘Jewish leaders are worse than Nazis’, while another in 2018 said: ‘Zionists’ attempts to influence our political processes is nothing short of racist in its effects on the Palestinian nation.’
In the same month, Tasleem Fazal, also a Blackburn councillor, was suspended over social media posts made in previous years. He also allegedly shouted ‘murderers, murderers, murderers’ at an Israeli peace protest in 2014.
A Labour spokesperson said: ‘The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.’
Source: Read Full Article