In a shocking turn of events, Azhar Ali, a Labour by-election candidate in Rochdale, has stirred controversy by claiming that Israel intentionally allowed 1,400 of its citizens to be massacred on October 7, providing a pretext to invade Gaza.
The revelations, captured in a secret recording obtained by The Mail on Sunday, are set to heighten tensions within the Labour Party, particularly regarding Sir Keir Starmer’s position on the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Outrage and Condemnations:
The assertions made by Azhar Ali have ignited a firestorm of criticism from various quarters.
The Jewish community and MPs have vehemently condemned the remarks, labeling them disgraceful and shocking.
Raphi Bloom of the North West Friends Of Israel expressed strong disapproval, while Tory Vice-Chairman Craig Tracey characterized Ali’s statements as bizarre and offensive.
Azhar Ali’s Apology and Acknowledgment:
In response to the backlash, Azhar Ali issued an unreserved apology to the Jewish community, acknowledging that his comments were deeply offensive, ignorant, and false.
He specifically recognized Hamas’s responsibility for the terror attack on October 7 and pledged to apologize urgently to Jewish leaders.
Political Fallout and Starmer’s Position:
The fallout from Ali’s comments extends to the broader political landscape, with Tory Vice-Chairman Craig Tracey asserting that Ali’s views reflect poorly on Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership.
Ali had also suggested that Starmer had ‘lost the confidence’ of MPs over his stance on the Israel-Gaza conflict.
This adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing debates within the Labour Party.
Context of Ali’s Initial Remarks:
Azhar Ali initially made these controversial statements at a Lancashire Labour Party meeting shortly after the October attacks.
He alleged that the Israeli government deliberately removed border security, allowing the massacre to occur and providing justification for subsequent actions.
Labour Party Dynamics and Gaza Crisis Handling:
The controversy surrounding Azhar Ali’s claims is situated within the broader dynamics of the Labour Party’s approach to the Gaza crisis.
Sir Keir Starmer has faced criticism for his handling of the situation, with internal divisions highlighted by 56 Labour MPs defying him in November to support calls for a ceasefire.
As the Rochdale by-election approaches, the fallout from Azhar Ali’s remarks adds an unexpected layer of complexity to the political landscape.
The controversy raises questions not only about Ali’s suitability as a candidate but also about the internal cohesion of the Labour Party in navigating sensitive international issues.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn