A British local political candidate has come under fire for a Facebook post in which she referred derogatarily to Labor party leader Ed Miliband as “the Jew” in Arabic.
Gulzabeen Afsar, who is standing for election to the local council in the English city of Derby, made the comments on Friday, during an exchange on her Facebook page revealed by the UK’s Jewish News.
Afsar, a Conservative candidate, initially poked fun at the Labor leader, posting: “Just can’t take Mr Ed Miliband seriously!! DC [Prime Minister and Conservative leader David Cameron – ed.] has what it takes to be the future PM.”
But when a friend jokingly challenged her to show “some respect for the future PM,” referring to Miliband, Afsar responded with an anti-Semitic slur: “Nah bro! never ever will I drop that low and support the Al Yahud [Arabic for “Jew” – ed.]! Lol”
Derby’s Labor Party was quick to respond, with a spokesman condemning the anti-Semitic post.
“With anti-semitism on the rise across Europe it is abhorrent and terrifying that a prospective Conservative politician would say something like this,” he told the Jewish News.
“Derby Conservatives should launch an immediate investigation into this incident and take the appropriate action. Derby must be free from prejudice, especially from those seeking elected office.”
Jewish Leadership Council spokesman Jay Stoll echoed those calls for an official Conservative Part probe into the comments.
“This is clearly unacceptable and the relevant authorities should investigate this matter swiftly,” he said.
But as yet, the Conservative Party has not launched any investigation against Afsar, who appears to still be running as an official party candidate.
A Conservative spokesman responded to the report by acknowledging that “her comment was offensive and wrong,” but adding merely: “She has removed it and apologised.”
The controversy comes at a time when UK Jews face increasing concerns over rising anti-Semitism both in Britain and in Europe more generally.
A recent poll showed British Jews overwhelmingly support the center-right Conservative Party, ditching David Cameron’s left-wing Labor rivals over the party’s increasingly aggressive anti-Israel positions, and concerns over its own record on anti-Semitism.