Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate Claimed Israel Intentionally Allowed October 7th Hamas Terror Attacks

ROCHDALE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Labour candidate for Rochdale, Azhar Ali launches his by-
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A Labour Party candidate for parliament in Rochdale has sparked outrage after claiming that Israel intentionally allowed Islamist Hamas terrorists to slaughter over 1,200 of its citizens during the October 7th attacks.

Azhar Ali, the left-wing Labour Party’s candidate in this month’s by-election in Rochdale — a city in northern England that came to international attention over the Muslim child rape grooming gang scandals in the area — has come under criticism for claiming that Israel gave the “green light” for Hamas terrorists to invade its borders, massacre its citizens and kidnap hundreds of people, many of whom remain in captivity in the Gaza Strip to this day.

In a secret recording made shortly after the terror attacks obtained by the Mail on Sunday, Ali told a Labour Party meeting in Lancashire: “The Egyptians are saying that they warned Israel ten days earlier… Americans warned them a day before [that] there’s something happening… They deliberately took the security off, they allowed… that massacre that gives them the green light to do whatever they bloody want.”

During the recording, Ali also took aim at Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has drawn pushback from the far-left and Muslim factions within his party over his broadly supportive stance on Israel’s response to the terror attacks. When an attendant of the meeting claimed that Sir Keir was “held in high regard,” Mr Ali responded: “Can I disagree with you… A lot of the MPs I’ve spoken to, non-Muslim MPs, feel that on this issue, he’s lost the confidence of the parliamentary party.”

The left-wing politician’s comments drew condemnation from Jewish leaders, including the co-chairman of the North West Friends Of Israel, Raphi Bloom, who said: “To accuse the Israeli government of wilfully allowing Jews to be slaughtered is a disgraceful and shocking thing to say.”

Meanwhile, the vice chairman of the Conservative Party, Craig Tracey said: “The fact that Sir Keir’s candidate for Rochdale is spreading these bizarre and offensive anti-Israel conspiracy theories shows that for all his bluster, he’s failed to change his party.

“These are the ramblings of an internet crank, not someone who aspires to be a Member of Parliament.”

In a statement, Ali apologised for his comments, saying: “I apologise unreservedly to the Jewish community for my comments which were deeply offensive, ignorant, and false.

“Hamas’s horrific terror attack was the responsibility of Hamas alone, and they are still holding hostages who must be released. October 7 was the greatest loss of Jewish life in a single day since the Holocaust, and Jews in the UK and across the world are living in fear of rising anti-Semitism.”

The Labour Party candidate also said that Sir Keir Starmer has his “full support in delivering the change Britain needs,” adding that the party has “changed unrecognisable” under Starmer, in an apparent reference to the antisemitism scandals which plagued Starmer’s predecessor, socialist Jeremy Corbyn.

While moderating the party’s platform, including on Israel has been a key pillar of Starmer’s strategy to see Labour return to power after over a decade spent in opposition, it has apparently come at the expense of support from the Muslim community. A poll this month found that compared to the general election in 2019, Labour’s support among British Muslims has fallen from 86 per cent to 43 per cent.

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