The Board of Deputies of British Jews has commented on suspended Plaid Cymru activist Sahar Al-Saifi.
A spokeperson said: “As Sahar Al-Faifi has dragged us in to the row over her social media posts, we would like to clarify some facts. We met Sahar Al-Faifi to confront her over concerns we had over antisemitic social media postings. Ms Al-Faifi apologised to us and made some amendments to her social media output. However, we made clear that the situation still remained unsatisfactory, namely:
- The edits that have been made to two of Sahar’s most problematic Facebook posts are not at all satisfactory.
- A Facebook cover photo, posted on December 7th 2012, and still live on 18th November 2019, shows Hamas leaders doing a ‘victory’ symbol, with a Quranic verse wishing for “a mighty victory”.
- As we mentioned at our meeting with Ms Al-Faifi on 12th February, Hamas is proscribed as a terrorist group across the European Union: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dec/2019/25/oj.
- The addition of a paragraph about how the leader of Hamas was greeted by ‘cheering crowds’, does little to change the fact that this post is promoting “a mighty victory” for a proscribed terrorist group.
- The Facebook post about the London Bridge attacks from June 2017, is also barely changed as of 18th November 2019. While Sahar has added in some other names such as Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), it still contains the reference to ‘pro-Zionists’, linking them to the attacks, claiming that “These people make money from wars and it is within their interest to make the world unstable by funding fear via morons and militias.”
- The London Bridge terrorist attacks – which killed 8 people, and injured 48 – were carried out by attackers linked to the extremist groups Al-Muhajiroun and ISIS.
- Both Al-Muhajiroun and ISIS – as Sahar ought to be aware – are ideologically and violently antisemitic, and opposed to the existence of the State of Israel.
- The idea that ‘pro-Zionists’ encouraged, assisted, or benefited from a murderous attack on civilians in London, is utterly baseless, and is clearly an antisemitic conspiracy theory.
These two outstanding concerns relate to posts from 2012 and 2017. This was a significant time ago, and according to Ms Al-Faifi’s apology, she has learned a lot since then. We would have hoped that deleting these two posts in their entirety should not have been a question.
However, after 18 months of waiting for her to delete them, Ms Al-Faifi’s reluctance to doing so raises serious questions.
It is also worth noting that Ms Al-Faifi remains a Regional Manager for MEND, a highly problematic organisation whose activity risks increasing hostility and suspicion between the Jewish and Muslim communities, rather than building trust and empathy.”