Jeremy Corbyn has promoted Naz Shah MP to the Shadow Cabinet, appointing her Shadow Equalities Minister. The MP for Bradford West was suspended in April 2016 over social media posts comparing Israelis to Nazis, suggesting that Israel should be relocated to the USA, and warning that “The Jews are rallying”.
Ms Shah apologised to the House of Commons, and to the Jewish community, professing to having been “ignorant” about anti-Jewish discrimination, and saying that she would “do everything in [her] power to build relations between Muslims, Jews and people of different faiths and none”. Ms Shah was reinstated by Labour’s National Executive Committee in July 2016, with the warning that another such incident would result in her expulsion from the Party.
Ms Shah’s attempts to make amends even resulted in her being subjected to antisemitic abuse at a hustings meeting in Bradford when she defended Israel’s very right to exist, however she has also been caught attending events hosted by Labour activists accused of antisemitism.
However, in the week when the Labour Party published its own rewritten definition of antisemitism, she was one of a number of MPs who signed a letter which seemed to lend support for the creation of a definition other than the International Definition of Antisemitism.
In spite of Ms Shah’s efforts to mend relations with the Jewish community, lending her support to efforts to rewrite the International Definition of Antisemitism and attending events hosted by figures unapologetically embroiled in antisemitism allegations by will surely raise questions as to whether she has truly understood the full extent of concerns over the rise of antisemitism in the UK, and whether she is best placed to fulfil a role which will require acute sensitivity on this point.