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Left-wing Labor MP Kate Osamor was suspended by her party on Sunday following a message to local members in which she cited the war in Gaza as a recent example of genocide.
Labor officials confirmed that Osamor, shadow international development secretary in former leader Jeremy Corbyn’s top team, had been suspended by opposition leader Sir Alan Campbell “in the awaiting an investigation.
The suspension of the MP from Edmonton, north London, is the latest example of unrest on the left of the Labor Party, which wants its current leader, Sir Keir Starmer, to take a tougher line towards Israel.
Osamor wrote in his Friday message: “Tomorrow is Holocaust Memorial Day, an international day to remember the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, millions more murdered under the Nazi persecution of other groups and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia. and now Gaza.
His comments were denounced by Jewish community leaders and later apologized for “any offense caused.” Osamor was taking a flight on Sunday but was suspended on landing, Labor sources said.
In a subsequent post on social media platform X, Osamor described the situation in Gaza as a “humanitarian disaster” rather than a “genocide.” She is expected to have further discussions with Campbell in the coming days.
Board of Deputies of British Jews dismissed his excuses as “totally hollow” and condemned “Kate Osamor’s attempts to link the Holocaust to the current situation in Gaza.”
He added in a statement: “The industrialized massacre of 6 million Jews is in no way comparable to Israel’s efforts to uproot Hamas from Gaza.
“We believe Ms Osamor was fully aware of what she was saying and therefore consider her apology to be completely hollow.” Before the Labor Party announced his suspension, the Labor Party called for him to lose his whip.
Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds told Sky News: “What is happening in Gaza is clearly a humanitarian disaster, that is recognised,” he said.
“But there are specific reasons why the Holocaust is considered that way. It is important to remember this on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“And I understand that Kate apologized. There was a conversation with the chief whip. There will be more discussions next week, but of course we take everything that happens in this space extremely seriously.
Last week, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to exercise restraint in Gaza and “take all measures in its power” to prevent any action falling within the scope of the Genocide Convention.