British lawmaker who shared anti-Semitic Facebook posts under police investigation

(JTA) — A British lawmaker who was suspended from the Labour party for anti-Semitic comments posted on social media is being investigated by police.

Naz Shah, who was readmitted to the party in July, could be charged with inciting religious hatred, an offense punishable by up to seven years in prison, the Daily Mail reported Monday.

Shah, 42, one of nine Muslims in Parliament, was suspended in May for sharing a post on Facebook suggesting Israel’s Jews should be relocated to the US and tweeting the hashtag “#IsraelApartheid” and a quote saying, “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” Another post called on her friends to back a poll criticizing Israel.

The posts had appeared in early August, 2014, during the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas. She later apologized for the posts.

She was one of at least 20 Labour figures who had been either suspended or kicked out of the party this spring amid intense public scrutiny over the proliferation of anti-Semitic and vitriolic anti-Israel rhetoric after the 2014 election of Jeremy Corbyn to lead the party.

The West Yorkshire Police opened an investigation into the social media posts after receiving several complaints, the Mail reported. The investigation reportedly is in its final stages. The full investigation file will be handed over to the Crown Prosecution Service within days, according to the newspaper.

A spokesman for the British non-profit organization, Campaign Against Antisemtism, told the Mail that the Labour Party still has not come to grips with the problem of anti-Semitism in the party ranks.

“If it is true that there is an ongoing police investigation into anti-Semitic hate crime allegedly committed by Naz Shah, and Labour was aware of it but decided to end her suspension before the police investigation had concluded, then this is yet further evidence of the Party’s abject failure to grasp its anti-Semitism problem,” he said.