The UK Labour Party’s ongoing anti-Semitism row exploded on Monday with the suspension of three city councillors over offensive comments made on social media.
The latest party member to be suspended is Shah Hussain, a Labour Party councillor for the city of Burnley.
Hussain’s suspension came just hours after comments made to an Israeli soccer star in 2014 were publicized, inflaming an already massive scandal over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
The comments, which were part of a Twitter conversation, were directed to Israeli soccer player Yossi Benayoun. Benayoun had criticized former teammate Joey Barton for anti-Israeli statements the latter had made in the midst of the 2014 Gaza conflict.
Hussain then interjected, writing “Yossi, ur an idiot, looks like hartson didn’t kick u hard enough in the head, joey top man!! #FreePalestine.”
The Labour councillor went on to compare Israel to Hitler, claiming that Operation Protective Edge, which was intended to blunt Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel, was equivalent to the Nazi Holocaust.
“You are an [sic] complete and utter plonker, you and your country doing the same thing that hitler did to ur race in ww2.”
On Monday a spokesperson for the Labour Party told reporters that Hussain was suspended until an inquiry into his statements was completed.
The announcement came just hours after another city councillor, Salim Mulla, was suspended for a litany of rabidly anti-Israel comments posted during the summer of 2015.
Mulla, a councillor in Blackburn, wrote that “Zionist Jews are a disgrace to humanity,” and claimed that a number of mass shootings in the US by mentally unstable young men were in fact “revenge” attacks carried out by Israel.
Earlier on Monday the party announced the suspension of Ilyas Aziz, a councillor in Nottingham, following revelations Aziz had argued in favor of the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel. In a separate Facebook post, Aziz also suggested Israelis were “drinking Gaza blood."
Last week two other Labour Party members were suspended for similar comments. Bradford West MP Naz Shah, who had called for the removal of Jews from Israel, was suspended by the party’s General Secretary despite objections from Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn.
Ken Livingstone, a senior party official and former mayor of London, was also suspended after defending Shah and claiming that that Hitler “supported Zionism."