Two labour party councilors have been suspended for comments deemed anti-Semitic that were posted on social media two years ago.
A party source said an investigation will be carried out into the comments made by both men.
Ilyas Aziz, a Nottingham City councilor and a Blackburn councillor, Salim Mullawas were both suspended after controversial comments were found on their Facebook pages.
In a post, from 2014, Mr Mulla shared footage allegedly showing a Palestinian boy being arrested with a comment from the councillor saying: “Apartheid at its best. Zionist Jews are a disgrace to humanity.”
Their suspensions follows that of formerMayor of London Ken Livingstone, who made the claim that Hitler supported Zionism before ‘he went a mad’.
A Labour spokeswoman confirmed today that the councillors had been suspended from the party pending an investigation.
It comes after Jeremy Corbyn insisted the party was ‘united’ in opposing anti-Semitism following a turbulent week in which his leadership has been called in to question.
Nottingham councillor Aziz told the Press Association that he had not written two of the posts from 2014.
Asked whether he thought that people who criticised Israeli policy faced being accused of anti-Semitism, he said: ‘I think you need to be careful.
‘The thing you have got to try and appreciate is that if a particular government – whether it’s the Israeli government, whether it’s the British government – if the government is actually doing something wrong they should be criticised.
‘But not the population itself, it’s got nothing to do with them, it’s got nothing to do with the religion.’
He said he supported the suspensions of Ms Shah and the former London mayor Livingstone but declined to comment after his suspension.
Guido Fawkes reported that Mr Mulla shared a message suggesting Israel should be relocated to the United States.
Another post, from 2014, apparently showed footage of a Palestinian boy being arrested with a comment from Mr Mulla saying: ‘Apartheid at its best. Zionist Jews are a disgrace to humanity.’
Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite and Labour’s biggest donor, added that Mr Corbyn was the victim of “a cynical attempt to manipulate antisemitism for political aims”, according to the Independent:
“The idea that there is an antisemitic crisis within the Labour Party is absolutely offensive but it is being used in order to challenge Jeremy Corbyn,” he told Pienaar’s Politics on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“Once the mood music of antisemitism dies down, then next week and the week after there will be another subject. It is an issue that comes up because somebody says something stupid and then immediately it becomes a crisis.”
The row had been “got up by the right-wing press aided and abetted by Labour MPs” and party grandees who “get out of their wheelchair and toss a few hand grenades in”, the union chief added.