Jon Stewart Wades Into Row Over UK Election Hopeful’s Israel Tweets: “Dumbest Thing The UK Has Done Since Electing Boris Johnson”

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Jon Stewart has waded into a row about the UK Labour Party blocking election candidate Faiza Shaheen from running for Parliament over her historical tweets relating to Israel.

Stewart shared a Twitter (now X) post from former MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan, in which Hasan claimed that Shaheen had been “suspended” from Labour for liking a tweet that featured Stewart’s famous 2014 ‘We Need to Talk About Israel’ sketch.

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“This is the dumbest thing The UK has done since electing Boris Johnson…what the actual fuck…” Stewart, who is Jewish, told his 1.7M followers.

The reality of the situation is a little more complicated than Hasan’s post suggested, however. Shaheen has not been disciplined for simply liking Stewart’s skit.

In an interview with BBC Newsnight on Wednesday, Shaheen said she has not been selected as Labour’s candidate for the Parliamentary seat of Chingford and Woodford Green in London ahead of the July 4 election.

Shaheen said the Labour party had concerns about 14 tweets over the past decade. This included a tweet she liked, which linked to Stewart’s sketch and claimed that critics of Israel are “assailed” by “professional organisations” who inflict “non-stop harassment” and “accuse you of antisemitism.”

The social media activity reportedly prompted complaints to the Jewish Labour Movement and Shaheen acknowleged on Newsnight that the tweet was problematic.

“I don’t remember liking this tweet,” she said. “I know what’s wrong with it, of course. The line that’s there, about they’re in ‘professional organizations,’ that plays into a trope and I absolutely don’t agree with that and I’m sorry about that.”

Shaheen, who has previously been backed by actor Hugh Grant, has been a supporter of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Keir Starmer, the current Labour leader, has made it one of his central missions to distance the party from allegations of antisemitism that dogged Corbyn’s tenure.

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