Anti-Semitism probe results in no action against Plaid member

Image caption,
Sahar Al-Faifi is standing in the selection for the Plaid Cymru South Wales Central list

A Plaid Cymru member investigated by her party over claims she sent an anti-Semitic tweet faces no further action, the party has said.

There were calls for Sahar Al-Faifi's expulsion after a Twitter post in June linked US police violence to Israel.

It means she is free to seek selection for the Senedd election next May.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said the decision sent a message that "anti-Semitism is tolerated in Plaid Cymru".

Plaid Cymru said it had a "zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism".

Ms Al-Faifi was suspended by the party in 2019, but reinstated in February over social media messages.

Last year, she admitted some of her posts had crossed "the boundary of criticism of Israel into anti-Semitism".

She is seeking nomination to the South Wales Central regional list, which includes Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and parts of the valleys.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Plaid Cymru launched a disciplinary process after a complaint by the Board of Deputies of British Jews

Following the death of George Floyd in police custody in the USA, Ms Al-Faifi posted a tweet saying: "If you wonder where did these American cops trained, look no further than Israel. Oppression is one and the struggle is transitional."

The message prompted the Board of Deputies of British Jews to call for her expulsion from the party.

A letter from the board's senior vice-president Sheila Gewolb, and South Wales Jewish representative council chairman Laurence Kahn, said Ms Al-Faifi propagated "an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory".

"It is a hallmark of anti-Semitism to attempt to blame Jews for the world's ills," they said in response to Plaid's decision.

The letter added that the tweet followed "years of anti-Semitic behaviour".

"Regrettably, a message has been sent to Jews and anti-Semites that anti-Semitism is tolerated in Plaid Cymru. We would like to understand what the party intends to do to rectify this situation."

What is Sahar Al-Faifi's response?

Following the decision, Ms Al-Faifi said: "I understand the concern of the Jewish community and I will always continue to work with Jewish members in Cardiff to make a more safe and open society for all.

"I presented all evidence required in response to the anti-Semitism allegation to the Plaid Cymru hearing panel who made the decision to exonerate me.

"I and Plaid Cymru pride ourselves on being open and inclusive as a party and members. We reject all forms of discrimination and prejudice and challenge it wherever and whenever it may arise."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Adam Price is being urged to intervene in the case

Ms Al-Faifi said in the summer that her tweet was based on an Amnesty USA report which was later clarified.

"Subsequently, my tweet was deleted," she added.

In an email to party members on Tuesday, the Senedd hopeful said anti-Semitism "is an anathema to me, as are all types of racism".

"It is distressing that a small minority have targeted me.

"As a Muslim, as a refugee and a woman I have faced barriers that very few can understand."

Plaid Cymru said: "The disciplinary process has finished and no further action is being taken in this case.

"Plaid Cymru respects the views of the Board of Deputies and will continue to have constructive discussions.

"The party has a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism and all forms of prejudice and discrimination."

What have other parties said?

Plaid's decision was criticised by politicians from rival parties, including former Welsh Conservative Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies.

He called for Mr Price to "intervene and ensure this individual is not selected to stand for the Senedd".

Labour's Hefin David said the decision was "unacceptable".

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