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Labour candidate apologises for ‘gassed’ tweet about Israel

Peymana Assad claimed she was using the word as a slang term for being happy, but others described the tweet as distasteful.

(PA)
(PA)

By Edd Dracott, PA

A Labour General Election candidate has apologised for an old Twitter post referring to Israel which used the word “gassed”.

In 2012, Peymana Assad tweeted: “Some man I just met thought I was Israeli so I cracked the 10 lost tribes of Israel joke to him and he got gassed.”

The tweet was highlighted on Monday by @GnasherJew, a Twitter account dedicated to “exposing left-wing anti-Semitism” which claims to be run by Jewish journalists and former Labour Party members.

The account said it was not sure what Ms Assad meant by the post, but described it as “exceptionally distasteful”.

Others criticised Ms Assad for the tweet, with Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein responding: “This is the person Labour is asking my family & neighbours to vote for in my constituency.”

Mr Finkelstein later thanked Ms Assad for her apology and said he accepted her explanation.

In a statement shared on Monday afternoon, Ms Assad apologised and said she used the word “gassed” as a “common slang term for being happy and excited”.

“It didn’t occur to me at all that it would have other connotations and I’m completely mortified that I didn’t realise this. I unreservedly apologise,” she wrote.

The candidate for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner shared examples of other posts from 2012 and 2013 in which she used the term.

She also posted Urban Dictionary’s definition – which describes the word as “when one is overwhelmed or cannot hold your excitement any longer”.

She added: “I said I was Afghan but that there’s a theory that Afghans descend from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, we laughed about it being a kind of strange theory that’s never been proved

“He was really intrigued by it and said he’d look it up when he got home.”

Ms Assad continued: “I’ve been outspoken against any pro-Palestinian campaigners blaming Jewish people for Israel’s actions and about anti-Semitism in our party and calling out those who seek to deny and downplay it.

“I am absolutely committed to standing in solidarity with Jewish people and to fighting anti-Semitism.”

PA

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