Councillor Pat Marsh resigns after criticism over ‘antisemitic’ tweets

Councillor Pat Marsh.

Pat Marsh has resigned as a councillor on North Yorkshire Council following comments that were widely regarded as antisemitic.

A council spokesperson confirmed she has quit representing the Stray, Woodlands and Hookstone division and a by-election will now be held.

It signals the end of a three-decade career in local politics where she had been at the heart of the Liberal Democrats’ Harrogate district operation until her spectacular downfall last week.

The comments made in January and February on social media platform X led to her suspension from the party but she had indicated she planned to continue as an independent.

Ms Marsh won with 1,350 votes when the division was last contested in 2022 and the by-election could be close.

Conservative John Ennis came second with 910 votes, Labour’s Helen Burke was third with 189 votes and independent Anna McIntee was fourth with 167 votes.


      • Zionism is derived from the word Zion, referring to the Biblical Land of Israel. In the late 19th century, Zionism emerged as a political movement to reestablish a Jewish state in Israel, the ancestral homeland of the Jewish People. Today, Zionism refers to support for the continued existence of Israel, in the face of regular calls for its destruction or dissolution. Anti-Zionism is opposition to Jews having a Jewish state in their ancestral homeland, and denies the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.

        The belief that the Jews, alone among the people of the world, do not have a right to self-determination — or that the Jewish people’s religious and historical connection to Israel is invalid — is inherently bigoted. When Jews are verbally or physically harassed or Jewish institutions and houses of worship are vandalized in response to actions of the State of Israel, it is antisemitism. When criticisms of Israel use antisemitic ideas about Jewish power or greed, utilize Holocaust denial or inversion (i.e. claims that Israelis are the “new Nazis”), or dabble in age-old xenophobic suspicion of the Jewish religion, otherwise legitimate critiques cross the line into antisemitism. Calling for a Palestinian nation-state, while simultaneously advocating for an end to the Jewish nation-state is hypocritical at best, and potentially antisemitic.

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