Cardiff Deputy Lord Mayor Says Hamas Fired Toy Rockets' at Israel

Welsh businessman calls on legislator Ali Ahmed to resign or be dismissed.

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Haaretz
Sderot residents show the remains of a rocket fired from Gaza, on July 13, 2014.
Sderot residents show the remains of a rocket fired from Gaza, on July 13, 2014.Credit: AFP
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Haaretz

Comments by the deputy lord mayor of Cardiff, UK, suggesting that Hamas was firing "toy rockets" at Israel during the country's recent conflict in Gaza, have prompted Israel's honorary consul to Wales to demand that he resign or be dismissed, a media report says.

On August 30, the lord mayor, Ali Ahmed, attended a "No NATO" rally in Newport. A video of the remarks linked by Wales Online shows that Ahmed was introduced as the deputy lord mayor but told the crowd that he was attending in a personal capacity.

"We all know what's happening in Iraq … in Gaza, Palestine, Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan. Who created all this? It's us, America, Mr. Cameron," Ahmed told the rally. He said the rockets fired at Israel were "toy rockets" while Israel was firing "arms and weapons made in U.K. and USA, supplied by America."

Ahmed told the rally that the U.S. had "created" Osama bin Laden and Isis, the Sunni Islamist group trying to establish a caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

He ended the speech saying "Freedom for Palestine" twice.

Philip Kaye, a Cardiff executive who has held the position of Israel's honorary consul since in Wales since 2010, called Ahmed's remarks "deeply offensive" to the Jewish community, Wales Online reported.

“To refer to the rockets launched against Israel as ‘toy rockets’ is appalling. One of them killed a four year-old child,” the website quoted Kaye as saying.

Kaye sent an e-mail to Cardiff Council Chief Executive Paul Orders, saying that Ahmed's remarks bring "disrepute" on the city and called for Ahmed's resignation or dismissal, the website reported.

Ahmed, a member of the Labour Party, said he attended the rally as a private citizen and has "a right to express my views," Wales Online reported.

Cardiff Deputy Lord Mayor Ali AhmedCredit: Cardiff, U.K., Council Website

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