MANCHESTER NEWS
‘Hypocrisy’ of GP’s tweets

A DOCTOR who tried to help close down an Israeli store in Manchester has been branded "a disgrace" and "a hypocrite".

Dr Siema Iqbal led the campaign for Greater Manchester Police to apologise after a mock terrorist operation at Manchester's Trafford Centre which saw a fake suicide bomber shouting "Allahu Akbar" immediately before detonating a dummy bomb.

However, Dr Iqbal was one of the protesters who demonstrated outside Manchester cosmetics firm Kedem during the Israel-Gaza conflict in the summer of 2014.

She retweeted antisemitic and anti-Zionist material, including accusations of Israel committing genocide against the Palestinians and about "Jews shopping around for cheaper bombs".

She also retweeted the same pictures, asking for Israel to be relocated to America, which saw Labour MP Naz Shah suspended by the party.

Dr Iqbal is based at the Wellfield Medical Centre, in Crescent Road, Crumpsall which is understood to have numerous Jewish patients.

North-West Friends of Israel co-chairman Anthony Dennison told the Jewish Telegraph: "She is - quite rightly - criticising the police for stereotyping Muslims.

"However, this is a woman who stood outside a Jewish shop trying to get it closed and retweeting that Jews should be relocated to America.

"It is disgraceful and antisemitic. Dr Iqbal complains of Islamophobia, but she seems to be ignoring her own actions.

"She should be roundly condemned for them."

A General Medical Council spokesman said it expects all doctors to follow its guidelines on social media.

The spokesman told the Jewish Telegraph: "Serious or persistent failure to follow our guidance could put a doctor's right to practise in jeopardy."

Dr Iqbal was unavailable for comment, despite being contacted numerous times by the Jewish Telegraph.

Last Friday, we left a list of questions to which we required responses at her surgery, but as we went to press last night she had still failed to respond.

Two Muslim councillors also con demned Dr Iqbal's "Israel should be relocated to America" retweet.

Rabnawaz Akbar, a Labour councillor for Rusholme ward, in south Manchester, wrote on Twitter: "The tweet is ignorant and of course I do not condone it."

And Kaiser Rehman, a councillor in Oldham, Lancashire, wrote: "Put that quote used re relocation into historical context, if I was Jewish I'd be offended."

NWFoI co-chairman Raphi Bloom said: "She is a hypocrite of the highest order and should be exposed for making herself out to be a paragon of engagement - and with so many Jewish patients, too."

Mr Bloom contacted the General Medical Council in August, 2014, to complain about Dr Iqbal's actions.

He wrote: "Do any of her Jewish patients (of which she has many) know their doctor is engaged in this protest and boycott? I am sure they would feel very uncomfortable being seen by Dr Iqbal."

Mr Dennison added that he is calling on Dr Iqbal to apologise. He said: "I would like her to meet with us to discuss the antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric. She needs to be open-minded."


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