Labour MP denies he compared Israel to Nazis in tweet

By Marcus Dysch, January 20, 2014

A Labour MP’s tweet which appeared to compare Israel to the Nazis was “poorly-worded”, the party has admitted.

Grahame Morris posted a message on Sunday showing what appeared to be a group of protesters waving an Israeli flag.

Alongside it he wrote: “Nazis in my village - do you see the flag they fly.”

Mr Morris took over as chair of the party’s Friends of Palestine and the Middle East group last month.

A Labour source said the image was thought to be from a far-right protest in the MP’s Easington constituency in County Durham.

He said the term “Nazi” referred to the protesters, and was not intended as a reference comparing Israel to the Third Reich.

Speaking on behalf of the MP, a Labour Party spokesman said: “This was a poorly-worded tweet. Grahame Morris has campaigned against discrimination throughout his life.”

Members of the extreme right-wing English Defence League have in the past waved Israeli flags at demonstrations in an apparent attempt to rile Palestinian-supporting members of Muslim communities.

The social media row came after Mr Morris had earlier posted a picture of a woman wearing a T-shirt stating “Keep Calm and Free Palestine”. The T-shirt appeared to carry a provocative map of Palestine predating the creation of Israel.

Mr Morris had aimed the flag picture at Yosef Kutner, a Twitter user who described himself as Jewish and Zionist. The MP later told him: “[I have] been anti-Nazi, anti-fascist and on the side of justice all my life.”

In response to two pro-Israel campaigners from Norway who had earlier criticised his “Keep Calm” tweet, the MP remarked: “Just tell your bosses you have done your work and reflect on my timeline - justice for Palestine.”

Other messages on Mr Morris’s Twitter feed referred to “Zionist trolls” who had criticised him.

Last updated: 5:05pm, January 20 2014