Keir Starmer believes anti-Zionism is antisemitism, Israeli politician reveals

Mickey Levy met with the Labour leader during a UK visit this week


Sir Keir Starmer believes that anti-Zionism is a form of antisemitism, a leading Israeli politician has confirmed to the JC.

Knesset speaker Mickey Levy met with the Labour leader during a trip to Britain this week in which he met with politicians and Jewish community figures including the Chief Rabbi.

After visiting parliament, Mr Levy told the JC: “I spoke with British leaders, all of them including members of Parliament about antisemitism, and I clarified: anti-Zionism is antisemitism. Antisemitism is the denial of the right of the Jewish nation to a home of their own.”

Asked if Sir Keir agreed with that statement, Mr Levy said yes. 

Discussing antisemitism in the Labour party, he said: “The first thing that [Sir Keir] did was sort out his own party. And he said to me explicitly he was going to fight every phenomena of an antisemitic nature.

“Within the party he actually has changed the discourse. We were very worried about the previous leader of the party...

“We were very worried both us in Israel and the Jewish community about those moves. Thank god he is no longer [leader].”

While visiting parliament, Mr Levy added, “I found true friends on both sides of the spectrum.”

The Yesh Atid MK said he had invited Sir Keir and his wife, who is Jewish, to visit his home in Israel.

“I told him he needs to bring his wife,” he said. 

“I invited him to come to my home. What is the reason? Because my wife, she is a very good cook, a Sephardi cook.”

Sir Keir reportedly said he needed to check whether his schedule would allow the visit.

Mr Levy also warned newly incumbent Prime Minister Liz Truss about the danger of supporting a nuclear deal with Iran.

“Iran is a terrorist country,” he told the JC

“Iran is actually on the verge of obtaining nuclear capacity. Iran is a fundamentalist country that supports terror orgs like Hezbollah around the world. Iran sent some terror squads recently to murder some Israeli tourists in Turkey.”

In dealing with the Islamic Republic, he added, all options - including military force - remain on the table.

“For various options we need the support and aid of various countries in Europe [and] the United States,” Mr Levy said. 

“The European leaders need to convey the message to Iran that time has run out. The stage of talk has ended. 

“The Americans understand that, as do the British. Iran has missiles that could reach any target in Europe. 

“When Iran goes into conflict with any country in Europe it will threaten it with long distance missiles. Don’t say we didn’t know - here we are telling you this.”

Mr Levy, who served as head of the Jerusalem police force during the second intifada, said that Israel was prepared to take decisive action in response to recent terror attacks.

An elderly Jewish woman was killed earlier this week in an attack thought to have been carried out Palestinian man who had travelled into Israel using a work permit.

“We are cooperating with the Palestinian Authority, we are concerned they know that they will be actually harmed if there is another intifada,” Mr Levy said.

“Each day Israel lets 50 thousand workers into Israel proper from the Palestinian territories. Israel collects the tax for the Palestinians from the goods that come. They have a lot to lose.

“The Palestinians have a lot to lose. And that’s why I hope they will take the right considerations for their own consideration and not those of the armed squads.”

Hailing two years since the signing of the landmark Abraham Accords, Mr Levy emphasised the economic value of peace with the Arab world.

“Each new country that would join [the Accords] has understood that Israel is an existing fact. Three weeks ago Israeli airplanes actually crossed the sky above Saudi Arabia. Morocco has joined the Abraham Accords and we continue to hold talks with additional Arab countries. 

“The Arab countries has a lot to join with working with Israel in fields of technology, agriculture, medicine…

“Don’t forget we have peace with Egypt and with Jordan. We provide the Jordanians with water and gas to the Egyptians.” 

The Labour Party declined to comment. 

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