Labour activist condemns Young Labour after group calls Israeli opposition leader 'war criminal'

Party delegation met Tzipi Livni, which prompted an outburst from Young Labour condemning them


A Labour activist has condemned the party's youth wing's "reactionary" response to a meeting with Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni, whom they branded a "war criminal".

Matt Pound, national organiser for the moderate Labour First, tweeted to defend his trip as part of a delegation that had a series of meetings, including one with Ms Livni and others with representatives from the West Bank and Gaza.

After Ms Livni tweeted a picture of her meeting "representatives of Young Labour", Young Labour tweeted: "As Israel’s foreign minister during the Gaza War, Tzipi Livni oversaw the massacre of 1,391 Palestinians...

"The individuals meeting this war criminal are in no way representative of Young Labour.”

Other left-wing activists backed the Momentum-dominated Young Labour’s position, with repeated references to Ms Livni as a “war criminal”.

Mr Pound defended the delegation, which also included former Labour NEC member Jasmine Beckett.

Mr Pound said: "We are on a delegation of young(ish) Labour activists to Israel.

"We met the Leader of the Opposition to the Netanyahu Government (an incredible privilege, not usually afforded to grassroots activists) and will be meeting reps from the West Bank and Gaza.

“Whilst Jeremy Corbyn claims to be ‘talking to both sides to achieve peace’, the reality is that in a few days we have done more to engage with both sides of the conflict than he has in 35 years as a Labour MP. He only ever speaks to one side. Whether that’s the PA or IRA.

“As leader of the Opposition he has still failed to visit Yad Vashem (the Holocaust museum in Israel which we paid tribute to yesterday) or meet any senior Israeli politician. He talks about peace and reconciliation, but can’t bring himself to meet with a single Israeli. Why?"

He called Young Labour a "fanclub" for Mr Corbyn and said it had been "newly Momentumised", a reference to the pro-Corbyn campaign group within the party."

“Young Labour have used their status and influence to attack other Labour members who are prepared to engage in dialogue with a centre-left politician in Israel says more about them than it does about us,” he added.

Mr Pound also tweeted a photograph of himself, Ms Beckett and Danny Adilypour, a GMB and Unite union activist, laying a wreath at Yad Vashem on behalf of Labour members.


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