Labour frontbencher apologises for post about ‘dangerous’ Zionism

MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle also suggested Jewish claims to Israel were ‘not progressive’


Labour frontbench MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle has apologised for suggesting Jewish claims to Israel were “not progressive in [their] very nature” and that Zionism was a “dangerous nationalist idea”.

Mr Russell-Moyle, a shadow environment minister and former ally of Jeremy Corbyn, made the comments on a Woodcraft Folk (WF) Facebook group before becoming an MP in 2017.

Mr Russell-Moyle was previously chair of the WF, an education group, and while he held the role in 2010, children as young as nine voted to boycott Israeli goods at the group's annual meeting.

The Sunday Times reported that after being asked about the comments, he apologised, adding: “I have now deleted these posts and recognise why they were offensive.”

He said he would be contacting the Jewish Labour Movement for talks, adding: “I am completely and unreservedly committed to supporting Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner’s pledge to rid the party of antisemitism.”

In one deleted comment, Mr Russell-Moyle wrote: “The point is people who are form Jewish decent/Jewish but are not Zionist is that the two are not automatic that you can be proud of being Jewish but realise that idea of inheriting/claim a land that you may have never visited or seen but have a ‘heritage’ claim for is not progressive in its very nature.”

He also compared Israel to the National Party of apartheid-era South Africa, saying: “Terrorism feeds of violence, that is why it is only Israel that can stop the violence, it was the National Party in South Africa that had to make the first steps.”

It emerged the Brighton Kemptown MP had also written a letter to Labour HQ last month in support of Rebecca Massey, an activist who said Israel had Labour and the Tories “under control”.

She was suspended from Labour for backing notorious “Jew-baiter” ex-MP Chris Williamson.

According to the Sunday Times, Mr Russell-Moyle’s letter only included details about her past support for Labour.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive