Sir Keir Starmer vows to visit Israel with LFI 'as soon as is possible'

The Labour leader held a meeting on Zoom with Labour Friends of Israel to discuss a range of topics


Sir Keir Starmer has agreed to visit Israel with the Labour Friends of Israel “as soon as is possible”.

The Labour leader made the pledge during his first meeting with LFI, the group’s chair Steve McCabe MP has confirmed.

During Wednesday’s meeting, held virtually on Zoom, topics discussed included combatting Israel obsession and hatred,  the BDS movement, annexation and coexistence projects.

“It is extremely positive that Keir has agreed to visit Israel with LFI as soon as is possible,” said Mr McCabe after the talks.

“We will play a full and constructive role in supporting Keir and I look forward to working with him to rebuild our party.”

Others to attend the talks included  Baroness Ramsay, the LFI chair in the Lords, Dame Louise Ellman and Sir Trevor Chinn.

Sir Keir later said: "I was delighted to meet with Labour Friends of Israel today to put on record my thanks for the crucial role they play in the Labour party, for contributing to a balanced debate on the Middle East and for their work in supporting initiatives to promote a peaceful two-state solution for the people of Israel and Palestine.  

“I also wanted to make clear that I understand the past few years have been difficult for members of LFI as far too often the debate on the Middle East and Israel has descended into hateful antisemitism. As Labour leader I am determined to confront this, rid our party of antisemitism and ensure we conduct our political debate in a respectful and constructive manner."

Mr McCabe added: “I was delighted to chair a meeting between LFI and Labour leader Keir Starmer. Since his election, we have already seen the start of real progress in tackling the scourge of antisemitism in the party and rebuilding our relationship with the Jewish community.

“It was encouraging to hear from Keir that under his leadership Labour will once again be an honest-broker on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our Labour values require us to support those progressives in the region who are working for peace and a two-state solution.

“Ending the disproportionate obsession with Israel is also vital to making our party a safe and welcoming space for Jewish members once again, as well as winning back the trust of the Jewish community.

"I made it clear that in relation to Labour's current policy position the LFI does not support any form of boycott or sanctions against the Jewish state.



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