British Labour becomes an open instrument of Israel and Zionism!

All four Labour leadership candidates declare themselves zionists or supporters of zionism

By Lamiat Sabin

LABOUR leadership candidates declared themselves zionists or supporters of zionism at a husting jointly held by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and Labour Friends of Israel.

All hopefuls were asked if they considered themselves zionists at the event last night.

Lisa Nandy — who received JLM’s formal backing today after winning 50.9 per cent of a vote by the membership — said: “I believe that Jewish people have the right to national self-determination. That makes me a zionist.”

Emily Thornberry said: “I believe in the state of Israel and therefore I’m a zionist.”

Sir Keir Starmer said: “I don’t describe myself as a zionist but I understand, sympathise and support zionism.”

Rebecca Long-Bailey said: “I agree with a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state … I suppose that makes me a zionist because I agree with Israel’s right to exist and right to self determine.”

Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) co-chair Leah Levane told the Star that criticism of Israel has been conflated with “anti-semitism,” and used to smear outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

She added: “Candidates clearly knew that if they admitted to doubts about zionism there was likely to be a wholesale onslaught accusing them of being apologists for anti-semitism or worse.”

She stressed that it is possible and “extremely common” to criticise Israel without “harbouring prejudice, hostility or hatred towards Jews.”

Ms Levane continued: “The problem for candidates is that saying that you are a zionist can make you look as if you subscribe to the whole internal racism and settlement project of Israel.

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“But saying that you are not zionist unleashes those looking for a political advantage, from the internet trolls through to the Board of Deputies, to smear you as a closet anti-semite.

“This is no way to conduct our politics.”

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