UK Labour Party leader candidates all call themselves ‘Zionist’ or sympathetic to Zionism, get blasted by the Left

, UK Labour Party leader candidates all call themselves ‘Zionist’ or sympathetic to Zionism, get blasted by the Left, Travel Wire News |  Travel Newswire, Travel Wire News |  Travel Newswire

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The four Labour leader hopefuls all claimed to be Zionist – or sympathetic to the movement – at a special event held by a Jewish wing of the party, drawing outrage from party supporters on pro-Palestinian grounds.

When answering questions posed at the Jewish Labour Movement hustings on Thursday, Lisa Nandy, Rebecca Long-Bailey, and Emily Thornberry unequivocally called themselves Zionist. Their fellow Labour leader candidate Keir Starmer qualified his answer, saying “I don’t describe myself as a Zionist, but I understand, sympathize, and support Zionism.” The pronouncements quickly ignited the ire of many Labour members who took to Twitter to vent their anger – with some even threatening to leave the party altogether.

“Zionism is racism,” one wrote. “In good faith, I will be cancelling my membership. I am Jewish. I am anti-Zionist.” Meanwhile, former Labour MP Chris Williamson tweeted that previous party leaders had “condemned apartheid S. Africa,” but that “today’s would-be leaders condone apartheid Israel!” 

Many highlighted the plight of the Palestinian people in their criticism of the remarks, with one commenter asking: “Is Labour a safe space for (meaningful) Palestine solidarity activism? The answer, shamefully, is no.” Others queried even asking the Zionism question of the leadership contenders in the first place.


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