Labour’s general secretary meets Israeli counterpart

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Labour’s general secretary meets Israeli counterpart

David Evans spoke with  Eran Harmoni in first such meeting of the two sister parties for over four years, saying it marked a 'new era of relations' between them

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Labour’s general secretary David Evans has met with his Israeli counterpart Eran Harmoni in the latest move to restore relations between the two parties.

It was the first meeting of the two sister parties for over four years with Labour Friends of Israel chair Steve McCabe MP also joining.

The Israeli Labour Party decided to suspend relations in response to the direction of the party under Jeremy Corbyn in March 2018.

Mr Evans said: “I was delighted to meet with Eran Harmoni, the General Secretary of the Israeli Labor Party, in what we hope marks a new era of relations between our two parties.

“I expressed my personal sorrow for the grief and pain that the failure of the Labour Party to tackle antisemitism has brought to Jewish communities here in the UK and within Israel.

“It will take time to rebuild trust but I am delighted that we have taken our first steps to rebuild this vital sister party relationship. I look forward to working with Eran and the Labor Party on restoring and reenergising our long, historic cooperation.”

Eran Harmoni, Israeli Labor Party Secretary General, said: “The winds of change in the British Labour Party is a great opportunity to begin to re-establish the fruitful connection and cooperation between the Israeli Labor Party and the British Labour Party.

“Both parties share common values and can join forces in the battle against racism, antisemitism and prejudices and would be the right and just thing to do after the problematic era of Labour under the previous leadership.

“It was heart-warming to hear the sincere apologies spoken by General Secretary of the Labour Party, David Evans, and to witness the unprecedented practical steps the British Labour Party has taken since Keir Starmer’s election. I am looking forward to our shared promising future.”

Steve McCabe MP, Labour Friends of Israel Chair, said: “I’m delighted to have joined the first call in a number of years between the General Secretaries of the UK and Israeli Labour parties. ”

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