MP asks shadow justice secretary to clarify anti-Zionism claims

MP asks shadow justice secretary to clarify anti-Zionism claims

Labour Friends of Israel calls for clarification over claims MP Richard Burgon branded Zionism "the enemy of peace”.

Richard Burgon
Richard Burgon

Labour Friends of Israel has called on the shadow justice secretary to clarify claims he branded Zionism “the enemy of peace”.

The Daily Mail claims Labour MP Richard Burgon, made the remark last week while calling on fellow politicians to leave the pro-Israel lobby group.

Joan Ryan, LFI chairwoman, sent a letter to Burgon, asking whether he had been misquoted, saying: “As you know, the Chakrabarti Report made very clear the dangers of ill-informed references to Zionism.”

She added: “I am sure that you will agree that any suggestion that Jewish self-determination is an ‘enemy of peace’ serves simply to demonise those who believe in the mere right of a Jewish state to exist.”

In her landmark report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, Chakrabarti advised critics of Israel “to use the term ‘Zionist’ advisedly, carefully and never euphemistically”.

Ryan, the Enfield North MP, has expressed no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as leader, and asked his team to publish bank accounts to prove that a £10,000 sum raised by Friends of Al-Aqsa was never received. The pro-Palestinian group’s founder is on record as defending Hamas.

Burgon is one of several shadow ministers known to hold anti-Israel views, with Communities spokesman Grahame Morris recently advocating that British Jews who serve in the IDF should to be treated as suspected terrorists.

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