British Labour MP forced to apologize for calling Israel a terrorist state

You can be proud of being Jewish without being a Zionist, Lloyd Russell-Moyle said.

Labour Party candidate Lloyd Russell-Moyle speaks after he is announced as the MP for Brighton Kemptown, December 13, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/PAUL CHILDS)
Labour Party candidate Lloyd Russell-Moyle speaks after he is announced as the MP for Brighton Kemptown, December 13, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/PAUL CHILDS)
A senior British Labour Party member of parliament has apologized, after it emerged that he had made comments on social media in which he called Zionism a "dangerous nationalist idea" and accused Israel of terrorism.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, 33, a shadow environment minister and the MP for Brighton Kemptown on England's south coast made the comments before becoming an MP in 2017, according to Britain's Sunday Times.
In one comment, since deleted, Russell-Moyle wrote “The point is people who are form Jewish decent/Jewish but are not Zionist is that the two are not automatic that you can be proud of being Jewish but realize that idea of inheriting/claim a land that you may have never visited or seen but have a ‘heritage’ claim for is not progressive in its very nature.”
In another, he compared the State of Israel to South Africa's National Party, an Afrikaner ethnic nationalist party which held power in the country during the apartheid era before disbanding in 1997.
“Terrorism feeds of [sic] violence," he wrote, "that is why it is only Israel that can stop the violence, it was the National Party in South Africa that had to make the first steps.”
Russell-Moyle gained his seat with the support of Jeremy Corbyn's faction of the Labour Party, which was heavily criticized in the run up to the last general election in December 2019 for normalizing antisemitism within the UK. He also has links to Momentum, the hard right faction of the Labour Party which helped Corbyn take power.
Last month Russell-Moyle sent a letter to Labour Party headquarters in support of Rebecca Massey, a "notorious" activist, according to The Sunday Times, who accused Israel of having the Labour and Conservative Parties "under control."
Massey was suspended from the party for backing Chris Williamson, a former MP who was blocked by Labour's National Executive Committee from standing as a Labour candidate at the last election due to a row between Williamson and the party over its handling of antisemitism allegations.
In his letter, Russell-Moyle included details only about Massey's support for the party, The Sunday Times reported.
Questioned over his comments, Russell-Moyle apologized, adding "I have now deleted these posts and recognize why they were offensive." He added that he would be contacting the Jewish Labour Movement for talks, saying "I am completely and unreservedly committed to supporting [Labour leader} Kier Starmer and Angela Rayner's pledge to rid the party of antisemitism."
His apology comes weeks after Starmer sacked Rebecca Long Bailey, his shadow education secretary, for sharing an article suggesting that Israel was inadvertently responsible for the death of George Floyd by training US police officers in the methods that resulted in his death.
Long-Bailey apologized, but Starmer said: “The sharing of that article was wrong. The article contained antisemitic conspiracy theories, and I have therefore stood Rebecca Long-Bailey down from the shadow cabinet.”
The Sunday Times noted that Russell-Moyle's apology is indicative that left-wingers within Starmer's team will try to remain within the executive and fight their position rather than resign on principle if challenged.