Mr Russell-Moyle, the Shadow Minister for Natural Environment and Air Quality, wrote in 2009 that Zionism is “a very dangerous nationalist idea”. He also said, in reference to Jewish claims to the Land of Israel, that the “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.”
The comments were made on a Facebook group for Woodcraft Folk, an education organisation in which Mr Russell-Moyle had a role, during which period children apparently as young as nine voted to boycott Israeli goods.
Mr Russell-Moyle has reportedly apologised, saying: “I have now deleted these posts and recognise why they were offensive,” insisting that “I am completely and unreservedly committed to supporting Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner’s pledge to rid the Party of antisemitism.”
It has also been revealed that Mr Russell-Moyle wrote a letter of support for Rebecca Massey when she was suspended from the Party. The former chair of Central Hove, Brunswick and Adelaide CLP was apparently suspended on 18th May and expelled on 2nd June, but although Ms Massey had breached the International Definition of Antisemitism on several occasions, according to Ms Massey her expulsion was because of her support for the disgraced ex-Labour former MP Chris Williamson in his independent bid for Parliament after he was booted from the Labour Party.
According to The Sunday Times, Mr Russell-Moyle’s letter of support for Ms Massey only detailed her past support for the Party.
On 28th May 2019, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
In the first release of its Antisemitism in Political Parties research, Campaign Against Antisemitism showed that Labour Party candidates for Parliament in the 2019 general election accounted for 82 percent of all incidents of antisemitic discourse by parliamentary candidates.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.