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Sun, 7 June 2020

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Fresh anti-semitism row as Labour MP wrongly claims video shows Israeli army attacking children

Fresh anti-semitism row as Labour MP wrongly claims video shows Israeli army attacking children
3 min read

Labour has been hit by a fresh anti-semitism row after an MP shared a video which wrongly claimed to show Israeli soldiers beating up Palestinian children.


Grahame Morris was forced to issue a grudging apology after coming in for a wave of criticism on Twitter.

However, he initially refused to delete his original tweet, which actually showed footage of Guatemalan troops filmed in 2015.

The video was originally tweeted by Corbynista account Rachael Swindon, but eventually removed after the mistake was pointed out.

Mr Morris, the MP for Easington, shared that post with the message: "Marvellous, absolutely marvellous the Israeli Army, the best financed, best trained, best equipped army in the world caught on camera beating up Palestinian children for the fun of it. May God forgive them. What would Jim Royle say on an Easter Monday."

More than 1,000 people responded to point out that he was wrong, including the official Twitter account of the Israeli Defense Forces.

 

 

Labour MP Wes Streeting was also among those who criticised the video, tweeting: "In an era of fake news and propaganda, facts matter. Posting video images of soldiers violating human rights and wrongly attributing them to the IDF doesn’t help the Palestinian cause. It sets it back. Mistakes happen, so put them right. You’ve had plenty of time."

In reply to one Twitter user, Mr Morris said: "You are right and many apologies for my honest mistake there are lots of verifiable documented examples of the IDF abusing Palestinian child prisoners I have seen for myself in Court in the West Bank - but am harvesting and documenting a few more of my trolls yet thanks."

He evenutally deleted the tweet on Tuesday morning, some 17 hours after it had initially been posted, and vowed to "be more diligent in future in checking my sources".

PoliticsHome understands that the MP has been reported to both Labour HQ and party chief whip, Nick Brown.

A party spokesperson said he had apologised.

The row over comes as the Equalities and Human Rights Commission prepared to announce whether it is launching a formal investigation into whether Labour has been discriminatory in its handling of anti-semitism complaints.

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