Black Lives Matter UK announced that it “loudly and clearly” stands with Palestine, after claiming that politicians are “gagged” from criticising Israel.
The official BLM UK Twitter account on Sunday posted the message to its 62,000 followers, which prompted criticism from Jewish organisations.
The tweet said: “As Israel moves forward with the annexation of the West Bank, and mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism, and Israel’s settler colonial pursuits, we loudly and clearly stand beside our Palestinian comrades. FREE PALESTINE.”
It comes after Sir Keir Starmer last week sacked shadow minister Rebecca Long-Bailey following a meeting with left-wing Labour MPs.
After being elected Labour leader, Sir Keir promised Jewish community groups “actions not words” on anti-Semitism after the party endured a series of allegations under the leaderhip of his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.
As Israel moves forward with the annexation of the West Bank, and mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism, and Israel’s settler colonial pursuits, we loudly and clearly stand beside our Palestinian comrades.
— #BlackLivesMatterUK (@ukblm) June 28, 2020
Mrs Long-Bailey was sacked after sharing a story which Sir Keir said contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
Jewish groups and some MPs welcomed Sir Keir’s decision but Mrs Long-Bailey’s allies on the party’s left said it had been an overreaction.
However BLM UK did not confirm that its tweet, which has been liked more than 15,000 times, was in response to this. It also did not respond to requests for comment.
The tweet, which sparked controversy on social media, prompted a series of responses.
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Education Trust, tweeted: “I can’t stop thinking about this. It’s irresponsible, disappointing and dangerous to post something like this to thousands of followers who sincerely want to fight racism. “Gagged”? Gagged by whom? The insinuation is depressingly clear. You can’t fight racism with racism.
The Jewish Leadership Council added: “We unequivocally support the fight against anti-black racism.
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