LFI hosts Thorn­berry on first visit to Is­rael

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH PO­LIT­I­CAL ED­I­TOR

EMILY THORN­BERRY, Labour’s Shadow For­eign Sec­re­tary, was due to visit Is­rael and the Pales­tinian ter­ri­to­ries this week on her first of­fi­cial trip to the re­gion since she was ap­pointed to the role.

Her sched­ule in­cluded a se­ries of meet­ings with se­nior Is­raeli Labour Party MKs and wreath-lay­ing at the Yad Vashem Holo­caust me­mo­rial.

On Sun­day Ms Thorn­berry is ex­pected to visit a kib­butz on the Gaza bor­der.

The del­e­ga­tion has been or­gan­ised by Labour Friends of Is­rael.

Her trip also in­cludes a se­ries of events with the Labour Friends of Pales­tine and the Mid­dle East group on Fri­day and Satur­day. Ms Thorn­berry at­tracted crit­i­cism last week for say­ing that the cen­te­nary of the Bal­four Dec­la­ra­tion should be “marked” rather than cel­e­brated. Speak­ing at the Bal­four con­fer­ence in Par­lia­ment last Thurs­day, she re­vealed that Jeremy Cor­byn, the Labour leader, is, in ef­fect, a Zion­ist. She said he be­lieved in a two-state so­lu­tion. If Zion­ism was the be­lief in a Jewish state of Is­rael, she said, then “of course, it’s self-ev­i­dent” that Mr Cor­byn is a Zion­ist.

Ahead of her visit to Is­rael, one source told the JC: “She’s not like Cor­byn — she’s will­ing to lis­ten.” The Shadow For­eign Sec­re­tary is ex­pected to ad­dress LFI’s an­nual lunch in West­min­ster later this month.

Joan Ryan MP, LFI chair, spoke at the Knes­set’s own Bal­four cen­te­nary con­fer­ence on Tues­day.

She told MKs: “Is­rael has many friends on both sides of the House of Com­mons.”

PHOTO: UK PAR­LIA­MENT

Emily Thorn­berry

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