The new chair of Labour friends of Israel has pledged to increase the number of MPs visiting Israel over the coming year.

Joan Ryan was taking part in her first trip to the country since taking on the role. The visit comes amid fresh concerns over Jeremy Corbyn’s appointment of an anti-Israel journalist as Labour’s new communications chief.

“In my experience, it is the way to ensure MPs can best attain a balanced understanding of the complexities and challenges Israel faces, and ensure we can support all those in both Israel and Palestine who are striving for peace, coexistence and a two-state solution,” she said during talks with Isaac Herzog, chair of the Israeli Labor Party.

During her visit, the former minister met politicians, academics, journalists and diplomats.

During a meeting with Israel’s incoming ambassador to Britain, Mark Regev, she repeated her desire that the British government raise the issue of incitement with the Palestinian Authority.

She also met British ambassador David Quarrey and Elias Zananiri, deputy chairman of the Palestinian Committee for Interaction.

Labour suspend ISIS “Jews” slur councillor

(Jewish News) A Labour councillor and former Big Brother contestant has been suspended following comments that appeared to link Israel to the 9/11 attacks and Islamic State. 

Community leaders called for action after Kensington and Chelsea councillor Beinazir Lasharie was alleged by The Sun to have posted video on Facebook entitled: “ISIS: Israeli Secret Intelligence service”.

She was reported to have written: “Many people know about who was behind 9/11 and also who is behind ISIS. I’ve nothing against Jews..just sharing it.” And later she took to the social network to add: “I’ve heard some compelling evidence about ISIS being originated from Zionists!”

A spokesperson for the Labour Party told the Jewish News she “was suspended this afternoon pending an investigation”. It’s believed to be the first suspension of an elected representative since the election of Jeremy Corbyn.