Labour MP under fire after sharing video claiming Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian children when clip was filmed in Guatemala

Labour MP Grahame Morris has been criticised for sharing a video claiming it showed the Israeli Army attacked Palestinian children when it showed scenes from Guatemala.

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 10:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 10:44 am
Easington MP Grahame Morris.

The Easington member posted a message on Twitter, retweeting a post by blogger Rachael Swindon, which showed footage of officers abusing children.

However, it was later brought to his attention it did not feature Israeli soldiers, but had been filmed in Guatemala.

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After more than 1,400 replies to his post, many complaining about the issue, and an acknowledgement from him recognising the inaccuracy, he has deleted the post and has issued a new tweet via @grahamemorris apologising for the mistake.

It said: "I am sorry for sharing a post which purports to show the IDF hurting children but it was in fact the Guatemalan Army.

"My error demonstrates the dangers of fake news online and I will be more diligent in future in checking my sources."

When contacted, Mr Morris said: "I retweeted something in good faith from someone I regularly retweet and I'm sure she didn't know, but I now realise the error and that it was taken from South America," he said.

The Israeli Defense Force's tweet to Grahame Morris.

"It just shows and demonstrates that me and everyone has got to be really careful and this is how fake news gets our and gets credence.

"I will be more careful in future and check before I share.

"I'm going to be more diligent and I have spoken out about fake news before, because I have been a victim of it.

"I apologise for my error and did reply to the message and the response I got was unbelievable."

Grahame Morris's tweet which caused upset after he wrongly claimed footage showed Israeli soldiers attacked children "for fun."

The incident has also sparked further claims of anti-Semitism in his party, with @LabourAgainstAS, which says it aims to make the "Labour party a safe place for Jewish people by eradicating antisemitic abuse from within the party," among those to voice concerns about his tweet.

Mr Morris, the former chairman of Labour Friends of Palistine and Middle East, today added: "I have been critical in the past and there are lots of legitimate criticism of their action.

"But to say I am anti-Semitic, I reject that and that will not stop me from criticising the Israeli Government and Israeli soldiers, but to suggest I am anti-Semitic is nonsense."

Mr Morris's original tweet said: "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."

In the comments, he has replied to another stating: "Thank You - 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."

The Israel Defense Forces' Verified account @IDF has also replied stating: "The only marvelous thing here are your lies.

"These are not IDF soldiers. Apologies would be in order."