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April 22, 2019 11:17 pm

British Member of Parliament Falsely Claims Video of Guatemalan Soldiers Beating Youths Actually Shows Israelis

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UK Labour MP Grahame Morris. Photo: Chris McAndrew.

Member of Parliament for the UK’s Labour Party Grahame Morris became the focus of controversy on Monday after he retweeted a video that he falsely claimed showed IDF soldiers assaulting Palestinian children.

The video was in fact of Guatemalan police officers.

“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,” Morris tweeted. “May God forgive them. What would Jim Royle say on an Easter Monday?”

“Jim Royle” refers to a character from the British sitcom “The Royle Family,” about a working-class family that spends most of their time commenting on what they see on television.

The IDF quickly responded to Morris’ tweet, saying, “The only marvelous thing here are your lies. These are not IDF soldiers. Apologies would be in order.”

The tweet included a link to the original video, which made clear that the men in the video were Guatemalan.

Journalist Yair Rosenberg linked Morris’ tweet to the antisemitism that often surrounded the Easter holiday in previous centuries.

“Nothing to see here,” he wrote. “Just a member of Britain’s parliament (Labour) falsely presenting a video of Guatemalan police abuse as Israeli, and creepily dragging Christianity into his attack on Jews. That’s not deeply disturbing at all.”

“Sharing misleading propaganda about Israel-Palestine is sadly normal across social media, and it’s not limited to one side. But giving it a Christological anti-Semitic spin on Easter, when Jews were regularly slaughtered across Europe, is special,” Rosenberg added.

“Hey, what would Passover be without an old-fashioned blood libel?” he asked.

The group Sussex Friends of Israel was more direct in its criticism. Noting that Morris had not taken down his original tweet, the group said, “Every f***ing minute that disgusting, incendiary and inflammatory tweet remains on @grahamemorris’ feed is another minute that allows antisemites to spread more hate and lies about the Jewish state. Morris knows this and yet it remains. Morris is enabling antisemitism!”

Though he has not removed the original tweet, Morris did acknowledge his mistake, which he called “honest,” but quickly asserted, “There are lots of verifiable documented examples of the IDF abusing Palestinian child prisoners.”

He did not immediately provide any documented examples.

Morris also appeared to issue a vague threat against his critics, saying he is “harvesting and documenting a few more of my trolls.”

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