Labour women’s candidate Izzy Lenga trained with Israeli army

Izzy Lenga is running for Labour’s new National Women’s Committee. She appeared on Panorama in 2019 claiming that the party was anti-Semitic.


A pro-Israel activist running in a UK Labour Party election has trained with the Israeli army.

Izzy Lenga is an officer in the Jewish Labour Movement, a pro-Israel lobby group.

She is standing as a right-wing candidate in the election for Labour’s new National Women’s Committee, set to be held later this year.

The Electronic Intifada has obtained this photo of Lenga wearing an Israeli army uniform, wrapped in an Israeli flag and carrying an assault rifle – the type of weapon carried by Israeli occupation soldiers when they enforce Israel’s military rule over Palestinians.

Sources say that Lenga once “proudly” displayed the photo on her social media.

Israel experts Dena and Daniel Shunra told The Electronic Intifada that the uniform and epaulets visible in the photo suggest that Lenga took part in Marva, a paramilitary course overseen by the Israeli army.

Izzy Lenga in uniform.

Video on YouTube shows Marva recruits wearing the same white shoulder epaulets and carrying rifles marked with white tape in the same fashion as Lenga’s.

The Marva program is open to Jewish people from around the world aged 18-25 and involves weapons training, Zionist political indoctrination and visits to military bases.

Participants pay more than $1,700 to take part in the two-month course, which is run by the commercial arm of Israel’s Jewish Agency.

The Jewish Agency is the state-backed organization that has historically led Zionist efforts to colonize Palestine. Today it recruits Jewish people from around the world, offering them incentives to become Israeli settlers.

Some participants in the Marva course stay on in Israel, claiming citizenship and joining the military.

Under Israel’s racist “Law of Return,” any person in the world recognized as Jewish by Israeli authorities has the right to citizenship. This is in marked contrast to the indigenous Palestinians expelled by Israel since 1948, who are blocked from returning to their homeland with deadly force just because they are not Jewish.

Zionist movement young leader

Izzy Lenga has been immersed in the UK’s Zionist movement since she was a child.

A former leader in the Federation of Zionist Youth (FZY), she later became an officer with the campus society in Birmingham which is affiliated to the Union of Jewish Students. The UJS is funded in part by the Israeli embassy.

The FZY website states that the group views the entirety of “Eretz Yisrael” as the Jewish homeland and supports “settling the country as an expression of practical Zionism.”

“Eretz Yisrael” is a Hebrew term used to describe all of historic Palestine, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as present-day Israel.

Israel’s construction of settlements in the West Bank is a war crime.

Marva’s social media boasts that participants get to use a shooting range.

Also while at the University of Birmingham in 2015, Lenga was elected to the leadership committee of the National Union of Students. She was later an NUS vice president.

She was one of several Jewish Labour Movement activists to appear as Labour “whistle blowers” in the BBC’s discredited 2019 episode of Panorama titled “Is Labour Anti-Semitic?”

In the film she claimed that after she joined the party in 2015, she began to receive anti-Semitic abuse “every single day.” Neither Lenga nor any of the other activists in the film were identified by the BBC as Jewish Labour Movement leaders.

The Jewish Labour Movement worked for years to topple Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s former left-wing leader who is a Palestine solidarity veteran.

Lenga is also a friend of Ella Rose, the former Israeli embassy officer who worked closely with Israeli embassy spy Shai Masot during her time as Jewish Labour Movement director.

In 2016 at the NUS conference Lenga accused “some of my colleagues” on the national executive of anti-Semitism, saying there was “a deep rooted institutional problem” in the student movement.

Her claims echoed the five-year smear campaign against the Labour Party when it was led by Jeremy Corbyn – which was then in its opening stages.

That same year as Lenga’s attack at NUS conference, the Israel lobby embarked on a massive campaign of defamation and smears against Malia Bouattia, the new NUS president.

Izzy Lenga is the niece of Paul Lenga, the former Honorary Life President of the FZY.

Paul Lenga, who died last year, moved to Israel in 1983 and was a prominent activist with the Jewish Agency, the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and the World Zionist Organization.

Izzy Lenga did not reply to a request for comment. She set her Twitter account to private soon after The Electronic Intifada emailed her.

Update, 14 March: We have now uploaded our own copy of the video of Lenga denouncing the NUS conference and leadership, which you can watch above.

The copy we’d initially embedded was deleted soon after publication, by Simon Cobbs of Sussex Friends of Israel, a British group closely tied to the Israeli embassy and the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs.




It's about time there was an all out condemnation of Zionism. The public need to know that squatting on someone else's land, particularly when violence and intimidation are used, is not a part of Judaism.


The Zionist lobby in the US and UK is not even being discreet anymore. They are so emboldened that they are willing to send their agents to push their agenda with no remorse. Makes me sick.


We await only the fulfilment of this pantomime in Starmer announcing he has joined Likud. What is astonishing is that the threadbare accusation of institutional anti-Semitism in Labour could be given credence by any moderately aware person over the age of seven. As BDS gains ground and the position of the State of Israel in the world crumbles, the strident, irrational, wayward claims increase. Labour, which claims to stand for the common folk, for justice, for equality, for the rule of law, for international institutions, for the UN, for peace, has expelled thousands who believe in exactly those things, has withdrawn the whip from a leader who believed in exactly those things, and is happy to see, installed in positions of power at its heart, people who defend a racist regime, brought into existence by terror, and much of it terror against the British, a regime which occupies illegally, which murders, which spreads lies and which defies international law with the nonchalance of Victorian pick-pocket. Labour can't survive as party with any credibility if it continues in this vein. It deserves to die if it can't stand up to the viciousness of the followers of Herzl who see Palestinians as non-people, expendable, an obstacle. As Jabotinsky said, "Zionism is a colonialist project". It was and is in his version and this is the version which prevails. That Lenga has the chutzpah to accuse the NUS and Labour of racism when she served the IDF which slaughters Palestinians like rats is a measure of the demented nature of she cause she serves; a cause which must surely be close to collapse when it has to have daily recourse to dishonesty which would have made Stalin blush. She and her like have become the brutes we are bound to be if we try to be more than human; and that is just what they do, propose themselves as incapable of doing anything wrong, of ever being anything but innocent victims. Enough already.

Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist who lives in London. He is an associate editor of The Electronic Intifada and co-host of our podcast.

He is author of the bestselling book Weaponising Anti-Semitism: How the Israel Lobby Brought Down Jeremy Corbyn (OR Books, 2023).