Reverend backs claims Israel ‘like a vampire needing the blood of living’

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Reverend backs claims Israel ‘like a vampire needing the blood of living’

EXCLUSIVE: The Rev Stephen Griffith defended his claim that 'Israeli-owned Labour MPs continue to take the shekel of genocide'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Rev Stephen Griffith (pic X/Twitter)
Rev Stephen Griffith (pic X/Twitter)

A Reverend has told Jewish News he has no regrets about a series of incendiary posts on social media including claims that Israel acts “like a vampire needing the blood of living” and Labour MPs have been “owned by the shekel of genocide.”

The Rev Stephen Griffith, a volunteer chaplain at York Minster, has a lengthy history of posting inflammatory claims about “Zionists” and “Jews” and the Keir Starmer led Labour Party on social media.

When asked about his views, Griffith told Jewish News he was in the “exact place” that “thousands” of Jews in both the UK and in Israel were.

In a December 2023 posts on X/formerly known as Twitter he responded to Labour MP Chris Bryant writing:”As Israeli-owned Labour MPs continue to take the shekel of genocide more and more people are abandoning Labour….. Zionist Labour is an abomination.”

Earlier posts see Griffith condemn both the existence of a “Jewish” state and make claims that “Israel murders children daily. Like a vampire needing the blood of the living.”

Post by Stephen Griffith

He also posted “that’s the problem when you have a Jewish state” and in October 2022 claimed of Israel:”Most Jews choose to live elsewhere: why would they want to live by stealing land, burning crops, shooting children when they could live decent lives making the world a better place?”

In December 2022 he wrote:”The Zionists dance their war dance with evil intent.”
Returning to condemn Labour, he wrote last December:”Starmer takes Zionist money. He is on the side of Zionists…..This is Labour’s leader and he should be on trial for genocide.”

In January he shared claims on X that the Labour Friends of Israel group should ” be proscribed as a genocide enabler.”

Asked to comment on his posts Griffth told Jewish News:”The huge number of Jews who have spoken out bravely against this absolutely astonishing destruction of Gaza, who have demonstrated in their thousands in London, and in their tens of thousands in Israel and in the exact place as I am.

“We want an Israel which flourishes with its neighbour.”

Griffith retired from paid duties in the Southwark diocese a few years ago, and after moving to York has continued to perform duties at the cathedral in the city as a volunteer.

Posts by Stephen Griffith

On his biography on X Griffith writes:”Enjoying travelling, history, faith. Long experience of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel/Palestine.”

A spokesperson for York Minister told Jewish News:“The Rev Stephen Griffith is a volunteer at York Minster.  He has no official spokesperson role and he is not authorised to speak on behalf of the cathedral.

“The views on his social media feed are his own and do not represent York Minster in any way whatsoever.” 

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: