Britain's opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn during his visit to Al Zaatari refugee camp, in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, June 22, 2018.
(photo credit: MUHAMMAD HAMED / REUTERS)
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said Saturday that a UK government under his leadership would recognize the state of Palestine.
"The next Labour government will recognise Palestine as a state as one step towards a genuine two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict," Corbyn wrote on Twitter during a visit to Jordan.
Corbyn was repeating earlier calls for the recognition of Palestinian statehood, including at an event protesting the centennial of the Balfour declaration in 2017
On Friday, Corbyn visited the Al Zaatari Refugee camp near Jordan's border with Syria. With a backpack slung over his shoulder and his short-sleeved shirt casually unbuttoned, Corybn walked through Al Zaatari's market, chatting with shop owners and sampling their wares, as well as visiting a solar power plant that provides electricity to the camp's approximately 80,000 residents.
On Saturday, Corbyn also visited the Al-Baqa'a Palestinian refugee camp near Amman, first created in 1968, to house Palestinians who fled the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the 1967 Six Day War. It is the largest camp in Jordan, according to UNRWA.
Corbyn's support for the Palestinian cause, as well as his failure to address antisemitism within the Labour Party, has been roundly condemned by the Jewish community in the UK.
“He issues empty statements about opposing antisemitism, but does nothing to understand or address it. We conclude that he cannot seriously contemplate antisemitism, because he is so ideologically fixed within a far-left worldview that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities,” said a letter sent to Corbyn by the leaders of Britain's Jewish community in March
Corbyn's Jordan trip is his first since being chosen as head of Labour in a contentious election in 2015.
The trip coincided with a large protest Saturday against Britain's exit from the European Union, known as Brexit, two years after a referendum affirming the UK's departure from the union. The Guardian
reported that over 100,000 protesters attended the "People's Vote march," as did as did a smaller group of demonstrators supporting the decision to leave. Chanting "Where's Jeremy Corbyn?" and on Twitter, some protesters questioned Corbyn's absence from the country at just this time. While Corbyn has long advocated the UK's exit from the European Union, opposing its creation in 1993. Many Labour supporters though, support the country's remaining in the common European political and economic framework.
Labour narrowly lost to Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party in elections in 2017, and current opinion polls show the two parties as neck and neck, according to The Washington Post