Corbyn expressed understanding for suicide bombers in 2009

“I remember asking a group of young Palestinians in Nablus one time, I sat down with them, and I said ‘what do you think about suicide bombers,’” Jeremy Corbyn recalled.

February 24, 2019 02:50
2 minute read.
Corbyn expressed understanding for suicide bombers in 2009

Britain's opposition Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn. (photo credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE)


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A video has been unearthed showing UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn apparently expressing understanding for how Palestinian suicide bombers commit their acts of terrorism during a debate at Cambridge University.

During his comments, discovered by UK-based freelance journalist Iggy Ostanin and posted on Twitter, Corbyn recalls how Palestinian youths had told him of people they knew who had “been involved in suicide bombing” and how it was a result of “hopelessness” and “occupation.”
The debate, held by the Cambridge Union Society on October 29, 2009, was entitled “This House Believes that Israel Demands Too Much and Gives Too Little in the Peace Process,” in which Corbyn, together with three others spoke in favor of the proposition.

“I remember asking a group of young Palestinians in Nablus one time, I sat down with them, and I said, ‘What do you think about suicide bombers,’” Corbyn recalled.

“All of them knew someone who had been, how should I put it, involved in suicide bombing. None of them agreed with it, but every one of them knew why they did it. They said put yourself in our place, a life of hopelessness, a life under occupation, a life of demoralization and bitterness,” he continued.

“That is where it leads to,” asserted Corbyn.

Corbyn made similar comments three days after the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017 in which an Islamist terrorist blew himself up killing 23 people. Corbyn said that military campaigns conducted by the UK government abroad had contributed to home-grown terrorism in Britain.

A detailed study of suicide bombers in 2007, specifically Palestinian suicide bombers, conducted by Claude Berrebi, an associate professor of public policy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s School of Public Policy, showed that Palestinians with higher income levels and a higher levels of education were more likely to have been suicide bombers.

“If income level and education are linked, at the micro level, to participation in terrorist activities, it is probably to the opposite effect of what the popular conventional wisdom assumes,” wrote Berrebi.

“Both higher education and standard of living appear to be positively associated with membership in terror organizations such as Hamas or PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] and with becoming a suicide bomber.”

A Labour Party spokesperson, said in response, “Jeremy Corbyn was reporting what was said to him by a group of young Palestinians, who all opposed suicide bombing. Jeremy, obviously, condemns suicide bombing.”

Corbyn, a long time campaigner for the Palestinians, has courted extremists of many types, and has made numerous highly dubious comments and taken controversial actions in his support for their cause.

He famously called officials in Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends,” called extremist Palestinian hate preacher Raed Salah who pedaled the blood libel against Jews “an honored citizen,” and questioned what he described as media “bias” towards Israel for assuming it has a right to exist.

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