'Say the word Israel' heckler yells at UK Labor head Corbyn after speech

The Labor leader looked in shock after the outburst was made which followed a speech on the importance of the two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

September 30, 2015 03:05
2 minute read.
Jeremy Corbyn

The new leader of Britain's opposition Labor Party Jeremy Corbyn. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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After concluding a ten-minute speech given at a pro-Israel reception in London Tuesday night, new UK Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was heckled by an audience member after he failed to mention Israel by name in his comments.

"Say the word Israel" a man yelled inside the packed auditorium where the Labor Friends of Israel event was being held before being ushered out by security guards, British daily The Telegraph reported.  The man, whose identity remains unknown, was not allowed back inside.

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The Labor leader looked in shock after the outburst was made, according to The Telegraph, which followed a speech on the importance of the two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

The 66-year-old has held a pro-Palestinian stance since entering Parliament, specializing in delivering fierce and often very direct criticism of Israeli policies. One of the popular leaders of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, his contribution to foreign affairs debates include diatribes about the behavior of Israeli troops or abuses of Palestinian human rights.

During his speech, however, Corbyn struck a more moderate tone, stressing the need for dialogue among supporters on both sides of the divide, The Telegraph added. 

"The issue of the recognition of Palestine was very important," Corbyn said. "I hope we can promote and encourage that peace process and that dialogue. I hope that that means we are able to ensure the siege of Gaza or restrictions on Gaza are lifted; I hope that we can make progress on that way.”

Corbyn in the past has called terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah "friends." The far-leftist has also been dogged by allegations of anti-Semitism.

Meanwhile, other Labor MKs spoke out against UK Labor’s new leader and his professed friendship with Hamas and Hezbollah at the UK Labor conference in Brighton on Tuesday and at an adjacent Labor Friends of Israel event.

Speaking on a panel, MK Michal Biran (Zionist Union), who attends numerous international Labor events, spoke of the awkwardness of a sister party being led by someone who is “friends” with Hamas and Hezbollah, calling it a “weird situation.”

Biran said she thinks Corbyn does not realize “that Israel is the only place in the Middle East where you can see a gay parade. It is the only place in the Middle East where you have freedom of speech, equality for women.”

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report

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