Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in London, Britain, April 2, 2018..
(photo credit: REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAY)
Leader of the UK Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn pedaled a conspiracy theory in 2012 about what he implied was an Israeli false-flag operation in the Sinai Peninsula against the Egyptian army, during an interview with Iranian propaganda outlet Press TV.
Footage of the interview, one of several Corbyn did with Press TV, emerged in the UK media over the weekend amid the ongoing row over the Labour Party’s adoption of new antisemitism guidelines that have been strongly criticized for omitting key clauses of a widely accepted international definition.
During the interview with the agitprop Iranian channel on August 12, 2012, Corbyn was asked about his thoughts on the August 5 attack by Islamic jihadists in the Sinai peninsula on an Egyptian army base, in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed while sitting down to their Iftar meal to break the daily Ramadan fast, and the subsequent Egyptian military response.
Without any prompting about possible Israeli involvement or conspiracy theories, Corbyn said that Israel would have an interest in increased violence in the Sinai and the destabilization of the region.
“I’m very concerned about it [the violence], and you have to look at the big picture. In whose interests is it to destabilize the new government in Egypt; in whose interests is it to kill Egyptians other than Israel, concerned about the growing closeness of relationship between Palestine and the new Egyptian government,” Corbyn opined, referencing the new Muslim Brotherhood-led government in Egypt at the time.
“It seems a bit unlikely that that would happen during Ramadan – to put it mildly – and I suspect the hand of Israel in this whole process of destabilization,” said the Labour leader-to-be.
Earlier in the interview, Corbyn said that sanctions should be applied to Israel because of its actions in the conflict with the Palestinians, including suspending Israel’s trade agreements with the EU.
“My view is, we should be applying sanctions against Israel; those sanctions ought to be the suspension of [the] EU-Israel trade agreement because it is in violation of the humanitarian and human rights aspects which are part of every European trade agreement.”
SEPARATELY, the Labour Party began new disciplinary procedures against its own MP Ian Austin for fiercely berating fellow MP and Labour party chairman Ian Lavery in the House of Commons over the adoption of the new antisemitism guidelines, The Mail on Sunday
According to the conservative tabloid, Austin said that Labour’s failure to adequately address antisemitism in its ranks was a “bloody disgrace” and that the party had become a “sewer.”
Austin, whose adoptive father was Jewish and who came to the UK from Czechoslovakia in 1939 with the Kindertransport program, received the notice of possible disciplinary procedures by the Labour Party general-secretary several days ago.
He is the second Labour MP to receive notice that he is being investigated for breaching the party’s code of conduct, after MP Margaret Hodge received the same letter for having told Corbyn to his face in parliament that he was an “antisemitic racist.”
THE INVESTIGATION into the two MPs has caused anger among the Jewish community and moderate Labour MPs, who have accused the party’s leadership of cracking down on dissent against its attitude to antisemitism instead of tackling antisemitism.
And the controversy over Labour’s new antisemitism guidelines led the three leading Jewish newspapers in the UK to print an identical front page and editorial in their Friday papers, condemning Labour’s actions over the issue.
Richard Ferrer told The Jerusalem Post
on Thursday that the decision behind the joint front-page editions of the three newspapers was taken because they believed it was in the best interests of the Jewish community to come together over the issue.
Ferrer said that the overwhelming responses from members of the Jewish community to the Labour Party’s new antisemitism guidelines and its efforts in dealing with antisemitism in general have been extremely negative, and said that the joint front page refuted claims of fringe Jewish organizations that mainstream Jewish institutions do not reflect the actual feelings of the community.
Ferrer added that the anger of the Jewish community with the Labour Party has been growing ever since he became leader in 2015, citing “the Chakrabarti Report into antisemitism in the Labour Party which was a whitewash, to allowing Ken Livingstone to depart on his own terms, to Corbyn’s support for an antisemitic mural.”
“The thought of a Corbyn-led government concerns the community like never before in our life time, and we [the newspapers] found ourselves gravitating towards each other over this,” he said.
The joint editorial stated that the uniform front-page idea was adopted “because of the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.”
Asked if this was somewhat hyperbolic, Ferrer said Corbyn’s threat to Jewish life should he become prime minister was an unknown quantity, but that his ideological opposition to the US, Western institutions, Israel and the British monarchy were all worrying indicators.
“Perhaps his government would arrest Israeli politicians who come to the UK. Maybe funding for communal security would be cut, or the government would adopt policies of the BDS [Boycott Divestment and Sanctions] movement,” said Ferrer.The Jewish News
editor said that it is now in the best interests of British Jews not to vote for Labour, the traditional home of Jewish voters, until Corbyn is no longer the party leader.
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