Jeremy Corbyn faces scandal with revealed document accusing Israel of genocide

Moderate party members have called out Corbyn's stance; say British Jews are fearful of what a government under his leadership might look like.

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September 23, 2019 14:49
4 minute read.
Jeremy Corbyn faces scandal with revealed document accusing Israel of genocide

Second day of the Labour party annual conference in Brighton. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A recent row has surrounded Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn after it was discovered that he signed his named to the 2002 Cairo Declaration which essentially accuses Israel of carrying out a genocide against the Palestinian people as well as backs armed resistance to "the Jewish state," according to the Telegraph.

The document, signed by Corbyn and a myriad of high-level British politicians including close ally and former Communist Party member Andrew Murray, calls for the boycott of Israel and accuses the state of being guilty of systematically administrating "apartheid" against Palestinian citizens.

The controversy emerged on the night of Labour's conference in Brighton and was handed out in the form of pamphlets to arriving delegates to paint the party further in a negative light. Critics have claimed that his decision to sign the document places him on the side of those who question Israel's right to exist.

Many moderate party members have called out Corbyn's stance, adding that British Jews are fearful of what a government under his leadership might look like.

"Jeremy Corbyn's disturbing obsession with the world's only Jewish state is once again clear for all to see," said Labour Friends of Israel Director Jennifer Gerber. “This declaration shows not an ounce of sympathy for the hundreds of innocent Israelis who were being brutally murdered at the time by Palestinian terrorists on buses, [in] pizza restaurants and nightclubs. No wonder the Jewish community fears Corbyn becoming Prime Minister."

The document claims that Israel robbed the Palestinian people of their land with the help of the United States' “unlimited support to the Zionist perpetrators of genocidal crimes against the Palestinian people," and its intent is to give support to the "legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people to resist occupation, liberate their land and return to their homes.”

Labour has been struggling to revamp their image as strong claims emerged in recent months that the party allegedly suffers from deeply-rooted antisemitic, nationalistic and extremist views –  after which multiple Labour politicians resigned from the party – and criticism that "institutional antisemitism" is becoming normalized within the left-wing group.

The pamphlet, distributed by the Labour Party Marxists, describes Israel as a "colonial settler project" and are complicit in "systematic discrimination" against the Palestinian people.

The declaration was composed in Cairo almost immediately following the September 11th, 2001 attacks, during the American presence in Afghanistan, preceding the the US invasion of Iraq.

"Jeremy Corbyn has consistently made the correct calls in the interests of security and peace, including his opposition to the disastrous Iraq war that has caused catastrophe in the region and made us less safe at home," said a Labour Party spokesperson.

"He has a long and principled record of solidarity with the Palestinian people. He does not describe the decades of forced evictions, violence and denial of rights as genocidal or the system of dispossession and discrimination in the illegally occupied territories as apartheid."

Corbyn, a veteran campaigner for Palestinian rights and critic of the Israeli government, has long been dogged by charges that he has allowed a culture of antisemitism to thrive in Britain's main opposition party, which he denies.

Eight lawmakers left the party earlier this year over antisemitism and Corbyn's position on Brexit, which has also angered many members who want Labour to adopt an unequivocal pro-European Union position.

More than 60 opposition Labour members of Britain's upper House of Parliament signed a statement in a July newspaper accusing leader Corbyn of failing "the test of leadership" over antisemitism in the party.

The statement in the Guardian newspaper, signed by several former ministers when Labour was in power from 1997 to 2010, has a stark message: "The Labour Party welcomes everyone* irrespective of race, creed, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. (*except, it seems, Jews)."

"You have failed to defend our party's anti-racist values. You have therefore failed the test of leadership."

The statement, signed by about a third of Labour members in the House of Lords include former ministers such as Peter Mandelson, who challenged whether the party could ever win a national election "if we can't get our own house in order."

Also in July, a BBC program reported that Corbyn's office had interfered in the independent party discipline processes aimed at rooting out antisemitism, a charge rejected by the party.

A Labour spokesman said the party stood "in solidarity with Jewish people and are fully committed to the support, defense and celebration of the Jewish community" and supports speeding up its procedures to deal with antisemitism cases.

"Regardless of false and misleading claims about the party by those hostile to Jeremy Corbyn's politics, Labour is taking decisive action against antisemitism," he said.

Corbyn has made clear through the media that antisemitism had no place in the party, he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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