Britain's leader of the opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is set to take the stage alongside Hamas supporter Anas Altikriti, at the Stop the War coalition's conference in London next month.
British daily The Telegraph
reported early last year that Altikrti is a key spokesman and lobbyist for the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK, though he denies being a member himself.
Altikriti has openly stated that “the Brotherhood supports Hamas. I believe that if you are occupied you need to fight back.”
According to The Telegraph
, Altikriti also co-founded a group called the British Muslim Initiative with a senior operative in Hamas, Mohammed Sawalha, and a Hamas “special envoy,” Azzam Tamimi.
Sawalha fled to London, England in 1990 after Israeli authorities sought to detain him for his activities with the Islamic terror organization, the BBC's John Ware reported in 2006. Sawalha, the BBC noted, was said "to have masterminded much of Hamas' political and military strategy."
Tamimi is a Palestinian academic based in London who has openly championed Hamas over the span of his career, calling for the end of the Jewish state and stated that violence in the cause of freedom was not murder, but "legitimate struggle."
"We don't call it 'violence'... We call it 'legitimate struggle'; we call it jihad," Tamimi said during an interview with the BBC in 2004.
He added, "You see, sacrificing myself for Palestine is a noble cause. It is the straight way to pleasing my God and I would do it if I had the opportunity."
When reached for comment by The Jerusalem Post
concerning Altikriti's participation at the conference, an employee for the Stop the War organization said he was invited as a "leading figure in the Muslim Association of Britain."
When asked if the organization had any reservations in inviting an individual who runs a group alongside a partner with Hamas ties, Stop the War declined to comment.
Corbyn's involvement in the conference came shortly after a July statement that he regrets supporting Hamas
and Hezbollah, and that comments by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone asserting that Hitler supported Zionism were “wrong.”
Corbyn is not new to the Stop the War coalition, which was founded shortly after the September 11th, 2001 terror attack in New York, and formed against the war in Afghanistan and other conflicts in the Middle East.
The Labour leader served as the chairman of Stop the War from 2011 to 2015. He left the position after being elected leader of the UK Labour party.
Corbyn's continued support of the group has come under fire after attending their Christmas fundraiser in December of 2015, shortly after the group made controversial statements on Syria.
At the time of the Christmas dinner, some who used to support the group, including Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, had already begun to question the group and their lack of support for Democratic groups that are against Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to The Guardian
It wasn't the first time the group has made controversial statements on Syria. According to The Independent
Stop the War published a statement
praising the "internationalism and solidarity" of the Islamic State.
The statement has since been removed.
Corbyn previously angered the Jewish community by calling Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists friends and by publicly endorsing a blanket arms embargo on Israel.
Corbyn has also supported the boycott of Israeli universities involved in weapons research. He has come under increasing pressure to make amends with the Jewish community since he won the Labor leadership race September 12, 2015. Gil Hoffman and JTA contributed to this report.