Report: Palestinian group funded 2009 trip by UK's Corbyn to meet Syria's Assad

The London-based Palestinian Return Center came under fire last week for holding a meeting at the House of Lords in which a speaker indicated that the Jews were to blame for the Holocaust.

October 30, 2016 11:42
1 minute read.
Jeremy Corbyn

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


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A pro-Palestinian lobby group facing antisemitism accusation financed Britain's current opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn's trip to Syria in 2009 in which he met the country's President Bashar Assad, the UK's Daily Mail reported.

Corbyn, who's Labour party has been embroiled in its own antisemitism row, was a backbench Parliament member at the time of the trip. Corbyn reportedly logged the trip's worth as £1,300 ($1,584).

According to the Daily Mail report, the London-based Palestinian Return Center (PRC) funded the trip for several MPs from three of the UK's main political parties.

The delegation on the 2009 trip allegedly thanked Assad for Syria's housing of half a million Palestinian refugees since 1948.

Last week, the Palestinian lobby group was criticized for a meeting at the British Parliament's House of Lords during which a speaker linked a US rabbi to Hitler’s decision to massacre the Jews in the Holocaust.

Last's week's event was hosted by former MP Baroness Jennifer Tonge, whose membership in the the Liberal Democrats was suspended two days after the meeting which has been called out for airing antisemitism.

Tonge, who was also on the 2009 trip to Syria, told the Daily Mail Online that the delegation had also visited UN refugee camps on the border with Syria and Iraq.

The PRC backed the visit to Syria in 2009 to mark Britain's 1917 Balfour Declaration, which endorsed the a Jewish homeland in the Holy Land.

The Daily Star cited comments Corbyn allegedly wrote in the communist Morning Star newspaper of his experience on the trip.

"Once again the Israeli tail wags the US [then US secretary of state] Hillary Clinton drops demands to even halt new settlements as the Netanyahu government pushes to continue its dismemberment of the West Bank," he was quoted as writing.

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