BRITISH LABOUR Party leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives to vote in local government elections in London on May 3.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
“Valid criticism of Israel’s policies is healthy, encouraged and a welcome part of the vibrant dialogue between people living in democracies. However, when leaders like Corbyn blur the distinction between blind hatred of everything Israeli and Jew hatred, it’s time to take the gloves off and call an antisemite an antisemite.”
Those words appeared in this space on July 31. What a three weeks it has been.
With revelation after video after photograph this month, we have seen the sordid past of Jeremy Corbyn unpeel layer by layer.
You can have your pick of whatever kind of antisemitic or anti-Israel image you’d like, they’re all there: one day it’s a video of Corbyn comparing Israel’s West Bank actions to Nazi Germany. That would be enough right there to prove the vile nature of the leader of his country’s Labour Party – to cynically flip the Jewish people’s tragedy back onto the Jews, and accuse them of being Nazis.
Then came the discovery of a picture of Corbyn laying a wreath in Tunisia in October 2014 at the graves of the Munich massacre killers. The image went viral, accompanied by outrage. Two days later it went viral again, this time accompanied by hysterical memes over the statements Corbyn made about the event: I don’t remember, I wasn’t there, yes I was there, no I didn’t lay a wreath, yes I did lay a wreath – “I was present when it was laid, I don’t think I was actually involved in it.”
Nobody was buying it.
A British poll last week found that 44% of Brits said they thought Corbyn did help lay the wreath on the terrorists’ graves at the ceremony, and 38% said they thought Corbyn was too close to terror groups. Of those who voted for Corbyn in last year’s election, 13% said the wreath row made them think less of him.
It wasn’t just Corbyn’s attendance at the wreath ceremony, though – it was who also was there. Standing next to Corbyn is Maher al-Taher, leader-in-exile of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), officially designated as a terrorist organization by the EU.
Also attending was Fatima Bernawi, sentenced to life for trying to blow up the Zion Cinema in downtown Jerusalem in October 1967.
This was not the only event where Corbyn got caught palling around with terrorists. He does it all the time.
He attended a conference with Hamas terrorists, including fellow speaker Osama Hamdan, who said that the antisemitic myth that Jews drank blood was “not a figment of imagination or something taken from a film. It is fact.”
Also sharing a platform was the former Tunisian foreign minister Othman Jerandi, who claimed that “Israel and ISIS are the same thing.”
Corbyn has also spoken at a rally alongside Leila Khaled, the world’s first female plane hijacker who blew up a passenger jet on the runway in 1969, then had plastic surgery and joined Black September to stage a second hostage-taking the following year.
The problem isn’t just Corbyn overseas, but his own party in his own backyard. Jim Sheridan, a former MP and Corbyn ally, was suspended from the party last weekend after writing a Facebook post accusing Jews of plotting against Corbyn.
Sheridan wrote that he has lost “respect and empathy” for the Jewish community over the antisemitism row that the daily revelations about Corbyn has engendered. One wonders what kind of respect and empathy Sheridan had for the Jews to begin with; but putting that aside, we were heartened to see the party suspend Sheridan.
But it’s not enough. We call on the British Labour Party to clean up its act. Home Secretary Sajid Javid said this week that Corbyn was not fit to be leader. We concur. Corbyn must go. It is time for the Labour Party to declare where it stands. It would be tragic if it were to become known as the party of antisemites.
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