by Hugh Fitzgerald
In Great Britain, Jeremy Corbyn and his willing collaborators in the Labour Party continue their ferocious attacks on anyone in the party who still supports Israel. In the first week of September, a vote of no-confidence against Joan Ryan, the head of Labour Friends of Israel, passed 94-92 among local party members. Frank Field, another long-serving MP and prominent supporter of Israel, resigned as whip to protest the Labour Party becoming a “force for antisemitism” and for allowing a “culture of nastiness, bullying and intimidation” to develop; he was informed that as result he was no longer a member of the Party.
As is well known, Jeremy Corbyn intensely dislikes Israel. He refers to members of Hamas and Hezbollah, on the other hand, as “friends.” They feel the same about him. In a Twitter post, Hamas wrote: “We salute Jeremy Corbyn’s supportive positions to the Palestinians.”
When first accused of having honored dead terrorists at a graveside ceremony in Tunisia in October 2014, Corbyn denied that he had been anywhere near the graves of any terrorists, and he certainly had “no memory” of any wreath laying. Then some photographs surfaced. One of them shows Corbyn holding — with others — a large wreath. And the grave they are standing over turns out to have been that of one of those who planned the murder of the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
Another photo of Jeremy Corbyn shows him posing in the same graveyard next to a convicted terrorist, Fatima Bernawi, who was given a life sentence for trying to blow up a Israeli cinema in 1967. While the attempted terror attack did not come off, Bernawi boasted that it was successful because it “generated fear.” Bernawi was later freed in a prisoner swap, and was thus able to attend the same terrorist-honoring graveside ceremony as Jeremy Corbyn.
Asked to explain what he was doing next to a convicted terrorist, Mr Corbyn’s spokesman said: “Jeremy has a long and principled record of solidarity with the Palestinian people and engaging with actors in the conflict to support peace and justice in the Middle East.”
Notice that Corbyn, though his spokesman, did not claim that he did not know who Bernawi was, or what she had been convicted of. She was the only woman in the graveside group, and both that and her appearance (Bernawi was an Afro-Palestinian) would almost certainly have led Corbyn to ask who she was.
In the same group photo is another important terrorist, Maher al-Taher, the exiled head of a Palestinian terror group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It was his group that the very next month, November 2014, would murder seven rabbis at a synagogue in Jerusalem during morning prayers.
Both Corbyn and Al-Taher were invited by the official Palestinian Authority delegation to the cemetery in the Tunisian capital.
After attending a “peace conference” in a five-star hotel, they laid wreaths to the men buried there – including those who masterminded the 1972 Olympics massacre.
Nothing says “peace” like laying wreaths at the graves of terrorists, especially of those who planned the 1972 murders of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
The Labour leader has since said he was “unaware” he was sharing a platform with a senior member of a terror group (as well as a convicted terrorist standing right next to him) and he told Channel 4 News that he laid his wreath “on the graves of all those that have died,” adding: “I’m not apologising for being there at all.” Even now he has yet to apologize for saying a prayer, and laying a wreath, at the graves of terrorists.
Then there is the controversy over a blatantly antisemitic mural on a London building. It shows a group of recognizably Jewish men — to judge by the dollars on the table, they are bankers — seated around a tabletop which is revealed to be a monopoly board, held up by the bent bodies of the oppressed poor. The local government in 2012 wanted the mural removed. Corbyn, in a Facebook comment, instead defended the mural; he, practically alone, could not see what was wrong with it. What was all the fuss about?, asked Corbyn dismissively. You can judge for yourself here.
The discovery of Corbin’s 2012 Facebook post in which he found the mural unobjectionable has added to the longstanding criticism of the Labour leader: he frequently turns a blind eye to antisemitism, whether it is his own (which he is incapable of recognizing), or that of others, especially if they are in his party. When Ken Livingstone compared Israeli soldiers to Nazi concentration camp guards, he was not expelled from the party, and even when he claimed that Hitler had supported Zionism in the 1930s, he was not expelled, but only temporarily suspended. When Livingstone, who has continued to be unapologetic about that remark, resigned from the party in May 2018, it was not due to any pressure from Corbyn. The Labour MP Margaret Hodge, a longtime member of Labour Friends of Israel, has described Corbyn as an “antisemite and racist.” Joan Ryan, the head of Labour Friends of Israel, has made the same charge, at greater length, in a series of open letters to Corbyn, as here and here. Ryan accuses Corbyn of peddling “grotesque” antisemitic conspiracy theories, including his claiming on Iranian state TV in 2012 that the “hand of Israel” was behind a jihad terror attack in Egypt that year. Ms. Ryan said: “Mr Corbyn’s claim is ludicrous, grotesque and entirely unfounded in fact. It evokes a sinister anti-Semitic conspiracy theory alleging Israeli origins in terrorism.”
Corbyn, of course, finds nothing wrong with his having helped lay a wreath at the grave of Black September members, the group that was behind the Munich murders. Those in the Tunisian graveyard may not have actually taken part in the murders — those killers were buried in Libya — but they certainly helped to plan the Munich attack. That is why, having first claimed that he had no idea who was being honored at the graveyard in Tunisia, Corbyn then said that he had not laid a wreath at the grave of anyone who “took part” in the Munich massacre, which was true only technically, but false in its essence. He not only laid a wreath at the grave of a Black September member, but in other pictures, he is seen standing close to where another terrorist, Atef Bseiso, the intelligence chief of the Palestine Liberation Organisation who has also been linked to the Munich massacre, is buried.
The photos, taken a year before he became leader of the party, clearly show him with his hands, palms up and properly cupped, taking part in an Islamic prayer at the burial site.
Corbyn still sees nothing wrong with his having invited his “friends” in Hamas and Hezbollah to address Parliament in 2009. He is especially fond of Hamas. Corbyn spoke at a conference in Doha in 2012 alongside Hamas terrorists and called their speeches “fascinating and electrifying.” And he enjoyed a takeaway dinner in 2010 with Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, a remarkable choice of dining companion, considering that Mashal is on Britain’s terror sanctions list. He has dismissed the many accusations of antisemitism in the Labor Party’s ranks. The latest example is Peter Willsman, who is standing for re-election to the party’s National Executive Committee, and who blamed allegations of antisemitism on Jewish “Trump fanatics” in a recording released by the Jewish Chronicle. Luciana Berger, one of the Labour moderates who tried to oust Corbyn in 2016, called the recording “sickening.” Another of the former rebels, Wes Stressing, said in a tweet it was “depressing” that “the Party’s leadership have only ever been shamed into action on antisemitism.” Corbyn has done nothing to discipline Williamson. Nor has he taken issue with the campaign to have Israel labelled as a “racist endeavor.”
First published in Jihad Watch.