Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who hopes to become the United Kingdom’s next prime minister after Thursday’s vote, has previously argued that the militant Islamist group Hamas should be removed from the Britain’s list of terrorist organizations, The Telegraph reported Sunday.
In a statement to Qatari-owned Al Jazeera on April 16, 2009, Corbyn said, “At some point, Hamas should be removed from this list because contacts with Hamas by politicians are increasing day after day. All want to find a peaceful solution to the problem.”
“Hamas, too, has thus far proven that it is committed to the process. It encourages these contacts and wants to get some sort of recognition of it. Therefore, this will one day take place,” he added.
The segment was uncovered by BBC Monitoring, which locates and translates news from other countries.
At the time of the remarks, Corbyn was still a little-known parliamentarian who did not hold any leadership position in the Labour Party. That same year, he also referred to Hamas and the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah as “friends,” and called Hamas “an organization that is dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people and bringing about long-term peace and social justice and political justice in the whole region.” Corbyn also said that the UK’s labeling of Hamas as a terrorist organization is “a big, big historical mistake.” He expressed regret over that characterization last year, indicating that he used “inclusive language” in order to spur “a discussion about the peace process.”
A spokesman for Corbyn told The Telegraph that the party leader “was echoing a political consensus that had emerged across Europe and the US at that time.”
In Western Europe’s Most Powerful Anti-Zionist, which was published in the October 2015 issue of The Tower Magazine, Liam Hoare recapped Corbyn’s history of whitewashing terrorists of all stripes.
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