The leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who is embroiled in scandal over accusations of anti-Semitism within his party, was found to have participated in a panel at a 2012 conference in Qatar with several Palestinian terrorists sentenced for murder, The Times of Israel reported on Monday.
The paper reported that Corbyn attended the conference in Doha with a convicted Hamas leader, Husam Badran, who was jailed in Israel for his role in orchestrating a string of terrorist attacks that killed more than 100 people – including the 2001 bombing of the Dolphinarium Discotheque in Tel Aviv that killed 21 and the Sbarro Pizza in Jerusalem that killed 15.
The Labour leader also sat on a panel alongside then Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who is on the UK sanctions list. Another terrorist at the event was Abdul Aziz Umar, who received seven life sentences for his involvement in the 2003 bombing of Jerusalem’s Cafe Hillel, in which seven people were killed.
During the panel discussion, Corbyn praised the decision to overturn a government order to deport Muslim cleric Raed Salah, who was convicted in Israel of incitement to violence. Corbyn invited Salah for tea in parliament and described the hate preacher as “a very honoured citizen” whose “voice must be heard.” Saleh was found by a British court to have used the anti-Semitic blood libel.
Badran and Umar were freed from Israeli jails in 2011, less than a year before the conference, as part of the prisoner exchange for the return of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Writing in the far-left Morning Star newspaper after the event, the Labour leader praised the contribution of the two Hamas panelists as “fascinating and electrifying.”
In a video of the 2012 event, Badran says, “The nakba [the Palestinian term for the “catastrophe” of the community’s displacement during the 1948 Israel-Arab war] which made us refugees took place via force, and the return will be only viable through military and armed resistance and nothing else.”
The news of Corbyn’s participation in the conference came three days after The Times of London published a picture of the Labour leader standing next to Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine chief Maher al-Taher, at a commemoration ceremony for the Black September terrorists who took part in the 1972 massacre of 11 Israelis at the Munich Olympics.
In an exclusive interview with The Israel Project on Tuesday, Ankie Spitzer, the widow of the Israeli Olympic fencing coach Andrei Spitzer, said “The families of the brutally murdered athletes are extremely disturbed by the statements and the pictures of Mr. Jeremy Corbyn while he is honoring Palestinian leaders who planned and executed the murder of our loved ones.”
[Photo: Garry Knight / Flickr ]