A 2012 video of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn saying that Israel could use a “false flag” operation to launch an attack on Iran has emerged, The Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday.
In the video, Corbyn is asked by an offscreen interviewer talks about “conversations on the conspiracy channels on the internet” which promoted the idea that Israel could create a “false flag event” — meaning a manufactured pretext — to attack Iran.
The interviewer, a man identified as Morris Herman, then asked Corbyn, “We’re playing with fire, surely?”
Corbyn appeared to accept Herman’s premise, responding, “There’s a history of this kind of thing.”
The then-Labour back-bencher continued, “The Gulf of Tonkin incident during the Vietnam War is one that springs to mind. Going back a bit further The War of Jenkins’ Ear in the north Atlantic by the British against the French and the Spanish…”
Corbyn concluded, “Yes, of course, there’s that danger.”
Corbyn then criticized a naval exercise conducted by the United States and Israel the previous week as “an extremely unwise action.” He elaborated, “The danger of something going wrong, an accident taking place and that’s perceived to the start of armed conflict.”
The video of Corbyn accusing Israel of manufacturing a pretext to attack Iran has come to the fore at a time when a top Iranian military official threatened Israel with destruction.
Earlier this week, The Times of Israel reported that Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, the second-in-command of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said that if Israel started a war with his nation, the war will “end with its elimination.”
Salami made the threat in response to a reporter’s question about what Iran would do about Israeli threats to hit Iranian assets in Syria. He said, ” Our strategy is to erase Israel from the global political map. And it seems that, considering the evil that Israel is doing, it is bringing itself closer to that.”
The Chronicle credited a Twitter account with the handle, @TheGolem, with publicizing the video. @TheGolem, according to the Chronicle, “monitors Labour antisemitism and has previously revealed other controversial statements by Mr. Corbyn before he became Labour leader in 2015.”
Corbyn’s remarks are the latest incident that has painted the Labour leader and his allies as hostile to Jews and Israel.
Twice last month, Labour re-admitted members who had been suspended for anti-Semitism.
Also in January, constituency Labour Party for Lewisham Deptford, came under fire for suggesting that the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism was part of a ploy to shield Israel from criticism.
On Thursday, Labour MPs accused the party’s general secretary Jennie Formby, a close ally of Corbyn, of protecting party members charged with engaging in anti-Semitism from discipline.
The incidents, which keep piling up, have prompted a number of MPs to warn Corbyn that Labour is appearing to be “institutionally antisemitic.”
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