British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is under fire for his unwillingness to confront anti-Semitism, voiced apparent sympathy for the motives of Palestinian suicide bombers during a debate at Cambridge University, The Jerusalem Post reported Friday.
In a video posted on Twitter by freelance journalist Iggy Ostanin, Corbyn can be heard recalling how Palestinian youths had told him of people they knew who had “been involved in suicide bombing.” Corbyn said they named as motives for their crime “hopelessness” and “occupation.”
The debate, entitled “This House Believes that Israel Demands Too Much and Gives Too Little in the Peace Process,” was held at the Cambridge Union Society on October 29, 2009. Corbyn and three other speakers argued in favor of the proposition.
“I remember asking a group of young Palestinians in Nablus one time, I sat down with them, and I said ‘what do you think about suicide bombers,’” Corbyn remarked.
“All of them knew someone who had been, how should I put it, involved in suicide bombing, none of them agreed with it, but every one of them knew why they did it. They said put yourself in our place, a life of hopelessness, a life under occupation, a life of demoralization, and bitterness,” he continued.
“That is where it leads to,” concluded Corbyn, voicing apparent sympathy for the motives of Palestinian suicide bombers.
The Labour leader made similar comments in the aftermath of one of Britain’s deadliest terrorist attacks – the 2017 Manchester Arena Bombing – in which 22 innocent people were killed and 139 were wounded, more than half of them children. Corbyn suggested that Britain’s wars abroad were to blame for the suicide attack.
Corbyn faced fresh backlash on Friday when the ninth British lawmaker announced his departure from the Labour Party, accusing it of having a “culture of extremism, anti-Semitism and intolerance” under Corbyn’s leadership.
Ian Austin, the son of a Holocaust survivor, said: “One of the main reasons I joined the Labour Party as a teenager here in Dudley more than 35 years ago was to fight racism and I could never have believed I would be leaving the Labour Party because of racism too.”
In related news, one of Britain’s leading Jewish academics and Holocaust scholars, David Hirsh, also announced that he had resigned from the party. In a letter of Thursday, Hirsh explained, “Personally, I have had enough of being humiliated by antisemitism in the Labour movement.
“I do not want Jeremy Corbyn to be the next Prime Minister; he is so wedded to antisemitic politics that he has been quite unable to address the antisemitic culture which he imported into the Labour mainstream.”
Hirsh concluded: “I’m done. And I think most other Jews are done too.”
Last month, a 2012 video emerged showing Corbyn saying that Israel could use a false flag operation to justify an attack on Iran.
[Photo: ITV News / YouTube ]