The British Labour Party faced fresh accusations of anti-Semitism on Wednesday amid reports that leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Britain of “conceding to Zionist forces” in allowing the creation of the State of Israel.
Corbyn allegedly made the comments in a 2011 pamphlet, written by Labour MPs Sir Gerald Kaufman and Michael Connarty, after a trip to Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Jewish News reported.
The trip was organized by the Council for European-Palestinian Relations and the Palestinian Return Centre. According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the PRC “is affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and some of its senior figures are Hamas activists who found refuge in Britain.” The group also denies “the right of the State of Israel to exist.”
In the article, Corbyn laments the establishment and recognition of the State of Israel, claiming that former British Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee “conceded to Zionist forces.”
“Now that Labour is back in opposition I think it’s time for a serious debate about how one brings justice about for the Palestinian people and how international law, including universal jurisdiction is made a reality for those who have committed war crimes,” the pamphlet said.
In another pamphlet written at the time, Corbyn is quoted as saying: “It was good to see the various Palestinian groups working together in the face of US and Israeli pressure to separate the Gaza Strip and West Bank from the rest of the Diaspora, which is a classic colonial divide and rule tactic.”
A Labour spokesperson reacted to the news, saying: “Jeremy’s report of a visit he and other MPs made to refugee camps in Lebanon in 2011 calls for a serious debate about ensuring justice for the Palestinian people.
“Jeremy has a long and principled record of campaigning for the rights of Palestinians, and engaging with actors in the conflict to support a peaceful settlement based on a safe and secure Israel with a viable Palestinian state. That is the right thing to do.”
“I’m not mincing words here,” she said. “The election of Jeremy Corbyn was a catastrophe – for Labour; the country; and the Jewish community, especially. I am of the strong belief that Corbyn harbours anti-Semitic views. And unlike some who see him as a misguided old man, I think Corbyn knows exactly what he’s doing. This is a serious charge, but the evidence has been lining up.”