The leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, traveled to the West Bank at the height of the second intifada, where he met with embattled PLO President Yasser Arafat and praised the Palestinian leader’s “defiance” against Israel, it was revealed Monday.
In a write-up for the far-left Socialist Campaign Group News, Corbyn described his meeting with Arafat at his Ramallah compound as “almost surreal.”
He recalled how the delegation “entered the building down a corridor lined with sandbags, beyond which lay piles of broken and burnt vehicles as a result of Israeli bombardment.”
The Palestinian leader, Corbyn said, “seemed focused and precise in what he had to say, giving a very strong message of defiance of the blockade,” despite the news that Israeli tanks were only “one kilometre away from his office.”
At the time of the meeting, Arafat authorized a deadly string of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered the IDF to enter Palestinian cities, for the first time since the Oslo Accords, to pressure Arafat to end his support for terrorist attacks.
However, Corbyn put the blame squarely on the Israeli leader and blasted Sharon’s campaign of “bombardment and humiliation.”
Comparing Israel to the apartheid regime in South Africa, Corbyn went on the say that the Jewish State appears to “impose a sort of Bantustan solution, as in South Africa in the early 1960s.” The Bantustans were areas to which most of the black African population was forcefully displaced to prevent them from living in white-dominated urban areas.
His accounts reveal that Corbyn, then a Labour backbench MP, visited the Palestinian territories together with two other parliamentarians. The delegation also visited east Jerusalem, Gaza, and Nablus as part of “a campaign for peace.”
Last year, the Labour leader was accused of breaking parliament rules after he failed to declare at least ten overseas visits, including a trip to Tunisia in 2014 when he placed a wreath on the graves of the terrorists who massacred 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
[Photo: The Telegraph / YouTube]