At UK Labour Friends of Israel Event, Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn Heckled for Failing to ‘Say the Word Israel’ (VIDEO)
The British Labour Party’s newly elected chief Jeremy Corbyn drew the ire of an audience member on Tuesday night during a Labour Friends of Israel meet in Brighton by failing to mention the word “Israel” once in his eight-minute address.
As Corbyn wrapped up his speech, offering a spirited thanks to LFI for the invitation, an audience member in the back of the packed room cried out, “Hey! Hey! Say the word Israel! Say the word Israel!” just as the head of LFI, MP Joan Ryan, re-assumed the podium.
According to the U.K. Jewish Chronicle, the heckler was media agent Michael Foster, who ran for the party in Cornwall during the May election — which happened to be devastating for the Labour Party and prompted its then-leader, Ed Miliband, to resign.
That Corbyn failed to mention Israel even once during his address to the Labour Party’s pro-Israel wing was corroborated by Telegraph political sketchwriter Michael Deacon, who noted the atmosphere grew “tense” following Foster’s outburst. Foster was apparently ejected from the room by security, while Corbyn stuck around for others’ speeches.
During his speech, Corbyn noted his longtime involvement in Middle East affairs, and boasted having been there nine times, meeting with “some I agree with, some I don’t.” The Labour leader had caused consternation among Britain’s Jews for his association with members of Hezbollah, Hamas, and the more extremist elements of the Israeli Islamic Movement.
Additionally, while Corbyn stressed the importance of the “the issue of Palestine,” including peace negotiations and ultimately a settlement to the protracted Israeli-Arab conflict, he failed to mention Israel by name.
Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to Britain Eitan Na’eh and Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn both addressed the gathering as well, stressing the importance of bringing both sides together.
Watch a video of the episode below: