Wednesday, October 5th | 10 Tishri 5783

August 13, 2018 1:51 pm

Israeli PM Netanyahu Joins Condemnation of UK Labour Leader Corbyn’s Tribute to Munich Olympics Terrorists

avatar by Ben Cohen

Jeremy Corbyn (center, in yellow shirt) leads a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London in 2014. Photo: File.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined the chorus of condemnation of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Monday, following the publication of photographs over the weekend that showed Corbyn holding a memorial wreath for the Palestinian terrorists who murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Netanyahu said on Twitter that Corbyn’s “laying of a wreath on the graves of the terrorists who perpetrated the Munich massacre,” along with his comparison of Israel to the Nazi German regime during a just-revealed speech in 2013, deserved universal condemnation.

Netanyahu’s tweet came as British Jews angrily condemned Corbyn’s explanation, during an interview with broadcaster Sky News, for his presence at the ceremony at the former PLO headquarters in Tunis in October 2014.

Corbyn said “a wreath was indeed laid” for “some of those who were killed in Paris in 1992” — a reference to the assassination of PLO terror mastermind Atef Bseiso, in an operation that was blamed by French intelligence on the Fatah splinter group led by Abu Nidal — but added: “I was present at that wreath-laying, I don’t think I was actually involved in it.”

Corbyn went on to say: “I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who’s died in every terrorist incident everywhere because we have to end it. You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence. The only way you pursue peace is a cycle of dialogue.”

That was too much for some British Jewish leaders, whose latest in a series of battles with Corbyn concerns Labour’s ongoing refusal to endorse a globally accepted definition of antisemitism drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

“Jeremy Corbyn’s latest statement is a further insult to those savagely murdered at Munich and their bereaved relatives,” said Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), in a statement on Monday.

“He says he was paying respect to victims of terrorism when there is clear photographic evidence of him holding a wreath at the grave of the terrorists themselves,” Gerber said. “Jeremy Corbyn’s appalling actions, and Labour’s attempted cover up, is another truly shameful day for the party he leads.”

Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger, a consistent critic of Corbyn’s, mocked her party’s leader’s explanation on Twitter.

“Being ‘present’ is the same as being involved,” Berger remarked.

Labour’s national media operation struggled in its response to the Munich massacre revelations, even contradicting Corbyn himself by claiming that the Labour leader “did not honor those responsible for the Munich killings. He and other Parliamentarians went to the Palestinian cemetery in Tunisia to remember the victims of the 1985 Israeli bombing of the PLO headquarters.”

In fact, Corbyn acknowledged the commemoration of the Munich terrorists in his Sky News interview on Monday, as well as in an October 5, 2014 article for the Morning Star — a Stalinist daily published by the British Communist Party.

In that article, headlined “Palestine United,”  Corbyn confirmed that wreaths were laid “on the graves of others killed by Mossad agents (sic) in Paris in 1991 (sic).” Corbyn went on to accuse Israel of having committed war crimes during the summer 2014 conflict with Hamas in Gaza, expressing enthusiasm at the prospect that “foreign nationals serving in the Israeli Defense Force (sic) could become the subject of war crimes accusations following the bombing of civilian targets.”

Despite the grave crisis facing Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May in the negotiations over Britain’s planned departure from the European Union in 2019, the ongoing scandal of Labour Party antisemitism appears to be preventing Corbyn from gaining a serious political advantage over the beleaguered incumbent.

A YouGov poll for the The Times newspaper conducted on Wednesday and Thursday last week showed that Corbyn’s approval rating had slipped to 22 points — its lowest since May 2017 — against 36 points for May.

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