Published: Tue, August 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Nigel Farage Battles Corbynista Over Wreath-Laying Row

Nigel Farage Battles Corbynista Over Wreath-Laying Row

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday slammed UK's Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for his attendance at a memorial honoring the terrorists behind the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre after photographs surfaced days ago. "What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children".

Corbyn's comment followed an attack by the Israeli premier alleging that the British politician supports terrorism.

Referring to the accusation of wreath-laying, Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger said: "Being "present" is the same as being involved".

A picture taken on August 9, 2018 shows smoke billowing following an Israeli air strike on Gaza City.

Corbyn has admitted he "was present when [the wreath] was laid" but claimed he was "not actually involved" in any ceremony. One Labour MP demanded an apology from Corbyn, saying that "there can also never be a fitting memorial for terrorists".

It appeared from the snapshots that Corbyn was standing near the graves of Palestinian terrorists involved in the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid earlier suggested that Mr Corbyn should quit over the issue, while the widows of some of those who were murdered in 1972 said they were "extremely disturbed" by claims about the visit.

But the Mail say its own visit to the Martyrs Cemetery had shown the pictures were taken in front of a plaque honouring the founder of Black September, which carried out the Munich atrocity, while the airstrike memorial was 15 yards away.

Jeremy Corbyn has spent the last several weeks insisting that neither he nor his Labour Party has a problem with anti-Semitism.

Israeli secret service Mossad was accused of killing terrorists behind the Olympics attack, including Atef Bseiso, a Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) intelligence chief, who was killed in the French capital in 1992.

Labour said Corbyn, a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause, was in Tunis to honour the victims of the 1985 raid.

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)".

The names of three of the Munich attackers are also inscribed on the monument to the 1985 air strike.

Critics, including Jewish leaders and some Labour MPs, say a new code of conduct adopted by the party is not as comprehensive about anti-Semitism as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) guidelines.

Mr Netanyahu dispensed with usual diplomatic convention by adding his voice to the criticism of the Labour leader's.

The scandal is only the latest round in a long-running crisis for the Labour Party, with a constant stream of members and prominent officials being forced out or chastised for making anti-Semitic and virulent anti-Israel comments, and Corbyn himself criticized for tolerating and/or being part of the problem.

But Mick Whelan, general secretary of train drivers' union Aslef, who sits on the NEC, said he voted for the code because it is an advance on the original document.

Labour says it has included the global definition word-for-word in the code, although critics say the Labour code leaves out examples of how criticism of Israel can be anti-Semitic.

He added: "The nation state law sponsored by @Netanyahu's government discriminates against Israel's Palestinian minority".

"But you can never make those criticisms using anti-Semitic language or anti-Semitic intentions, and that is what we are absolutely clear on".

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