Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party, was in 2011 filmed applauding a speaker at a conference who called for the dismantlement of Israel, which he also said “kidnapped” Judaism.
The footage published Thursday was taken at a pro-Palestinian conference that Corbyn, a far-left politician, attended in 2011 alongside several anti-Israel activists who have been accused of anti-Semitism.
In it, Yisrael Dovid Weiss of the Neturei Karta ultra-Orthodox sect, is seen saying: “You said there should be the end of a Jewish state. I just wanted to respectfully say: The end of a Zionist state that has kidnapped the name of Judaism. It’s not a Jewish state.” He added: “We want … a peaceful dismantlement of the state and to live together in harmony, God willing it will happen.”
Corbyn is seen clapping for Weiss, who in 2006 attended in Iran a conference aimed at denying and ridiculing the Holocaust.
In footage captured by the blogger Richard Millet, during the event Rabbi Weiss went on an extreme anti-Israel rant in which he calls for the “dismantlement” of the state of Israel. Corbyn (head just in view) lends his support for this statement by applauding his outburst: pic.twitter.com/EDNgu9qsSl
— The Golem (@TheGolem_) January 3, 2019
Since his election in 2015 to head Labour, Corbyn has fought allegations that his critical attitude toward Israel and alleged tolerance of anti-Semitism have injected Jew hatred into the heart of the party.
Amid scrutiny, Corbyn in 2016 for the first time said Israel has a right to exist.
In the 1980s, Corbyn had sponsored and spoken for a group called the Labour Movement Campaign for Palestine whose official platform declared its “opposition to the Zionist state as racist, exclusivist, expansionist and a direct agency of imperialism.” A conference it held in 1984 demanded that the Labour Party’s key institutions “support the Palestinian people in their struggle for a democratic and secular state in the whole of Palestine”; materials published by the movement for the event proclaimed that it sought “to eradicate Zionism.”
In 2009 Corbyn called Hamas and Hezbollah his friends and said that Hamas was working to achieve peace and justice; he subsequently apologized for the “friends” comment. In 2012 he defended an anti-Semitic mural — for which he also subsequently apologized. In 2013, he said British “Zionists” don’t understand British irony.
In 2014 he laid flowers at a cemetery where Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972 are buried. Appearing at a Labour Friends of Israel reception during his party’s annual conference in 2015, soon after he had been elected Labour leader, he was heckled after giving an address during which he did not mention the word “Israel.”
Four months ago, when Labour belatedly adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism, Corbyn sought in vain to add a caveat that it should not be considered anti-Semitic to describe Israel and/or the circumstances of Israel’s establishment as racist.
Britain’s former chief rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has called Corbyn a dangerous anti-Semite.