Corbyn met terror leaders, but not Jews, on trip to Israel in 2010 — report

UK Labour leader, then a backbench MP, broke rules by reportedly failing to declare lobby group-funded visit

British lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn addressing a meeting during his election campaign for the leadership of the British Labour Party in Ealing, west London, August 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
British lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn addressing a meeting during his election campaign for the leadership of the British Labour Party in Ealing, west London, August 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited terror leaders during a 2010 trip to Israel and the West Bank, according to a Monday report, the latest in a series of exposés showing the embattled British politician alongside Palestinian terror groups.

Corbyn also broke British parliamentary rules by failing to disclose that the trip was funded by a lobby group, i24News reported.

The Labour leader was joined on the trip by fellow Labour MP Andrew Slaughter and by Seumas Milne, who currently serves as Corbyn’s director of communications and strategy.

The visit took place from November 5-9, 2010, and was reported at the time by Palestinian Ma’an news agency

Slaughter declared the trip, saying it was sponsored by Friends of Al-Aqsa and The Middle East Monitor (MEMO), a UK-based pro-Palestinian lobbying group. He said that the total costs came to £927 ($1,500), i24News reported. Corbyn did not list the visit to parliament, though at the time MPs had to declare any gifts above £660 ($840).

A detailed summary of the trip was deleted from the MEMO site, but i24News saved a copy of the original report.

According to the MEMO report, the lawmakers toured from the northern Arab city of Umm al-Fahm to the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev.

In East Jerusalem the lawmakers met three senior Hamas members, Ahmad Attoun, Khaled Abu-Arafah, and Muhammad Totah, who were staging a protest in the Red Cross building as Israel attempted to deport them to the West Bank for their involvement with the terror group.

The MEMO description of the visit details the many accounts of “crimes” of the “Israeli occupation” including home demolitions, “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid” that the MPs heard at every stop they made. They also learned about the importance of the BDS boycott against Israel and were urged to support it.

Following the visit, Corbyn summarized what he had learned in his regular column in the left-wing Morning Star newspaper.

“It is time to bring those Israelis who committed crimes against humanity to account and to end the EU Israel Trade Agreement while the occupation and settlement policy continues,” he wrote, according to the report.

From the detailed 47-page MEMO report of the visit, it appears that the delegation did not meet with any Jewish Israelis during the four days.

A spokesperson for the Labour Party defended the trip, telling i24News it showed Corbyn’s commitment to peace.

“Jeremy has a long and principled record of solidarity with the Palestinian people and engaging with actors in the conflict to support peace and justice in the Middle East. That is the right thing to do,” he said. However, he declined to comment on why Corbyn did not declare the trip in his financial report.

The Labour leader has in the past been criticized for calling terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah “friends” when inviting members for a parliamentary meeting in 2009. He later downplayed the comment and said he regretted using the term.

An unnamed senior Labour party member told i24News that, “I imagine he’s met more people who have killed Israelis than actual Israelis.”

The report came a day after the Daily Telegraph reported that Corbyn sat on a panel at a 2012 conference in Doha with several Palestinian terrorists sentenced for murder, including then Hamas head Khaled Mashaal, and the head of Hamas’s military wing, who was responsible for the deaths of dozens of Israelis.

The latest revelation also came only four days after The Times of London published a picture of Corbyn standing next to Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine chief Maher al-Taher, at a commemoration ceremony for the Black September terrorists who took part in the 1972 massacre of 11 Israelis at the Munich Olympics.

Corbyn’s participation in the October 2014 event, in which he was photographed with a wreath near the terrorists’ graves, had already caused an uproar, provoking fierce reactions from British Jews and Israeli politicians alike.

Last month, Labour pointedly decided not to adopt parts of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism that related to Israel.

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