An Israeli athlete who survived the Palestinian terrorist attack on the Israeli team at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games said UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite who is hiding his true beliefs from voters for the sake of political expediency, and should leave politics.
Corbyn, whose Labour party is battling accusations of deep-rooted anti-Semitic sentiments, is facing criticism over photos of him holding a wreath during a 2014 ceremony at a Tunisian cemetery in which he appears to be to be standing near the graves of Palestinian terrorists involved in the slaying of 11 Israeli athletes and team members at the games.
Professor Shaul Ladany, 82, who also survived the Nazi Bergen-Belsen death camp during the Holocaust and was a competitor at the 1972 games in the 50-kilometer walk, spoke to UK’s Daily Telegraph about his feelings regarding Corbyn.
By attending the wreath-laying ceremony Corbyn was taking a stand, Ladany explained in the interview, published Friday.
“It is saying ‘Look, I am in favor of it, I admire it,'” said Ladany, who escaped the attack by climbing out of a back window of his apartment and making a getaway.
“That is his belief, but he knows at present he cannot fully express himself totally openly because he might lose some of his voters,” Ladany continued. “I don’t know him personally but from what I have read and heard I have no doubt that he is an anti-Semite. He should disappear from the political scene. And I hope that it will happen.”
During the September 1972 attack on the Munich Olympic Village by the Black September Palestinian terror group, 11 Israelis were taken hostage. Two were murdered in the Olympic village and nine others were executed at the airport. A German policeman was killed in a shootout with the terrorists during a botched rescue attempt.
A Labour spokesman told The Telegraph that “Jeremy Corbyn visited the Palestine National Cemetery in Tunisia to support Palestinian rights and honor the victims of the illegal 1985 airstrike, many of whom were civilians, on the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s headquarters – an attack condemned by the UN.”
“Jeremy did not honor those alleged to have been linked to the Black September organization or the 1972 Munich killings,” the statement continued referring to the Palestinian terror group which carried out the attack. “He of course condemns that terrible attack, as he does the 1985 bombing.”
Israel launched a long-range airstrike on the PLO headquarters in Tunisia in 1985 in retaliation after three Palestinian gunmen hijacked an Israeli yacht off the coast of Cyprus and killed three tourists on board. Local hospital sources said 47 people were killed and 65 injured in the strike, the New York Times reported at the time. Israel said most of those killed were PLO members, including leaders of the Force 17 military unit, which it believed had carried out the yacht attack.
PLO leader Yasser Arafat escaped unharmed, although several of his bodyguards and several civilians were killed in the strike, which completely destroyed the headquarters.
Pictures published by the Daily Mail earlier this month appeared to show Corbyn in front of a plaque honoring members of the Black September terrorist organization, 15 yards (approximately 13 meters) away from the graves of those killed in the 1985 airstrike.
In an article published after the trip on the radical left-wing website Morning Star, opposition leader Corbyn does appear to refer to the grave of one of the architects of the Munich massacre, writing that “wreaths were laid on the graves of others killed by Mossad agents in Paris in 1991.”
It seems he was talking about the grave of PLO official Atef Bseiso, PLO’s head of intelligence, thought to have been a key planner of the Munich massacre
There is no record of Israel’s spy agency carrying out an assassination in the French capital around that time, but the June 1992 killing of Bseiso in Paris has been blamed on Israel.
Israel denied any role in the killing, suggesting Bseiso’s death was the result of internal rivalries within the PLO.
On Tuesday the Daily Mail reported Corbyn faces more questions about the Tunisia trip after it was revealed that he did not declare the journey to parliament in the Register of Members’ Interests at the time.
A Labour spokesman then admitted that the trip was paid for by the Tunisian government, but that the cost was below the £660 ($841) threshold at the time.
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. The fracas has seen excoriation from rabbis, including Britain’s chief rabbi, as well as from some of Labour’s own MPs, charging that the party and its leader seem unable or unwilling to decisively excise anti-Semitic members and sentiments from Labour’s ranks.
At the heart of Labour’s current anti-Semitism crisis is the party’s refusal to adopt in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, instead leaving out four of the 11 examples included in the definition. All four relate to unfair singling out of Israel or questioning the loyalty of Jews who support Israel.