If some within the UK Jewish community thought that Jeremy Corbyn would use the Labour Party hustings on Monday night at JW3 to clarify his positions on terrorism and Israel, they were sadly mistaken. When given the opportunity, he failed to substantively walk back his previous expressions of sympathy for Hamas (and other terror groups), came out in support of an arms embargo against Israel, a boycott of the settlements and engaged in a diatribe about Israel’s “oppressive” policies towards Gaza.
Not once did he call out Hamas for their antisemitic incitement or their continuing practice of siphoning off of humanitarian aid for terror activity. Nor did he hold the group’s extremist leaders even minimally responsible for their oppressive policies against Palestinians.
Further, he found time to engage in the following false charge.
Though this claim didn’t elicit the audible gasp in the largely Jewish audience heard at JW3 when most thought Corbyn claimed that Jews in government “imposed” the Balfour Declaration, those familiar with the issue would have recognized it as the smear that it is.
Though there are some roads that have – for security reasons – previously been restricted to Israelis only, Israelis of all religions (Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze and Circassians) can use them. Similarly, Yishai Goldflam (Editor of Presspectiva, CAMERA’s Hebrew website) noted that Associated Press published a correction in January 2010 stating, “These [West Bank] roads are open to all Israeli citizens, including Arabs, foreigners and tourists.” Similar corrections, Goldflam added, “were published at CNN, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe”.
Though we of course don’t know how Corbyn came to believe in the myth of “settler only roads”, it’s interesting that this lie is prominently featured at the site of Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), given that Corbyn is listed as a Patron of the group.
Though, thankfully, the media by and large no longer engages in such spurious charges about ‘ethnically exclusive’ roads in the West Bank, it’s extremely troubling that the would-be Labour Party leader still traffics in such canards about the Jewish state.
- Corbyn slams Israel at JW3: admits he met Hamas (Richard Millett)
- Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn loses his cool over ‘friendship’ with Hamas (telegraph.co.uk)