Footage has emerged showing Jeremy Corbyn endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel as “part and parcel of a legal process that has to be adopted.”
The film, from 2015, just months before Corbyn assumed the party leadership, was taken during a conference in Belfast. Corbyn has maintained that he opposes a blanket boycott of Israel, supporting instead only boycotting produce from Israeli settlements.
“Jeremy is not in favor of a comprehensive or blanket boycott,” a spokesperson for Corbyn told The Guardian in December. “He doesn’t support BDS. He does support targeted action aimed at illegal settlements and occupied territories.”
In the footage filmed in Belfast, he is asked: “Can the panel give hope to the people of Palestine by supporting the movement for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel?”
He replies: “I think the boycott campaign, divestment campaign, is part and parcel of a legal process that has to be adopted.” He later adds: “I believe that sanctions against Israel, because of its breach of the trade agreement, are the appropriate way of promoting [the] peace process.”
The footage was published in 2015 by Sinn Féin, the extremist nationalist Northern Irish political party that hosted Corbyn in Belfast. Corbyn, who in 2009 hosted a visit to Britain’s parliament by Hamas and Hezbollah politicians, calling them his “friends,” was then an outlier in Labour for his radical politics. He was widely seen as having slim chances of leading the movement.
David Hirsh, a senior lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London and author of the book “Contemporary Left Antisemitism,” posted the video on his Facebook page.
This week, Corbyn faced rebuke from within Labour and beyond following the publication of a picture of him holding a wreath in 2014 over a plaque in Tunisia honoring the mastermind of the 1972 massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. He had previously denied claims that he honored the terrorists.
The “wreath-gate” scandal, as the Spectator and other media call it, is the latest in a long string of cases in which Corbyn and his close allies are accused of tacitly tolerating or encouraging vitriol against Israel, Jews or both. He has denied the allegations.