Corbyn filmed applauding Neturei Karta speech about ‘dismantling’ Israel
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Corbyn filmed applauding Neturei Karta speech about ‘dismantling’ Israel

Labour leader pictured in 2011 at anti-Israel conference, condemned by the Board of Deputies as 'endorsing yet another extremist position'

Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised by the Board of Deputies president for “endorsing yet another extremist position”, after being filmed  applauding a speaker at a conference in 2011, who called for the dismantlement of Israel, and saying Zionism “kidnapped” Judaism.

The footage published by @TheGolem on Twitter this Thursday, was taken at a pro-Palestinian conference that Corbyn attended in eight years ago, alongside several anti-Israel activists who have been accused of antisemitism.

In it, Yisrael Dovid Weiss of the Neturei Karta Charedi 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 at Weiss, who in 2006 attended in Iran a conference aimed at denying and ridiculing the Holocaust.

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl condemned the footage, saying: “Applauding a speaker calling for Israel to be dismantled is endorsing yet another extremist position.”

“This rag-tag band of racists, extremists, antisemites and Holocaust deniers with whom Mr Corbyn has consorted have contributed not one iota to peace in the Middle East.”

“They have served only to spread hatred against Jewish communities and to the entrenchment of hard line views that have extended the conflict.”

Since his election in 2015 as Labour leader, Corbyn has fought allegations that his critical attitude toward Israel and alleged tolerance of antisemitism 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 2009 he called Hamas and Hezbollah his friends and said that Hamas is working to achieve peace and justice, during a meeting he held in the Houses of parliament.

In 2013 he defended an antisemtic mural, and in 2015 he laid flowers on the graves of Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972. That year he also said British “Zionists” don’t understand British irony.

Van der Zyl added: “The list of things for which Jeremy Corbyn needs to apologise to Jews and Israelis grows and grows.”

A Labour Party Spokesperson claimed he was endorsing the speaker’s call for a free and peaceful Palestine, saying: “Jeremy Corbyn has a long and principled record of solidarity with the Palestinian people and he attended this public meeting to show his support for peace and justice in the Middle East. He and the Labour Party support a two state solution to the conflict, with a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable Palestinian state”.

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