Corbyn: Starmer must be ‘stronger and clearer’ with Israel-Palestine policy

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Corbyn: Starmer must be ‘stronger and clearer’ with Israel-Palestine policy

In an interview with the ITV Podcast Calling Peston, the ex Labour leader said: 'The question of Israel's existence isn't the debate - the PLO recognised Israel'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Sir Keir Starmer (left) alongside former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn
Sir Keir Starmer (left) alongside former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

Sir Keir Starmer needs to be “stronger and clearer” over his policy towards Israel and the Palestinians, former leader Jeremy Corbyn has claimed.

In an interview with the ITV Podcast Calling Peston, Corbyn insisted:” The question of Israel’s existence isn’t the debate – the PLO recognised Israel a very long time ago.”

Asked whether he planned to launch a legal challenge over his continued suspension as a Labour MP, the Islington North MP said “I want this to be a political challenge, not a legal decision.”

Corbyn repeated comments made criticising Israel’s actions at Jerusalem the al-Aqsa mosque before he was asked about current leader Starmer’s position on the same issue.

“He said something today,” said Corbyn, referring to a tweet put out by Starmer than condemned Israeli actions, but made no reference to aggression by Hamas.

“I just wish it had been a bit stronger and a bit clearer on this. The PLO recognised Israel a very long time ago.

“The question of Israel’s existence isn’t the debate.”

Corbyn said the real question was the Israeli army’s “occupation of the West Bank and their treatment of people on the West Bank.”

He accused Israel of “the denial of the Covid vaccination” and said the country has “been found wanting in terms of the Geneva Accords” and “condemned many times by the UN.”

The ex-leader was then asked about his continued suspension from the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Asked if he would take legal action to regain his membership he initially said:”Well I hope so, but let’s see what happens.”

Asked again to clarify this comment he said:”I want this to be a political decision, not a legal decision. ”

He added the matter should be “resolved by political action within the Labour Party.”

Earlier Corbyn said it was “a bit rich” for the current Labour leadership “to dump” responsibility for the party’s poor local election performance on him.


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