Jeremy Corbyn said he didn’t “think” he was “actually involved” in a wreath-laying for Palestinian terrorists, as calls are made for urgent clarification and an apology.
The parliamentary chair of LFI has written to the Labour leader calling for him to set the record straight, amid claims made in the Daily Mail this week that he paid tribute to terrorists involved in the Black September massacre of 1972.
The Mail published pictures of the Labour leader holding a wreath in the Palestinian Martyr’s Cemetery in Tunisia, during a visit to the north African country in 2014. Labour claims Corbyn had already made it clear, he was paying his respects to the victims of a 1985 Israeli air strike on Palestinian Liberation Organisation offices in Tunis.
Writing to Corbyn, Joan Ryan MP said: “it is imperative that you urgently address this issue and make clear whether or not you were honouring Black September terrorists and, if so, what part of this organisation’s bloody record you believe it is appropriate for a British parliamentarian to seemingly endorse.”
On Sunday, widows of Israeli athletes murdered by terrorists exclusively told Jewish News they were “extremely disturbed” by the reports. Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, whose husbands Andre and Yossef were among 11 athletes taken hostage and killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics, warned the Labour leader that he would be “judged by the company you keep”.
“For Mr Corbyn to honour these terrorists, is the ultimate act of maliciousness, cruelty and stupidity”, they said.
In her letter to the Labour leader, Joan Ryan said that “the widows of some of those who were so brutally murdered at Munich have expressed their disbelief.”
“Even if your participation was inadvertent, I would urge you to offer a full and unreserved apology to the families of the victims of Munich.”
Urged to clarify whether he took part, the Labour leader told Sky News today: “A wreath was laid by some of those who attended the conference for those who were killed in Paris in 1992.”
When asked if was involved, he said: “I was present when it was laid, I don’t think I was actually involved in it.”
“I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who’s died in every terrorist incident everywhere because we have to end it. You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence.
The only way you pursue peace is a cycle of dialogue.”
Jennifer Gerber, LFI Director said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s latest statement is a further insult to those savagely murdered at Munich and their bereaved relatives. He says he was paying respect to victims of terrorism when there is clear photographic evidence of him holding a wreath at the grave of the terrorists themselves. Jeremy Corbyn’s appalling actions, and Labour’s attempted cover up, is another truly shameful day for the party he leads.”
After the revelations over the weekend, Home Secretary Sajid Javid suggested that Corbyn should quit over the issue, while the chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, Jonathan Goldstein, told Jewish News: “This man is not fit to be a Member of Parliament, let alone a national leader.
“He has spent his entire political career cavorting with conspiracy theorists, terrorists and revolutionaries who seek to undo all the good for which our ancestors have given their lives. In so many ways, enough is enough.”