Families of the Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics have condemned Jeremy Corbyn over claims he took part in a ceremony honouring those behind the deadly terror attack.
The Daily Mail published pictures taken in 2014, the year before Corbyn was elected Labour leader, showing him holding a wreath close to what the paper said are the graves of figures from Black September, the Palestinian terror group that killed 11 Israeli during the 1972 Olympics.
Corbyn last year denied allegations that he had attended a commemoration for Black September terrorists in Tunisia, insisting he was at the cemetery where some of them are buried for a commemoration for 47 people who died in an Israeli air strike on a Tunisian PLO base in 1985, which was condemned in a UN resolution.
Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano.However, Daily Mail reporters who visited the cemetery found the plaque for the 47 bombing casualties was situated approximately 15 yards away from the where Corbyn was photographed holding the wreath.
The newspaper alleged the pictures were taken in front of a plaque honouring three men, including the founder of the Black September organisation which carried out the Munich atrocity and yards from the grave of PLO intelligence chief Atef Bseiso.
But in a statement to Jewish News, Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano – whose husbands Andre and Yossef were among the Munich victims – said they were “extremely disturbed” by the reports.
The pair – who for decades led a campaign for the International Olympic Committee to honour the athletes – said: “We do not recall a visit of Mr Corbyn to the graves of our murdered fathers, sons and husbands.
They only went to the Olympic Games in order to participate in this festival of love, peace and brotherhood; but they all returned home in coffins.
“For Mr Corbyn to honour these terrorists, is the ultimate act of maliciousness, cruelty and stupidity.”
Mr Corbyn has no place in politics, or in decent, humane society when he is driven by one-sided hate and vengefulness.
They added: “If you want a genuine transformation of politics, Mr Corbyn, we would suggest that you first study history and understand how terrorism undermines and vilifies society and mankind. You have no place in politics, or in decent, humane society when you are driven by one-sided hate and vengefulness. Do not forget, Mr Corbyn, that you will be judged by the company you keep.”
Speaking on behalf of all the families, they offered their “heartfelt feelings” to the British people in the event Corbyn becomes prime minister.
Labour sources insisted that Corbyn had already provided a full answer about his presence in the cemetery, when he said last year: “I was in Tunisia at a Palestinian conference and I spoke at that Palestinian conference and I laid a wreath to all those that had died in the air attack that took place on Tunis, on the headquarters of the Palestinian organisations there. I was accompanied by very many other people who were at a conference searching for peace.”
However, while Corbyn made mention of marking the air strike victims in an article he wrote in the Morning Star at the time, he also referred to wreaths being laid on the graves of “others” killed by Mossad agents in 1991.
However, Jonathan Goldstein, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, said the revelations showed he was “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”.
Some see the latest reports as a watershed moment.
A senior communal source told Jewish News: “Jonathan Goldstein’s statement goes further than any leader has before. It reflects a feeling that we may have reached the point of no return in relations between the community and Corbyn. His inability to face up honestly to his past and his role in the current sorry state of affairs in his party makes it very hard to see a way back.”