Kate McCann — The Telegraph Aug 10, 2018
Jeremy Corbyn has likened Israel’s actions in the West Bank to the Second World War Nazi occupation of Europe, a comparison that breaches the international definition of anti-Semitism.
Speaking at the Palestinian Return Centre in 2013, the Labour leader, then a backbench MP, said many would recognise the state of affairs Palestinians were under in the West Bank as being similar to those “who suffered occupation during the Second World War”.
His comments represent a breach of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance [IHRA] definition of anti-Semitism that states that “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is racist. It is the section that the Labour Party has refused to adopt.
Labour Friends of Israel, which campaigns for a two-state solution, called his comments “appalling”. But Labour insisted Mr Corbyn was not comparing the Israeli state with the Nazis.
The emergence of the video, posted on Twitter yesterday by an anonymous account called The Golem, came as Dave Prentis, the Unison general secretary, called for the party to urgently adopt the official IHRA definition.
EXCLUSIVE – In 2013 @JeremyCorbyn spoke at an event hosted by the Palestinian Return Centre in which he made a direct comparison between Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Nazi occupation of Europe during WW2. Watch until the end… pic.twitter.com/POMfsX5APq
— The Golem (@TheGolem_) August 10, 2018
He directed thinly veiled criticism of the leader’s failure to act, writing in the New Statesman: “This should never have become such a divisive issue, an unnecessary schism in a party that on so many issues is genuinely united.”
It came as photos emerged of Mr Corbyn in Tunisia in 2014 holding a wreath by memorials to Palestinian terrorist group Black September, who carried out the 1972 Munich massacre where 11 Israeli athletes were killed.
However, sources close to Mr Corbyn insisted he was at a service there to commemorate 47 Palestinians killed in an Israeli air strike in Tunisia in 1985.
Jim Murphy, the former Scottish Labour leader, also took out a full page advert in the Jewish Telegraph to apologise for the behaviour of the party’s senior team. In it he wrote that Labour “appears to have turned its back on the British Jewry”, accusing Mr Corbyn of failing to stop anti-Semitic slurs.
It follows weeks of anger and frustration in the party over the leader’s refusal to adopt the full internationally recognised definition despite pleas from a large number of Labour MPs.
In the video, Mr Corbyn said the conflict between Israel and Palestine was portrayed as one between equal powers when it was not, adding: “The Palestinian people are generally very poor and in the case of Gaza, virtually imprisoned within that very small area… And in the West Bank, under occupation of the very sort that would be recognised by many people in Europe who suffered occupation during the Second World War, with the endless roadblocks, imprisonment, irrational behaviour by the military and the police.”
A Labour spokesman said: “Jeremy was describing conditions of occupations in World War Two in Europe, of which there are multiple examples, not comparing the Israeli state to Nazis.”