Jeremy Corbyn has said the UK’s refusal to call for an independent investigation into killings at the Gaza border was “morally indefensible” and that President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem means the US has no claim as an honest broker.
The Labour leader described Israel’s “outrageous and indiscriminate brutality” in a statement given ahead of a the demonstration in London on Tuesday that was in support the Palestinian Right of Return.
“Scores of unarmed Palestinian civilians have been killed in Gaza by Israeli forces,” stated Corbyn without any mention of the fact that more than 80% of those killed were terrorists. Corbyn also failed to even mention the word “Hamas” in his statement, or the fact that women and child have been used as human shields.
He said, “The silence, or worse support, for this flagrant illegality, from many western governments, including our own, has been shameful.”
In his statement, Corbyn said “President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city, and move the US embassy there” was in “in violation of international agreements” and had demonstrated that “the US has no claim to be any kind of honest broker for a political settlement”.
However, the long-time Israel critic reserved his heaviest fire for the UK Government, after reiterating Labour’s policy of reviewing arms sales to Israel were he ever to get the keys to Number 10.
“The UK Government’s decision not to support either a UN Commission of Inquiry into the shocking scale of killings of civilian protesters in Gaza, or the more recent UN resolution condemning indiscriminate Israeli use of force – and calling for the protection of Palestinians – is morally indefensible.”
As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and with its historical role administrating Palestine, Corbyn said Britain “has a particular responsibility for a peaceful and just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict”.
He said the UK “should ensure a credible independent investigation, genuine accountability and effective international action to halt the killings – and bring Gaza’s ever-deepening humanitarian crisis to an end”.
An incensed Corbyn said the killing of Nazzan Najjar, a 22 year old medical volunteer caught in the cross-fire at the Gaza border was “the latest tragic reminder of the outrageous and indiscriminate brutality being meted out, under orders from the Netanyahu government”.
Corbyn’s latest statement came just days ahead of the Al-Quds Day March through London on Sunday, and hours before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May on his quick European tour.
However the Board of Deputies and Yachad slammed Corbyn for “seriously misrepresenting” events at the border, arguing that he had not balanced his comments with criticism of Hamas.
Sheila Gewolb, the Board’s senior vice-president, said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s statement failed to show any appreciation for the threats that Israel faces, nor for the fact that terrorist organisations Hamas and Islamic Jihad have admitted that many of those on the front line were their own operatives, under order to breach the border fence and ‘tear out the hearts’ of Israeli civilians.”
She added: “If Mr Corbyn wants to be a credible peace broker he has got to show that he understands Israel’s security needs.”
A spokeswoman for Yachad said: “Corbyn’s failure to mention Hamas’s role in the demonstrations, or that there were armed protesters at the border fence, is a serious misrepresentation of what has been taking place at the Israeli-Gaza border. He entirely dismisses the legitimate security concerns that Israel faces.”
Source: Jewish News (with edits)