Jeremy Corbyn has come under criticism for appointing Guardian journalist, Seumas Milne, as Labour’s new head of communications. Mr Milne is known to have anti-Israel views having allegedly justified attacks against Israel during the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.
According to the Jewish News, Seumas Milne is a keen supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and has written extensively on links between Western foreign policy and terrorism. He joins Labour as executive director of strategy and communications “on leave” from the paper.
At anti-Israel rally in 2014, Milne said “Israel has no right to defend itself from territory it illegally occupies”, adding that Palestinians in Gaza have the right to “defend themselves”.
“It isn’t terrorism to fight back. The terrorism is the killing of citizens by Israel on an industrial scale.”
He also accused Britain and America of stoking the conflict between Israel and Palestine and of “occupying Arab land for decades”.
The appointment has been described by MP Simon Danczuk as “totally bizarre” and leading Blairite John Woodcock said voters “deserved better” in an online condemnation of the announcement.
According to the Times of Israel, Milne was also scrutinised for comments following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, for which he wrote that the US had brought the tragedy upon itself through its actions in the Middle East.
The appointment of Milne is unlikely to help Corbyn’s efforts to assure British Jews that he is not anti-Israeli, despite strongly denying pre-election accusations linking him to anti-Semitic associates.
Mr Corbyn also recently attended a Labour Friends of Israel dinner, where he was criticized for failing to name the Jewish state throughout address.
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