Paper claims photos show Jeremy Corbyn honoring Munich massacre terrorists
(JTA) — A newspaper published photos of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn holding a wreath in a Tunisian cemetery, saying it was near the graves of Black September terrorists who in 1972 killed 11 Israelis during the Munich Olympics.
The pictures published Friday in the Daily Mail were reported to be taken in 2014. Corbyn, a far-left politician, was elected in 2015 to lead the Labour Party amid allegations that he is encouraging anti-Semitism in its ranks.
In May, Corbyn 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 of 47 people who died in an Israeli airstrike on a Tunisian PLO base in 1985.
However, Daily Mail reporters who visited the cemetery found the plaque for the 47 bombing casualties was situated approximately 15 yards away from where Corbyn was photographed holding the wreath.
“Instead he was in front of a plaque that lies beside the graves of Black September members,” the report said.
The plaque near where Corbyn was photographed honors three dead men: Salah Khalaf, who founded Black September; his key aide Fakhri al-Omari; and Hayel Abdel-Hamid, PLO chief of security. Adjacent to their graves is that of Atef Bseiso, the PLO intelligence chief, who was involved in planning the attack on the Munich Olympics.
All are widely believed to have been assassinated either by the Israeli secret service Mossad or rival Palestinian factions.
Separately, the Daily Mail also published on Saturday pictures of Corbyn delivering a speech at the 2010 wedding of Husam Zomlot, a British citizen who has been accused of claiming that Israel is fabricating historical records about the Holocaust in Europe.
Zomlot, a prominent pro-Palestinian activist, told the BBC in 2014 that Israel is “fabricating all these stories about beheading journalists in Iraq … as if they are fabricating also the story of the Holocaust, that it happened in Europe.” Amid an outcry, he denied that he meant to say that Israel was spreading falsehoods about the genocide.
Another old clip that surfaced last week shows Corbyn saying in a 2011 interview with the Iranian Press TV station that the BBC has “a bias towards saying that Israel is a democracy in the Middle East, Israel has a right to exist, Israel has its security concerns.”
The revelations follow intense scrutiny of Corbyn’s past and present statements about Israel and anti-Semitism. In 2013, he defended on Facebook an anti-Semitic mural in London, it was revealed earlier this year.
Corbyn’s critics, including the leadership of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, say he has an anti-Israel attitude that facilitates growing expressions of anti-Semitism. Last week, Corbyn acknowledged for the first time that Labour has an anti-Semitism problem and promised to address it, but leaders of British Jews are wary.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Corbyn, tweeting that “the laying of a wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves of the terrorist who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation from everyone – left, right and everything in between.”