Netanyahu Slams Corbyn Over Terrorists' Tribute; Labour Leader Fires Back Over Gaza Killings

War of words erupts after Netanyahu slams U.K. Labour leader for reportedly honoring Black September terrorists

Cover of the Daily Mail reporting Jeremy Corbyn visited graves of Munich terrorists
Screen shot

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn exchanged barbs on Twitter Monday after it was reported that Corbyn attended a memorial honoring terrorists behind the massacre of Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics during a visit to Tunisia in 2014.

"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," Netanyahu tweeted.

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On Friday, the British newspaper Daily Mail published photos of Corbyn holding a wreath in a Tunisian cemetery, saying it was near the graves of the Black September terrorists, who killed 11 Israeli athletes.

Corbyn responded to Netanyahu, saying his claims were "false."

"What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children," Corbyn tweeted, adding that "The nation state law sponsored by Netanyahu's government discriminates against Israel's Palestinian minority. I stand with the tens of thousands of Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel demonstrating for equal rights at the weekend in Tel Aviv."

In May, Corbyn denied allegation 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.

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.

Corbyn has since admitted a wreath was laid for “some of those who were killed in Paris in 1992,” adding that he was present at the time but did not think he was "actually involved in it."

According to the British daily The Guardian, Corbyn said he attended the memorial because he wished to see everyone "who has died in every terrorist incident everywhere" honored. "We have to end it," he said, "You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence; the only way you can pursue peace [is] by a cycle of dialogue.”

Corbyn has been at the center of a long-raging storm over alleged anti-Semitism in his party, with Britain's three leading Jewish newspapers recently issuing a joint warning of an "existential threat" to Jewish life in the United Kingdom if a Corbyn-led Labour wins the next parliamentary election. 

The warning came after Labour refused to accept the full definition of anti-Semitism as formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and which has been accepted by a wide range of organizations, political parties and government agencies in Britain and other countries.