Corbyn Says a Labour-led Government Would Quickly Recognize Palestine as a State

Jewish groups have accused Corbyn, a hard-left politician, of tolerating and at times encouraging expressions of anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism or anti-capitalism

The leader of Britain's Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn attends a housing policy event in London, April 19, 2018.
\ HENRY NICHOLLS/ REUTERS

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, under fire for having anti-Israel views born out of anti-Semitism, said in a tweet that a Labour-led government would recognize Palestine as a state.

Corbyn, on a tour of camps in Jordan for Syrian and Palestinian refugees as part of his first international trip outside of Europe since becoming Labour Party leader in 2015, said in a tweet on Saturday: “Today I’ll visit the Al-Baqa’a refugee camp which was first created in 1968, where 100,000 Palestinians live. The next Labour government will recognise Palestine as a state as one step towards a genuine two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.”

On Friday during a tour of Zaatari, Jordan’s largest camp for Syrian refugees, Corbyn criticized the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and called moving the U.S. Embassy there a “catastrophic mistake.”

He also said: “I think there has to be a recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people to their own state which we as a Labour Party said we would recognize in government as a full state as part of the United Nations.” A Palestinian state would be recognized “very early on” under a Labour government, he said.

Jewish groups have accused Corbyn, a hard-left politician, of tolerating and at times encouraging expressions of anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism or anti-capitalism by thousands of supporters who joined the party under him.

The party has kicked out some members caught engaging in anti-Semitic rhetoric. But under Corbyn — who in 2009 called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends” whom he said he was “honored” to host in parliament — Labour has also readmitted or refrained from punishing others who made statements perceived as anti-Semitic.