Labour's Corbyn Attended Conference With Hamas Terrorists, Report Says

Labour leader hosted a panel discussion at a 2012 conference also attended by senior Hamas officials, Daily Telegraph reported

Britain's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his house in London, Britain, August 6, 2018.
Toby Melville/Reuters

U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attended a conference with the orchestrator of a series of Hamas terror attacks that killed over 100 people, The Daily Telegraph reported on Sunday.

Husan Badran was among several senior Hamas officials speaking at the 2012 conference where Corbyn hosted a panel discussion, which also included the former chief of Hamas' political wing, Khaled Meshal, and convicted terrorist, Dr. Abdul Aziz Umar, the report says. Videos from the conference shows Corbyn hosting a two-hour panel discussion, according to the newspaper.

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Badran and Umar were both released as part of the prisoner exchange that secured the return of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

A translation given to The Telegraph quoted Badran as saying at the "Seminar on Palestinian Refugees in the Arab World" in Doha that "the return will only be viable through military and armed resistance and nothing else."

Days after the conference, Corbyn wrote that he had heard remarks by men released in the Shalit deal and that "their contribution was fascinating and electrifying," the newspaper said. Corbyn also reportedly told Iranian news channel Press TV after the conference: "I met many of the brothers, including the brother who's been speaking here . . . when I was in Doha earlier this year."

During the panel discussion he hosted, Corbyn lauded a decision to overturn a government order to deport Raed Salah, a Muslim cleric who was convicted in Israel of incitement to violence, according to the report.

The Daily Telegraph's report came days after it emerged that Corbyn met with the leader-in-exile of a Palestinian terror group in 2014, weeks before other members of the group committed a deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue. That news came after it was reported that in 2014, Corbyn attended a memorial honoring terrorists behind a massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

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Corbyn denied that he honored the terrorists, saying that he was visiting the cemetery in Tunisia where some of them are buried for a commemoration for people killed in an Israeli air strike on a PLO base. The Daily Mail, which reported the incident, said the plaque for the air strike casualties was about 15 yards away from where he was photographed holding a wreath. "Instead he was in front of a plaque that lies beside the graves of Black September members," the newspaper said.

The Labour leader has previously been criticized for calling Hezbollah and Hamas operatives "friends" and inviting them to visit the British Parliament in 2009, which Corbyn has said he regrets. He also said he "sincerely regret[s]" defending an artist who painted a mural criticized as anti-Semitic in 2012.

Under Corbyn, Labour has been wrestling with accusations that it has been tolerant of anti-Semitism among some of its members, and in April leaders of Britain’s 270,000 Jews organized a protest accusing Corbyn of failing to address their concerns.

A major flashpoint was the party’s decision to approve a new code of conduct that Jewish groups said watered down the internationally accepted definition of anti-Semitism. Labour said it had concerns about part of the definition but had re-opened discussions on the code to take into account Jewish community concerns.

The controversy led to three British Jewish newspapers publishing a joint editorial saying that there would be an “existential threat to Jewish life in this country” if Labour won power from the ruling Conservative Party.

This month, Corbyn’s again appealed to Jewish members, using a video message to press his pledge to drive anti-Semitism out of the party “for good” after a similar attempt earlier fell flat for several Jewish groups.