U.K. Opposition Leader Corbyn Insists He Recognizes Israel

Responding to attack by Labour Party donor, Corbyn says he is still committed to a two-state solution involving a 'secure Israel' alongside Palestine.

Britain's opposition Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaving his home in north London, November 30, 2015.
Reuters

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn insisted on Monday that he does recognize Israel's right to exist, in response to a major party donor who had heckled him at a pro-Israel event, the Jewish Chronicle has reported.

Corbyn said he is still committed to a “comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution, international law and a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine,” which he said is in line with the Labor Party's policy.

The donor, Michael Foster, had shouted at Corbyn at a Labor Friend of Israel event in September after the new party leader spoke for eight minutes without mentioning the word "Israel," according to the Chronicle.

“I was pleased to speak at the LFI event, and to have the opportunity to express how I felt about progressing the peace process in the Middle East, and how Labor can stay involved," Corbyn wrote last week regarding the incident.

“Israel has always, and will continue to be recognized by both myself and the Labour Party. In terms of recognition, I mentioned Palestine for the simple reason that its recognition was a moment of change by the Labour Party last year. I also recall referring to the rights, needs and traditions of ‘all of the people of the region’, which naturally includes Jews, Muslims, Christians and others.”

Corbyn expressed his hope that this response would eliminate "any lack of clarity regarding my position on Israel," the Chronicle noted.