British Labour leader's worrying ties to Holocaust deniers
For years, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has made his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict clear, decrying Israel's alleged human rights abuses and declaring his support for the Palestinian cause; now, after many incidents painting Corbyn's handling of anti-Semitism in a bad light, British newspaper the Telegraph reveals his ties to Holocaust deniers.
An investigation published on Sunday by British newspaper The Telegraph revealed that Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is considered anti-Israeli and was accused in the past of anti-Semitism, was a loyal supporter of the anti-Israel campaign group Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR) years after its organizers were exposed publicly for their extreme anti-Semitic views.
"While there is no suggestion Mr. Corbyn shares their views, his association raises serious questions about his judgment," wrote the Telegraph.
The article noted that the DYR was "riddled" with other prominent Holocaust deniers, listing its founder Paul Eisen; Gill Kaffash, a former Labour councilor and long-time acquaintance Corbyn; Gilad Atzmon, a notorious Holocaust revisionist; and Francis Clarke-Lowe, who was chairman of Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC)—a pro-Palestinian group that Corbyn supports.
As for claims of Crobyn's anti-Israeli views and possible anti-Semitism, the Telegraph made a case by mentioning his 2005 support of an imprisoned German Holocaust denier, quoting his insistence that being a Holocaust denier was an "entirely honorable thing."
Adding to that, the Telegraph also pointed out that in 2007 the PSC cut ties with DYR over its blatant anti-Semitism, but Corbyn, however, did not. A patron of PSC to this day, the Labour leader appeared in at least one other event by the DYR, which took place in 2013 and was organized by Eisen and Kaffash.
Both Eisen and Kaffash publically admitted to being Holocaust deniers years before Corbyn cut ties and denounced DYR, with Eisen—the founder of DYR—even publishing an essay called "My Life as a Holocaust Denier."
"I don’t think there is evidence gas chambers were used to exterminate Jews. I don’t think there is evidence of a policy of extermination," Kaffash told the Telegraph.
Kaffash added that Corbyn was "a very important supporter" of DYR, saying that although she does not believe that he was not aware of what Eisen's or her views were, she does not think that he is Holocaust denier nor an anti-Semite.
Jeff Halper, who was the DYR director until quitting in 2005 after due to Eisen’s anti-Semitic views, Told the Telegraph that he could see Eisen using Corbyn to legitimize himself. "You should know what you are joining and what you are supporting. Jeremy (Corbyn) certainly isn’t a Holocaust denier, (But) he should have been more critical," he said.
Clarke-Lowe, another Holocaust denier and a close friend of Eisen, echoed Kaffash's views, telling the Telegraph that Corbyn may have believed that DYR was a good cause regardless of Eisen’s views, but it is unlikely he didn’t know about them.
In response to the story, Corbyn's spokesman stated that the Labour leader "consistently spoken out against all forms of anti-Semitism and condemned Holocaust denial as vile and wrong," adding that Corbyn "has no contact whatsoever with Paul Eisen or Deir Yassin Remembered."
Corbyn himself stated that had he known Mr Eisen was a Holocaust denier he would have had nothing to do with DYR, claiming he was utterly unaware of his views.
Corbyn is not a stranger to this sort of controversy. Though regretting it later, he was criticized for saying that he regards militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah as "friends," saying that their labeling by the British government as terror groups is a "historical mistake."
Corbyn was also involved in a major crisis last year after claims spread that he did little to counter reports of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, and even reportedly got angry when his team told him he needed to improve relations with the Jewish community.
(Translated & edited by Lior Mor)