The Hamas terror group has welcomed the decision by UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to shun a dinner commemorating the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in London next month.
Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, announced Mr. Corby’s decision on Saturday, adding it was “deeply unfortunate” the Labour leader was not going to the event.
“I do think it will not have been amiss for Mr Corbyn to understand that the Jewish community will have taken great heart and great comfort for seeing him attend such an event because it recognises the right of Israel to exist,” Mr Goldstein told the Jewish Chronicle.
Hamas quickly backed Mr. Corbyn’s decision, adding that compensation and an apology should be issued by the British government instead:
Corbyn says no to dinner on celebrating the Balfour 100 in UK.
UK should apologise and compensate Palestinians.
— Hamas Movement (@HamasInfoEn) October 21, 2017
Mr. Corbyn’s absence adds to Labour’s vexed relationship with the UK Jewish community.
At the party conference last month, attendees at a fringe event heard that Holocaust denial should be covered by free speech guarantees, while another speaker called for Jewish and pro-Israel groups to be expelled from the party.
Meanwhile the government has confirmed that it will proudly celebrate the centenary of the document that recognized the creation of the Jewish State of Israel.
British Cabinet Minister Sajid Javid gave that assurance while meeting a visiting World Jewish Congress delegation in Westminster last month. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government stated:
Someone said we should apologize for the declaration, to say it was an error of judgment. Of course that’s not going to happen. To apologize for the Balfour Declaration would be to apologize for the existence of Israel and to question its right to exist.
Mr. Javid’s public commitment to remembering the document’s signing – 100 years ago in November – follows British Prime Minister Theresa May who last year hailed it as an expression of the “UK’s support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people.”
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