A British pro-Palestinian charity supported by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has co-funded a festival in the Gaza strip this week which featured young children staging a play glorifying terrorism against Jews.
The scene was ostensibly an innocent one: crowds gathered in the sun to enjoy a play staged by young children as part of a city festival. But the event was Gaza’s “festival of hate”, and the children were acting out a gruesome scene of bloody violence.
Scenes broadcast on Hamas TV last week showed a girl of about seven years old ‘stabbing’ two young boys dressed as Israeli soldiers, who ‘shoot’ her with toy guns. She falls to the ground and is surrounded by half a dozen other young girls who ‘mourn’ her, before a lad of about six or seven wearing a keffiyeh and army fatigues ‘shoots’ the two soldiers ‘dead’ to applause from the audience.
Behind the stage, a large board proudly bore the logos of the event’s sponsors – including that of Interpal, a British charity which bills itself as a “well-established and trusted development agency” which aims “to provide humanitarian and development aid to Palestinians in need.”
According to MailOnline, the charity gave £6,800 to the ‘Palestine Festival for Children and Education’ organised by the University College of Applied Sciences in Gaza City. The charity has admitted handing over the money, but denied supporting the play, insisting that it had merely “hosted some activities in Gaza City, as part of the larger event.” And it said that it does not condone violence.
But Members of Parliament denounced the excuse as “unconvincing”, while the Charity Commission confirmed that it would be investigating “as a matter of priority before deciding what regulatory action may be required.”
The revelation is acutely embarrassing for Jeremy Corbyn as he has a long history of supporting Interpal, even appearing in their promotional videos. In 2013 he and his wife toured Gaza on a £2,800 trip funded by Interpal.
Corbyn has called the chairman of the organisation, Ibrahim Hewitt, a “very good friend” who has “done a fantastic job,” despite Hewitt authoring a pamphlet calling for the stoning to death of adulterers and branding homosexuality a “great sin” which should be “severely punished”.
In 2013 Hewitt spoke an event entitled “Palestine: a Journey Through the Ages”, sharing a platform with speakers including Sheikh Zahir Mahmood. Mr. Mahmood has been filmed saying, “Hamas are not terrorists, they are freedom fighters”.
Also appearing were Hamza Tzortzis, who has been filmed saying, “we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom”; and pro-Palestinian activist Dr Swee Ang, who once sent emails calling on people to watch an anti-Semitic video presented by David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard.
“The reality is that many who see themselves as defenders of the Palestinian cause are far too close to those holding deeply racist and anti-Semitic views,’ said Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg and Goole.
“It is absolutely disgusting that any charity should be involved in a festival of hate that radicalises children to go and kill innocent Jews.
“This is yet another example of Jeremy Corbyn’s dodgy friends who are associated with very extreme individuals. It shows what a problem Labour has with anti-Semitism. They have got to start getting serious.”
The United States has branded Interpal as a “specially designated global terrorist organisation,” claiming it “facilitates the transfer of tens of millions of dollars a year to Hamas.” Numerous photographs have emerged of Interpal officials and the Hamas leadership in Gaza, although the charity is contesting the designation in the American courts.
But a 2009 investigation by Britain’s Charity Commission found no evidence of a link to Hamas, although the Commission’s Chief Executive Andrew Hind, noted, “our report does not give the charity a clean bill of health.”
Now MPs are demanding a fresh investigation into the charity.
“Interpal is not a reputable charity. This is deeply, deeply concerning,” said Jacob Rees-Mogg MP.
“Labour MPs nod when the Prime Minister says something must be done to tackle anti-Semitism, but now is the time for action.”
Sir Eric Pickes MP was is in agreement, saying: “The Leader of the Labour Party has green-lit radicalisation and incitement to violence via his well-documented involvement with notorious hate preachers and Interpal, which is rightly designated in the US as a global terrorist organisation.
‘Time is running out for Jeremy Corbyn to give leadership to his Party. His lack of decisive action in stamping out anti-Semitism is sickening. The public demands and deserves an unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitism and a renouncement of the repugnant Interpal.’
The video couldn’t come at a worse time for the Labour leader, who was forced to suspend two prominent party members over accusations of anti-Semitism this week, prompting much soul searching among Labourites as they were forced to confront the question of whether Labour has an anti-Semitism problem.
On Wednesday Bradford West MP Naz Shah was suspended for social media remarks made two years previously in which she supported the idea of the “transportation” of Israel to America, commenting “Problem solved”. She was also found to have accused the state of Israel of torturing children and compared it to an apartheid state during debates in the House of Commons.
The following day former Labour Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, in attempting to defend her, suggested that Hitler was a Zionist. He too was suspended.