UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn made a secret trip to Israel to meet Hamas terrorist representatives but not Jewish Israelis, according to a report.
The then backbench MP allegedly broke Parliamentary rules by failing to declare the lobby group-funded visit, an 124 news report revealed. He was joined on the Middle East jaunt by fellow Labour MP Andrew Slaughter and Seumas Milne, now Mr. Corbyn’s director of communications and strategy.
The visit took place from November 5-9, 2010, and was reported at the time by Palestinian Ma’an news agency.
Mr. Slaughter declared the trip and joint sponsors, Friends of Al-Aqsa and the Middle East Monitor (MEMO), a UK-based pro-Palestinian lobbying group. The total costs as declared came to £927, i24News reported. Corbyn did not list the visit in the Commons register, though at the time MPs had to declare any gifts above £660.
A detailed summary of the trip was deleted from the MEMO site, but i24News saved a copy.
Mr Corbyn is reported to have visited the wife of a man convicted of spying for Hezbollah, whom the report called a “political prisoner”.
The delegation also met Arab-Israeli lawmakers Jamal Zahalka and Taleb el-Sana, visited Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem, and attended a Bedouin protest as well as meeting Palestinian Authority officials and visited Jaffa.
But according to the MEMO report, Mr Corbyn did not meet a single Jewish Israeli on the trip.
On his return to the UK, Mr. Corbyn detailed an account of the trip in the Morning Star writing, “It is time to bring those Israelis who committed crimes against humanity to account and to end the EU Israel Trade Agreement while the occupation and settlement policy continues.”
Tory MP Andrew Percy – the vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on anti-Semitism – has referred the matter to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.
He told the Times: “Whether the trip was properly declared or not, this visit was a further example of Mr Corbyn’s apparent indulgence of extremists such as Hamas.
“We are repeatedly told that these visits are to promote peace but in truth they do the exact opposite by giving credibility to the most extreme elements of just one side of this conflict,” he added.
Mr. Corbyn was last week reported over an undeclared 2014 visit to Tunisia at which he laid a wreath in a Palestinian “martyrs” cemetery.
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