A Unique Moment in Politics

The latest row involving Jeremy Corbyn and Jewish people has been raging for more than two days now. On Saturday the Daily Mail published an article with photos of Jeremy Corbyn involved in a wreath-laying ceremony at a cemetery in Tunisia where members of the Black September terrorist group are buried – the group responsible for the murder of Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972.

Jeremy Corbyn in the wreath-laying ceremony

The Labour Party leader came up with an explanation, but today the newspaper has published more pictures that it says `make a mockery` of his claim that:

"I was present, but I don`t think I was involved."

So strong are the feelings involved in this that the Labour leader`s attempt to calm the anger provoked by the photos has been described by a member of the Labour Party as "a further insult to those savagely murdered at Munich and their bereaved relatives."

The row was further aggravated by a video clip shared on Twitter in which Jeremy Corbyn says that Palestinians in the West Bank live "under occupation of the very sort that would be recognised by many people in Europe who suffered occupation during the Second World War."

That comment, in particular, seems to have provoked Israel`s Prime Minister to join the argument, stating on Twitter:

`The laying of a wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves of the terrorist who
perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves
unequivocal condemnation from everyone – left, right and everything in between.`

That tweet drew a quick response from Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter:

`Israeli PM @Netanyahu`s claims about my actions and words are false.
What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian
protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children.`

And he quickly followed-up with another tweet:

`The nation state law sponsored by @Netanyahu`s government discriminates against
Israel`s Palestinian minority. I stand with the tens of thousands of Arab and Jewish
citizens of Israel demonstrating for equal rights at the weekend in Tel Aviv.`

Apparently, Mr Corbyn is ignorant of the parallel basic law that the Palestinians have prepared in the hope of being given their own state.

In its article about the row, the BBC noted that `it is highly unusual for a foreign prime minister to get involved in a British political row. It`s even more unusual for that to happen on a public forum like Twitter.`

They go on to note that when Jeremy Corbyn`s reply to Benjamin Netanyahu is taken into account, this represents a unique moment in politics.

Sadly, this unique political moment indicates that there is now open hostility between the Leader of the Opposition in the UK and the Prime Minister of Israel. Such hostility does nothing to help the cause of peace.