The Labour leader's opponents don't care about anti-Semitism. They'll just do anything to remove Corbyn
by David Hearst
Part 3 - The victims
The first is the truth: Almost every time you take a specific allegation and examine it, the evidence crumbles like sand in your hands. Let’s take the latest: that Corbyn laid a wreath at the graves of two Palestinian terrorists. It turns out he didn't lay a wreath at that grave, which was 15 yards away, but was present when a wreath was laid. The wreath was for everyone at the cemetery: Palestinians who died under bombardment, those who were assassinated, and those who had simply died in exile. So Corbyn honoured the Palestinian dead 22 years after Oslo.
And who were these two terrorists, anyway? Both were PLO men, the Palestinian faction that went on to negotiate Oslo and recognise Israel. One was Salah Khalaf, who met with the US ambassador in Tunis as part of the dialogue with the PLO authorised by the then US Secretary of State James Baker. Does this make Baker guilty of the same crime Corbyn has just committed?
Khalaf was identified by the Americans as a pragmatist who was shifting PLO policy. The second one was Atef Bseiso, the PLO’s liaison officer with the CIA. Israel accused him of involvement in the Munich massacre, although it is a matter of historical dispute as to how many of those assassinated were directly linked to Munich. French intelligence traced his assassination in Paris to Abu Nidal, and the PLO accused the Mossad. Are we saying that two PLO men who created backchannels that would lead to the Madrid Conference and thence to Oslo should now be considered terrorists decades after the State department had got over that hurdle?
Khalaf, also known as Abu Iyad, was head of intelligence for the PLO and Arafat's right hand man. Jack Straw laid a wreath at Arafat's grave. Should Straw be now outed for doing so? Bseiso and Khalaf hail from the days in the early 1970's of Black September. Just how far back in history do Corbyn's detractors want to go? Why stop at the 1970's ?
Israel had two prime ministers who were former terrorists from the bombings they helped organise in 1944. Menachim Begin was a leader of Irgun, an underground Zionist paramilitary group whose aim was to force the British to leave Palestine. Irgun staged a series of bombings in 1944 against British targets, the Immigration Department, the tax offices, a series of police stations. His face appears on a wanted poster issued by the Palestine Police Force.
Yitzak Shamir was a member of Lehi, or the notorious Stern Gang, who assassinated Lord Moyne, the British resident minister in the Middle East. Both Begin and Shamir are celebrated as freedom fighters in Israel.
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