(JTA) – British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is battling allegations of anti-Semitism, claimed in a 2010 speech that Israel controls speeches made by British lawmakers.
The claim, captured on video, was made during a meeting of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in London, the Daily Mail reported late on Tuesday.
Corbyn was speaking about the Mavi Marmara incident in May 2010, in which 10 Turkish activists attempting to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza were killed after Israeli naval commandoes boarded the ship and were met with violent resistance.
The Mail quoted Corbyn as saying that British lawmakers “all turned up [to the debating chamber] with a pre-prepared script. I’m sure our friend Ron Prosor (the Israeli ambassador) wrote it. Because they all came up with the same key words. It was rather like reading a European document looking for buzzwords.
Corbyn added, “And the buzzwords were, ‘Israel’s need for security.’ And then ‘the extremism of the people on one ship.’ And ‘the existence of Turkish militants on the vessel.’ It came through in every single speech, this stuff came through.”
The newspaper reported that it had examined the transcript of the debate Corbyn referred to in his speech and “could find no evidence that any of Mr. Corbyn’s ‘buzz words’ were mentioned by MPs.” The newspaper also said that lawmakers who spoke during the session confirmed that they received no such ‘pre-prepared script’ or ‘buzzwords’ from Israeli sources.
Gideon Falter, chair of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, told the newspaper in reference to Corbyn’s remarks that “Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories cast Jews as sinister manipulators, pulling the strings and subverting democracy.”
The Campaign Against Antisemitism started a Change.org campaign this week calling for Labour lawmakers to issue a vote of no-confidence in Corbyn, which has garnered more than 5,000 signatures.
A hard-left politician who has called Hezbollah and Hamas officials “friends” whom he was “honoured” in 2009 to host in Parliament, Corbyn is widely accused of tolerating or ignoring anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Israel speech, among other forms of Jew hatred.
He most recently came under fire for video footage of a speech from 2013 in which he said that “Zionists” were unable to understand British ways of thinking despite growing up in the country.
Last month, Britain’s three Jewish newspapers, including the Chronicle, united in publishing a front-page editorial warning of the “existential” threat to British Jewry that a government led by Jeremy Corbyn would pose.