Speaking at the annual Labour Party, Corbyn said: “The Palestinian tragedy continues while the outside world stands by….We [Britain] will recognize a Palestinian state as soon as we take office.”
• Labour Party passes motion to end UK weapons sales to Israel.
By Eldad Beck, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday said his party would recognize a Palestinian state as soon as it takes office.
Speaking at an annual party conference in Liverpool, Corbyn said: “A quarter of a century on from the Oslo Accords, we are no closer to justice or peace and the Palestinian tragedy continues while the outside world stands by.
“As my great Israeli friend Uri Avnery, who died this year, put it: “What is the alternative to peace? A catastrophe for both peoples.
“And in order to help make that two-state settlement a reality, we will recognize a Palestinian state as soon as we take office.”
Corbyn’s comments were received with loud applause from the crowd, where numerous Palestinian flags were visible.
Britain’s main opposition party also passed a motion strongly criticizing Israel’s use of force against Gaza protests, urging more U.K. funding for the U.N. agency for Palestinians and backing a freeze on British arms sales to Israel.
Corbyn lamented “the ongoing denial of justice and rights to the Palestinian people” and said Labour is “united in condemning the shooting of hundreds of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza by Israeli forces and the passing of Israel’s discriminatory Nation-State Law.
“The continuing occupation, the expansion of illegal settlements and the imprisonment of Palestinian children are an outrage,” he said.
Labour has been riven by allegations that the party has become hostile to Jews under leader Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime supporter of Palestinians.
Foreign affairs spokeswoman Emily Thornberry said Labour must kick out “sickening individuals … who use our legitimate support for Palestine as a cloak and a cover for their despicable hatred of Jewish people.”
Meanwhile, an event hosted by the Jewish Voice for Labour group was canceled due to a bomb hoax. The event was being held on the sidelines of the Labour party conference.
Some 200 people were evacuated from the Blackburne House building in Liverpool following a phone call from a man who said two devices would cause many casualties.
The JVL event was a screening of “The Political Lynching of Jackie Walker,” about the tribulations of a Labour activist accused of anti-Semitism.
An event organizer told a local media outlet that, 15 minutes after the film started, a building receptionist answered the phone and a man asked, “Is there a Jewish event going on?”
The receptionist gave an evasive answer but the man then said: “It is a big Jewish event and I want to tell you that there are two bombs that will kill many people in the building.” He then hung up.
After the building was evacuated, police searched the premises but did not find anything suspicious.
Walker has claimed that Holocaust Memorial Day is exclusionary and that Jews were the chief financiers of the African slave trade to the Caribbean.
After the bomb scare Tuesday, Walker posted photos from the evacuation with the comment: “I will never be silenced.”
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Israel and Stuff Postscript
The Middle East conflict is framed as one of the most complex problems in the world. But, in reality, it’s very simple to explain: One side wants the other side dead.
In this 5 minutes, understand how Israel was founded, and how, since that auspicious day in 1948, its neighbors have tried to destroy it, again and again.