Jeremy Corbyn’s past anti-Israel activity and association with terrorists and antisemites continues to haunt the UK Labour Party leader as comments he made describing former foreign minister MK Tzipi Livni as “a war criminal” came to light.
Corbyn made his comments in 2010, after a visit to Gaza that followed efforts in the UK government to thwart politicized arrest warrants against Israeli officials, i24News reported on Tuesday.
“Any plans by the British government to curtail the opportunity to arrest war criminals – as in the case of former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni – would be seen as yet another confirmation of British duplicity in the treatment of Palestinian people,” Corbyn wrote in the tabloid Communist Party newspaper Morning Star.
He was referring to the fact that Livni, currently the leader of the opposition in the Knesset, was Israel’s foreign minister during the IDF’s wide-ranging Operation Cast Lead in Gaza at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009.
The Labour Party did not respond to a i24News request for comment as to whether Corbyn still believes Livni is a war criminal.
An arrest warrant was issued against Livni by a British court in 2009 under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
She later canceled a scheduled visit the UK and the warrant was subsequently withdrawn.
Several attempts were made by pro-Palestinian activists in the UK to have Israeli officials arrested over IDF operations in Gaza, until legislation passed by the Conservative Party government in 2011 put an end to such efforts.
Separately, a member of the Scottish Parliament for Labour, Anas Sarwar, called on Corbyn to ensure that Labour adopts in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.
The Labour Party and Corbyn have been at the center of a protracted row over the party’s failure to address antisemitism within its ranks and its recent decision to adopt an abridged version of the internationally recognized definition of antisemitism by the alliance.
“It is for the Jewish community to lead and shape what the definition of antisemitism is because they are the ones who experience it,” Sarwar, who is Muslim and has campaigned against Islamophobia, told the Daily Record’s politics podcast.
“I think the Labour Party, without delay, should adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism immediately and without delay and without caveats,” he continued, noting that while he has been a critic of Israeli policy, the IHRA definitions did not preclude such criticism.