Cor­byn won’t back away from Salah

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY MARTIN BRIGHT

LABOUR MP Jeremy Cor­byn has re­fused to con­demn de­mands for an in­quiry into the in­flu­ence of the Is­rael lobby, or the an­ti­semitic com­ments of a Pales­tinian ac­tivist whom he in­vited to tea on the Com­mons ter­race.

Last week, the JC re­ported that Mr Cor­byn backed calls by the lawyer for Raed Salah, the leader of the Is­lamic Move­ment in Is­rael, for an in­quiry into the in­flu­ence of “pro-is­rael lob­by­ing groups” on gov­ern­ment pol­icy.

The call came at a press con­fer­ence af­ter Salah’s suc­cess­ful ap­peal against Home Of­fice moves to de­port him.

Sit­ting by Mr Cor­byn, Mr Salah’s lawyer, Tayyab Ali, said that there should be an in­de­pen­dent in­quiry into “the mech­a­nism that was used to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion to gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, the Prime Min­is­ter him­self, and his re­la­tion­ship to pro-is­rael lob­by­ing groups.” He sin­gled out Bi­com chair­man Poju Zablu­dow­icz, “w h o I u n d e r - s t o o d sup­ported the Con­ser­va­tive Party quite s t r o n g l y with fi­nan­cial dona- tions, and is also, I think, a trustee of the Board of Deputies and the Com­mu­nity Se­cu­rity Trust”. (Nei­ther is the case.)

Mr Cor­byn then said: “I think a public in­quiry is the best course of ac­tion to take. Nor­mally one would have said that the ap­pro­pri­ate Se­lect Com­mit­tee in Par­lia­ment would un­der­take this in­quiry, but I think the is­sues go far wider than par­lia­men­tary pro­ce­dure, they go to the heart of what’s go­ing on in the Home Of­fice and the way the gov­ern­ment makes de­ci­sions, so I strongly sup­port that and I will be writ­ing to the Home Sec­re­tary ac­cord­ingly.”

But this week Mr Cor­byn said his views had been dis­torted. He said: “I called, and con­tinue to call for, an in­quiry into the de­ci­sions made by the Home Sec­re­tary Theresa May con­cern­ing Raed Salah. This is what I said at the press con­fer­ence, and what I re­it­er­ated when asked.”

Any sug­ges­tion that he called for an in­quiry into Jews’ in­flu­ence on pol­icy was “an even more lu­di­crous mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion”.

Mr Cor­byn’s re­marks are clearly seen on a video of the press con­fer­ence to fol­low the call for an in­quiry into “proIs­rael lob­by­ing groups”.

The JC thisweekaskedm­rcor­byn­why, if he does not sup­port such an in­quiry, he did not say so at the press con­fer­ence, de­spite ap­pear­ing to en­dorse the call.

The Labour Party re­fused to add to its state­ment last week that “these are ab­so­lutely not the views of the Labour Party.”

Jeremy Cor­byn MP

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