In an interview on Sunday with Sky News, U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn stated that convicted terrorists should “not necessarily” serve out the entirety of their prison terms. His statement comes on the heels of Friday’s terror attack on London Bridge, in which two Brits were stabbed to death by a convicted terrorist who had been released early from prison.
Corbyn’s softness towards terrorism should surprise no one, at least not those who have been paying attention to his unnervingly friendly attitude towards extremists over the past several decades (one Twitter user created a lengthy list). Corbyn is the quintessential terrorist sympathizer, harboring a particular, yet unsurprising, penchant for the antisemitic ones who usually find a safe haven within the anti-Zionist movement.
In the early 2000s, Corbyn led a campaign advocating for the release of two terrorists convicted for their roles in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish charity and the Israeli embassy in London. Jawad Botmeh and Samar Alami, each jailed for 20 years, were found guilty of “conspiring to cause explosions in the United Kingdom” in December of 1996.
While both admitted to possessing the five pounds of explosives and three handguns in a storage unit, the pair insisted that the materials were not intended for use in the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, during their trial, Botmeh and Alami, both engineers, admitted to testing homemade explosives in England’s Peak District in order to send information back to Palestinians living in the Palestinian territories.
In addition to advocating for lighter sentences for convicted terrorist conspirators, Corbyn has also used softened language when speaking of terrorist groups. In 2009, at a meeting held by the anti-war group Stop the War Coalition, Corbyn referred to members of Hamas and Hezbollah, two groups designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations by the U.S. State Department, as “friends.” He then proceeded to chastise the Israelis for not permitting members of Hamas to fly to the United Kingdom to meet with members of Parliament.
“Tomorrow it will be my pleasure and honor to host an event in Parliament where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking.” Corbyn said. He continued. “I’ve also invited friends from Hamas to come and speak, as well. Unfortunately, the Israelis would not allow them to travel here, so it’s only going to be friends from Hezbollah.” He has both defended the statement and regretted it, although given his general attitude towards terrorists—as this article will demonstrate—the regret is likely minimal.
Corbyn’s open affinity for such terrorists was part of a larger pattern. That same year, Corbyn invited Arab extremist Dyab Abou Jahjah to speak at an event for Stop the War Coalition. After his 2009 visit, Jahjah was banned from entering the United Kingdom.
Although Jahjah has been “normalized” in some intellectual circles, he has made several objectively terrible statements, often lauding violence. Two months after the 9/11 terror attacks, Jahjah labeled the al-Qaeda terrorists “criminals” but then proceeded to allege that he and other Muslims had experienced a “sweet revenge feeling” after the attack on the Twin Towers. In 2003, when commenting on the war in Iraq, he told the Flemish newspaper Het Laaste Nieuws, “I consider every death of an American, British or Dutch soldier as a victory.”
Unsurprisingly, just two years ago, Jahjah was fired from a Belgian newspaper for applauding a terror attack in Jerusalem by a Palestinian who plowed a truck through a crowd of Israeli soldiers. It was later revealed that the driver was a supporter of the Islamic state.
In addition to portraying himself as a friend to terrorists, Corbyn has made several attempts to intellectualize their violent rhetoric. In 2012, Corbyn sat on a panel at a conference in Doha, Qatar alongside several Palestinian terrorists who had been convicted of murder and then released by Israel in exchange for a captured soldier. Corbyn later referred to “their contribution” to the conference as “fascinating and electrifying.” In attendance at the conference was Husam Badran, the former leader of Hamas’ military wing and mastermind of several terrorist attacks in which dozens of Israelis were killed during the Second Intifada.
Corbyn speaks at terrorist sympathizers’ rallies, too. That same year, Corbyn’s voice pounded thunderously through the speakers at the pro-Hezbollah, pro-Iran Al Quds Day March, an event held in a number of cities around the world in which participants advocate for the destruction of Israel via the “liberation” of the land from the “infidels.”
The rallies have been infamous for providing a safe haven not only to rabid antisemites but to supporters of the Iranian terrorist proxy, Hezbollah (although there is often much crossover between the two groups). It’s worth noting that earlier this year, the U.K. Parliament voted to ban the entirety of Hezbollah, thus allowing for the confiscation of Hezbollah paraphernalia at such events as Al Quds, following a resolution that eliminated the distinction between Hezbollah’s alleged military and political wings.
Corbyn’s association with Al Quds Day is not merely a passing fad. In 2016, Corbyn attended a book launch hosted by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), the same squad that organizes Al Quds Day rallies. In addition to overseeing such distasteful events, IHRC is also the same group that “gave its ‘Islamophobe of the Year’ award to the murdered staff of Charlie Hebdo — two months after they were butchered — and whose Genocide Memorial Day is deliberately timed to undermine Holocaust Memorial Day,” according to the Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Mari van der Zyl.
In one of Corbyn’s most infamous terrorist-sympathizing events, he appeared at a ceremony in Tunisia honoring the Palestinian-Arab terrorists who carried out the 1972 Munich terror attack, where 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were viciously slaughtered. In an act that can only be described as heinous, Corbyn laid a wreath on the grave of one of the terrorists and, in the face of widespread condemnation, delivered no apology.
What is perhaps most frightening about the vignettes described above is that they provide only a brief snapshot of the depth to which Corbyn fraternizes with terrorists. There are many more.
Indeed, in most of these stories Corbyn demonstrates a wholly discomfiting admiration for murderous figures who feel no compunction in celebrating death. He calls such terrorists “friends,” speaks at their rallies, intellectualizes their violent hatred, and lays wreaths on their graves. If this type of behavior is not disqualifying for becoming prime minister of the United Kingdom, frankly, I am unsure what is.