Footage has emerged of Jeremy Corbyn appearing to suggest that the BBC is biased to say that Israel has a right to exist.
Speaking on Press TV, the Iranian-run channel he was formerly paid tens of thousands of pounds to appear on even after it was banned in the UK, Mr Corbyn said that the BBC was under pressure from Israel and that the supposed proof is that “there is a bias towards saying…Israel has a right to exist”.
Through the clip is incomplete, it appears to show that Mr Corbyn thinks that it is debatable whether Israel has a right to exist. We do not believe that Mr Corbyn has said the same about other countries.
Article 1 of the UN Charter demands “respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples”, and the International Definition of Antisemitism states that “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” is antisemitic, so if he means that Jews uniquely do not have the right to a national home, then that would be bigoted.
A spokesperson for the Labour Party told Politics Home: “Jeremy was arguing that despite the occupation of Palestinian territory and the lack of a Palestinian state, Israeli concerns and perspectives are more likely to appear prominently in news reporting than Palestinian ones. Jeremy is committed to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution – a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine. The Israeli government is well known to run an effective and highly professional media operation.”
Last week, Campaign Against Antisemitism referred the Labour Party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission over discrimination and victimisation in the Party.
Remember that time @JeremyCorbyn appeared on PressTV and said that the Israeli government and Israeli embassy are “very assertive towards all journalists and the BBC” and as proof of this said “there is a bias towards saying . . . Israel has a right to exist”. No? Here you go… pic.twitter.com/9Jy8l1VKHT
— The Golem (@TheGolem_) August 7, 2018