Jewish Labour MP wants apology from Jeremy Corbyn over 'Munich Massacre terrorists' memorial
A Labour MP has demanded an apology from Jeremy Corbyn after the Labour leader admitted he was “present” at a memorial for Palestinian terrorists thought to be behind the Munich Massacre.
Jewish MP Luciana Berger said his “presence alone” as wreaths were laid in a Tunisian cemetery demonstrated his “association and support”.
The Labour leader today said he was present as wreaths were laid on the graves of those thought to be part of the Black September organisation which killed 11 Israeli athletes in 1972.
But he said he did not “think” he was involved in the wreath-laying and insisted he was there to see “a fitting memorial to everyone who died in every terrorist incident everywhere”.
Labour has insisted the party boss did not honour the alleged terror leaders but was instead at a service for 47 Palestinians killed in an Israeli air strike in 1985.
But the Daily Mail published pictures it said showed Mr Corbyn standing 15 yards away from the monument to the air strike victims and in front of the graves of the alleged Black September members.
The attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics saw 11 Israeli athletes murdered by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation splinter group.
A nearby plaque is said to honour Salah Khalaf, accused of being the founder of Black September, his aide Fakhri al-Omari, and PLO chief of security Hayel Abdel-Hamid.
Another grave Mr Corbyn was pictured near to is said to be that of Atef Bseio - also linked to the Munich Massacre and who was killed in Paris in 1992.
All of them are thought to have been assassinated by the Israeli secret service Mossad or rival Palestinian factions.
Ms Berger said: “Being ‘present’ is the same as being involved. When I attend a memorial, my presence alone, whether I lay a wreath or not, demonstrates my association & support.
She added: “There can also never be a ‘fitting memorial’ for terrorists. Where is the apology?”
Labour friends of Israel director Jennifer Gerber said: "Jeremy Corbyn's latest statement in a further insult to those savagely murdered at Munich and their bereaved relatives.
"He says he was paying respect to victims of terrorism when there is clear photographic evidence of him holding a wreath at the grave of the terrorists themselves.
"Jeremy Corbyn's appalling actions, and Labour's attempted cover up, is another truly shameful day for the party he leads."
'I DON'T THINK I WAS INVOLVED'
A Labour source told PoliticsHome that Mr Corbyn went to the cemetery to commemorate victims of the bombing and insisted the Labour leader did not lay a wreath for anyone else.
The source pressed that Salah Khalaf and Atef Bseio were accused by Israel and the US of being part of Black September but that they had denied it.
And they noted that Khalaf had been the second in command to Yasser Arafat - whose grave Labour former minister Jack Straw visited in 2004.
Breaking his silence on the issue during a visit to the West Midlands today, Mr Corbyn said: “A wreath was indeed laid by some of those who attended the conference to those who were killed in Paris in 1992.
“I was present when it was laid - I don’t think I was actually involved in it.”
He added: “I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who has died in every terrorist incident everywhere, because we have to end it.
“We cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence. The only way your pursue peace is through a cycle of dialogue.”