British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Friday called for the UK to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration by recognizing “Palestine”.
In a statement he released marking the anniversary of the declaration, Corbyn said, "The second part of Britain’s pledge has still not been fulfilled and Britain’s historic role means we have a special responsibility to the Palestinian people, who are still denied their basic rights.”
"Let us mark the Balfour anniversary by recognizing Palestine as a step towards a genuine two-state solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, increasing international pressure for an end to the 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories, illegal settlement expansion and the blockade of Gaza,” he added in the statement quoted by British media.
Corbyn has come under fire due to his calling Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends" and for outright refusing to condemn those two terrorist organizations despite being urged to do so by local Jewish groups.
The Labour leader has also been accused of doing too little to curb rampant anti-Semitism among members and lawmakers from his party. In recent years, dozens of Labour members have been suspended over their anti-Semitic statements.
Corbyn's statement calling for the recognition of “Palestine” came after he refused to attend Thursday's official dinner with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu marking the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
Labour's shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry attended the celebration in Corbyn's place. Before the dinner, she too called on the British government to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration by formally recognizing a Palestinian state.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)