Revealed: Corbyn defended Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel speech

British journalist reveals: Labour leader defended former Iranian's infamous speech calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map".

Elad Benari ,

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn defended former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's infamous speech calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map", dismissing “sensationalist headlines” and calling it as “an opportunity…to build dialogue on the issue of Palestine,” it was revealed on Wednesday, according to The Jewish Chronicle.

In 2005, then-President Ahmadinejad threatened those who supported Israel or even acknowledged its existence, saying, “Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury.”

He praised “the new wave [of attacks] in Palestine…will wipe this stigma [Israel] from the face of the Islamic world.”

Investigative journalist Iggy Ostanin uncovered on Wednesday that Corbyn focused on the speech in his Morning Star column a few days later, saying "all the righteous indignation never mentioned a few salient points."

Corbyn, then a backbench MP, did not condemn the language, saying Kofi Annan, then the UN Secretary General, “pointed out that what had been said was wrong and condemned it.”

He said this was the "context overlooked by the sensationalist headlines".

Corbyn also said Ahmadinejad’s speech “clearly departs from the two state solution that the Palestinian leadership has been pursuing for the past 20 years, and, in any event, would be illegal under the UN charter.”

He then said the speech “also pointed out what Israel is doing to Palestine.”

The European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning Ahmadinejad's remarks a few days later.

A Labour spokesperson responded to the report and said Corbyn had been clear in the article that "Ahmadinejad was wrong".

“He said it would be illegal under international law, it departs from the two-state policy pursued by the Palestinian leadership, and that Kofi Annan had pointed out the speech was wrong and condemned it," said the spokesperson.

"Coming just two years after the disastrous Iraq War, Jeremy Corbyn warned against another rush to war in the Middle East, which many saw as being by driven by George Bush and Tony Blair, and opposed the Israeli government’s continuing occupation of Palestinian territory and human rights abuses. Those were the right calls and arguments to make," argued the spokesperson.

The report is the latest in a series of controversies in which Corbyn has been embroiled in recent years.

Corbyn has been accused of holding anti-Semitic views by senior British Jewish leaders. He has also been criticized for 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.

Just last week, Hamas thanked Corbyn for his message of solidarity to a pro-Palestinian rally in London.

Previously, the Daily Mail newspaper published photos of the Labour leader at a cemetery in Tunisia holding a wreath near the graves of some of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorists who were responsible for the massacre of the 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Days later, a picture emerged of Corbyn apparently making a salute linked to the Muslim Brotherhood organization.