Extremists Vie for Key Positions in British Politics

This article appeared originally in GatestoneInstitute.org

In the wake of Britain's general election, candidates with ties to anti-Semitic extremists and terror groups are standing for important political positions.

In May, George Galloway declared that he was vying to become Mayor of London. Those concerned with Galloway's work with the Syrian and Iranian regimes expressed dismay at the news.

Now, a month later, the Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn is running for leadership of Britain's Labour Party, with the support of George Galloway.

In 2010, Britain's media watchdog, OFCOM, censured Galloway and Corbyn, after Corbyn appeared on Galloway's television program — broadcast by the Iranian regime's channel, Press TV. OFCOM ruled that Galloway's description of Israel as a "terrorist gangster … miscreant, law breaking, rogue, war launching, occupying state," and Corbyn's call for economic sanctions against the world's only Jewish state, "did not show due impartiality."

Galloway has long been able to rely on Corbyn for support in the House of Commons. In 2013, Galloway tabled a motion to commemorate the death of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, which was seconded by Corbyn.

Corbyn's views, however, amount to far more than mere anti-Israel hysteria and a fondness for South American dictators.

In 2009, Corbyn announced at an "anti-war" rally:

"It will be my pleasure and my honour to host an event in Parliament where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking. I also invited friends from Hamas to come and speak as well. … That is the absolutely the right function of using parliamentary facilities to invite people from our other parts of the world. … The idea that an organization that is dedicated to the good of the Palestinian people … should be labelled as a terrorist organization by the British government is really a big, big historical mistake."

In 2011, Corbyn invited the Palestinian Islamist preacher Raed Salah to speak in parliament. In 2005, an Israeli court jailed Salah for funding Hamas organizations.

Salah has claimed that 4,000 Jews skipped work at the World Trade Centre on the day of the 9/11 attacks; that those who killed the "Martyr, Sheikh Osama Bin Laden" had "sold their consciences to Satan"; and that the children of Europe had their "blood mixed in with the dough of the [Jewish] holy bread."

Salah's work funding Hamas was evidently not a problem for Jeremy Corbyn, who is a staunch advocate of the British organization Interpal, a pro-Hamas charity that is a designated terrorist organization under United States law.

Interpal's leaders regularly attend Hamas rallies and ceremonies in the Gaza strip. At one such event, Interpal trustee Essam Yusuf participated in a song that praised Hamas's terrorist activities and its "martyrs."

Other Interpal officials also promote extremist ideas. Interpal staff member Ibrahim Dar has expressed support for the late Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki, has called for killing homosexuals and claims that ISIS is a "Western setup undercover organisation." Interpal trustee Ibrahim Hewitt has spoken of a "so-called Holocaust," advocates killing apostates, and has written: "The Jews cannot be entrusted with the sanctity and security of this Holy Land."

Despite Interpal's violent ideas, Corbyn has sponsored and signed a number of parliamentary motions in support of it and regularly speaks at Interpal events.

In his constituency of Islington, Corbyn hosts meetings at the Finsbury Park Mosque, an institution with which he works closely. One of the mosque's trustees, in fact, is Muhammad Sawalha, a fugitive Hamas commander. According to BBC reports, Sawalha is "said to have masterminded much of Hamas's political and military strategy" from London.

Corbyn does not appear, however, to support just Palestinian terror. His sympathies are rather diverse.

In 1984, Corbyn invited representatives of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to speak in parliament — just weeks after an IRA bomb murdered five people, including several prominent British politicians, and that nearly killed Britain's Prime Minister at the time, Margaret Thatcher.

In 2012, Corbyn agreed to speak at a Ramadan celebration with Abdur Raheem Green, a Salafist preacher who has spoken of a "Yehudi [Jewish] … stench." Green urges Muslims to "push them [Jews] to the side." In addition, Green encourages men to hit their wives to "bring them to goodness," and has called for the killing of homosexuals and adulterers.

In 2014, Corbyn spoke at an event organized by representatives of the Iranian regime, to commemorate the Iranian revolution of 1979. Corbyn's fellow speakers included Hassan al-Sadr, who represents the UK office of Iraqi terrorist Moqtada al-Sadr, and Abdolhossein Moezi, the personal representative of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Also in 2014, Corbyn hosted an event in parliament that featured the "neo-Nazi" speaker James Thring, who has appeared in a revisionist pro-Nazi documentary and has said that, "the Jewish lobby has so much power."

As with Galloway's hopes for the London mayoralty, Jeremy Corbyn's chances of being elected leader of the Labour Party are slim. Nevertheless, a recent poll conducted by a prominent Labour website concluded that Corbyn is an overwhelming favorite among some Labour voters.

The Labour membership appears disenchanted with the mainstream politics of recent Labour leaders. Notionally, Corbyn might win the necessary support of grassroots voters and the powerful trade unions.

In a worst-case scenario, with George Galloway becoming Mayor of London, and Jeremy Corbyn fighting Britain's next general election, Jews and other minorities could have good reason to be worried.


Samuel Westrop is a Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and also Director of Stand for Peace, a counter-extremism organization based in London. He appears regularly on television and radio to discuss the problem of Islamist, far-Left and far-Right extremism.

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