David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn have repeatedly clashed in the Commons over Labour’s antisemitism crisis and the Labour leader’s past comments on Hamas and Hizbollah.
The Prime Minister asked the Labour leader four times to withdraw his previous references to Hamas and Hizbollah as “friends”.
Mr Corbyn did not withdraw the comments but said “obviously” anyone engaged in antisemitic acts was not his friend.
Answering a question from a Conservative backbencher, Mr Cameron opened by saying it was important to “be clear about Hamas, they are a terrorist group intent on killing Jews and that’s why…combatting antisemitism in the Labour party will mean nothing until he [Mr Corbyn] withdraws the remark that they were his friends. He needs to do it and he should do it today.”
Mr Corbyn responded: “Later today commemorations begin for Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel. I hope there is agreement…in sending our best wishes to those commemorating the occasion and sending a very clear statement that antisemitism has no place in our society whatsoever and we all have a duty to oppose it.”
But the Prime Minister hit back by quoting Mr Corbyn’s comments made when the Labour leader described it as “an honour and a pleasure” to host a Parliamentary meeting where “our friends from Hizbollah will be attending”. Mr Cameron read out a section where Mr Corbyn also referred to “our friends from Hamas”.
Mr Cameron said: “Hamas and Hizbollah believe in killing Jews, not just in Israel but around the world. Will he take this opportunity – withdraw that they are your friends.”
Reading a prepared statement, Mr Corbyn said he had “made it very clear, Labour is an anti-racist party”..."Anti-racist"--yes. But "anti-anti-Zionist"? No way.