Greg Lance – Watkins
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The astonishing decade-long association between Jeremy Corbyn and a cabal of Holocaust deniers can be revealed today.
An investigation by The Telegraph shows Mr Corbyn was considered to be a “stalwart” supporter of an anti-Israel campaign group Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR) for several years after its organisers were exposed publicly for their extreme anti-Semitic views.
While there is no suggestion Mr Corbyn shares their views, his association raises serious questions about his judgement.
A Telegraph investigation shows DYR was riddled with prominent Holocaust deniers that included its founder Paul Eisen as well as Gill Kaffash, a former Labour councillor, who knew Corbyn for many years; Gilad Atzmon, a notorious Holocaust revisionist; and Francis Clarke-Lowe, who was chairman of a pro-Palestinian group of which Mr Corbyn is patron.
In a 2005 essay, Mr Eisen detailed his support for a jailed German Holocaust denier; “rehumanised” Adolf Hitler; and insisted being a Holocaust denier was an “entirely honourable thing”.
His claims prompted a number of DYR directors to withdraw from the group. In 2007, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) cut its links with DYR over its anti-Semitism although Mr Corbyn, himself a patron of PSC, attended at least one further event in 2013 organised by Mr Eisen and Mrs Kaffash.
They had been publicly exposed as – or else admitted to being – Holocaust deniers prior to Mr Corbyn’s decision to denounce DYR. Tracked down by The Telegraph, Mrs Kaffash, 78, a co-organiser of its annual event commemorating an alleged massacre of Arabs at Deir Yassin in 1948, said: “Jeremy was a stalwart of DYR… a very important supporter. You can rely on Jeremy. He came to this house and sat in that chair.”
She claimed to The Telegraph that in her view: “He could not not know what Paul’s views were. Or mine.”
Asked about her views of the Holocaust, Mrs Kaffash, who denies being anti-Semitic, said: “I don’t think there is evidence gas chambers were used to exterminate Jews. I don’t think there is evidence of a policy of extermination.”
Mrs Kaffash added: “I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn is a Holocaust denier. He is definitely not anti-Semitic.”
Jeff Halper, who was a DYR director until quitting in 2005 after becoming alarmed by Mr Eisen’s anti-Semitic views, said: “I can see Paul using Jeremy to legitimise himself. You should know what you are joining and what you are supporting.
“Jeremy certainly isn’t a Holocaust denier. [But] he should have been more critical.”
Mr Clarke-Lowe, another Holocaust denier and a close friend of Mr Eisen’s, said: “It would have been surprising if Jeremy Corbyn didn’t know about Paul’s views. He may have thought Deir Yassin was a good cause regardless of Paul Eisen’s views. But it is unlikely he didn’t know about Paul’s views.”
Mr Corbyn’s spokesman said: “Jeremy has consistently spoken out against all forms of antisemitism and condemned Holocaust denial as vile and wrong.
“Jeremy has no contact whatsoever with Paul Eisen or Deir Yassin Remembered.”
Mr Corbyn has insisted that had he known Mr Eisen was a Holocaust denier he would have had nothing to do with DYR. He said it was false to suggest that he had any knowledge of their views when he attended the event in 2013.He said that had Mr Eisen come out as a Holocaust denier in 2000 when he established the organisation, he would not have given it his backing.
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