As part of its 18 December 2021 “PalFestival,” the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB) awarded former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn its highest award for his efforts in helping Palestine and Palestinian refugees. According to an article on the Islamist-friendly news portal Middle East Eye:
Addressing hundreds of people at the organisation’s annual convention, Corbyn said he was “honoured” to receive the award and told the audience that support for Palestine was strong in the Labour party. “The Palestinian people have suffered like no other in that they have been under occupation for many decades, and many are living in refugee camps ever since 1948 in different countries around the region, but particularly in Lebanon,” said Corbyn. “I think it is important to recognise an entity known as Palestine, a state of Palestine, and I was proud to present a manifesto in the election two years ago to the British people which included unconditional recognition of Palestine.”
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According to the article, Corbyn used his speech to reaffirm Labour’s support for Palestinians despite the party leadership’s recent criticism of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as “anti-Zionist antisemitism.”
A photo of the event shows Corbyn standing next to PFB public relations spokesperson Zaher Birawi, a prominent British pro-Hamas activist, and Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) President Raghad Al-Tikriti, sister of British Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB) leader Anas Al-Tikriti. At the event, Raghad Al-Tikriti was awarded a prize for “her continuous efforts in helping the Palestinian cause in the UK.” The MAB is the main organization of the GMB in the UK.
Jeremy Corbyn is a harsh critic of Israeli policies on Palestine and, in 2020, was suspended from the Labour party over his reaction to an Equality and Human Rights Commission report on allegations of antisemitism within Labour. He has a history of speaking at events and demonstrations where anti-Semitic slogans were chanted and has repeatedly met with Hamas officials. In a 2009 speech, he called members of the terrorist organization “friends.” Corbyn has since said he regretted the remarks.
The PFB is part of the UK Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support infrastructure. PFB public relations spokesperson Zaher Birawi is a long-time Director of the Palestinian Return Centre, designated by the Israeli government and described as “Hamas’ organizational branch in Europe.” In May 2021, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that Birawi participated in a “Virtual Iftar” of the UK Labour Muslim Network, which seeks to promote British Muslim engagement with the Labour Party. This event also featured Zara Mohammed, who in January 2021 was named the first female Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, one of the most influential Muslim organizations in the UK and that usually acts in concert with the GMB.
The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine,” and a Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons. Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the GMB.
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