The shameless media assault to smear Jeremy Corbyn is falling apart before our eyes

Jeremy Corbyn
Fréa Lockley

On 11 August, the Daily Mail claimed Jeremy Corbyn had taken part in a wreath-laying ceremony in Tunis, “near the graves” of “Palestinian leaders believed to be connected to… [a] terror attack on Israelis at the 1972 Olympics”. And the corporate media has been re-running a version of this ‘story’ all week. But their attack is based on incredibly shaky ground.

“Corbyn said no such thing”

As Corbyn stated, he didn’t take part in the ceremony. But the Mail‘s heavily loaded language gave the impression that Corbyn was at the graves of people known to have played a direct role in the 1972 atrocity – in which 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were killed. He wasn’t.

Many other outlets, including the Times and the BBC, took the Mail‘s ‘analysis’ and ran with it anyway.

Labour’s press office was quick to correct the Times, for example, when it ‘reported’ that Corbyn did “attend” a “ceremony for Munich killers”:

Chinese whispers

The Mail report focused on a visit Corbyn made to the Hammam Chott cemetery in Tunis in 2014. In a follow-up story on 14 August, the Mail alleged:

Mr Corbyn yesterday appeared to admit being present at a wreath-laying for those thought to be involved in the 1972 killings at the Munich Olympics

Corbyn had clarified that the intention of his visit was to give a “fitting memorial to everyone who has died in every terrorist incident everywhere” – and in particular to commemorate the scores of people Israel killed in an attack on Tunisia in 1985 (which the UN overwhelmingly condemned). Others confirmed this account:

The Mail went even further, stating the names of people who allegedly “all have links to Munich” and the so-called Black September attacks. But whilst those named do appear to be buried at Hammam Chott, they are not the “Munich killers” (as the Times put it).

That didn’t seem to matter, though, as outlet after outlet played a dangerous game of Chinese whispers. And this forced many groups, including Jewish Voice for Labour, to speak up against the misinformation machine – not least because the actual wreath was to honour people killed in the 1985 Israeli bombing raid:

What’s more, those who were directly involved in the Munich atrocity aren’t buried in Tunis.

Tunis is not in Libya…

A book by Simon Reeve called One Day in September documented the 1972 killings. Reeve stated that the men involved in the Munich attack were “flown from Germany” and buried in Libya, saying:

More than thirty thousand mourners followed a swollen procession from Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square to Sidi Munaidess Cemetery.

Other sources confirm this information.

Libya is definitely not Tunis. And Tunis is not in Libya.

Media ‘demonisation’ of Corbyn

Many have come forward to challenge the way that the media has now misrepresented Corbyn by linking him directly to the Munich attackers.

On 14 August, the BBC also seemed to regurgitate this ‘narrative’. So Labour MP Chris Williamson set the facts straight, accusing the broadcaster of trying to “demonise” Corbyn:

By 15 August, the ‘story’ was still running on BBC Radio 4‘s Today show. And people were still resisting the assault:

Peace

This is just the latest in an ongoing smear campaign against the Labour leader. But people are getting sick and tired of the endless attacks – especially when there’s hypocrisy at the core. Because as The Canary recently reported, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (who himself jumped on the smear-Corbyn bandwagon this week) has openly honoured a known terrorist who led a group that once killed 91 people at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. Yet no one seems to want to talk about that.

Corbyn, meanwhile, has made the reason for his 2014 visit to Tunisia very clear. And as he has said for many years, his ultimate goal is peace:

Corbyn deserves a huge apology. Because this whole corporate media attack is on very shaky ground.

Britain’s press has, it seems, tipped even further towards Orwellian doublespeak. And this time, it really has gone too far.

Get Involved!

– Support Jewish Voice for Labour and Jewish Voice for Peace.

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

– Support the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Also, find out more about the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, and see previous Canary articles on Israel and Palestine.

Featured image author’s own

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