Leader of the UK labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, visited al-Baqaâa refugee camp on Saturday, home to 100,000 Palestinian refugees, in a tour that also included Jordanâs mostly Syrian Zaatari camp, to mark UN world refugee day.
He had previously tweeted that: âThe next Labour government will recognise Palestine, as a state, as one step towards a genuine two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.â
He further clarified his position in an interview with Al-Jazeera, according to the PNN, affirming that: âThe Palestinian peopleâs rights must be met, and that means an end to the occupation, the settlement policy, and the siege of Gaza, as well as recognizing the right to return.â He also criticized the Trump administrationâs decision to reduce aid to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees) by over 50 percent.
This marks a change from traditional British government policy, especially under the last two conservative governments, who have generally been more pro-Israel.
Corbyn has consistently shown some support for the Palestinian cause. In April, he attacked âWestern silenceâ over the killings in Gaza and many hope that his election could lead to a more pro-Palestine, or at least less pro-Israeli foreign policy.
However, there are also fears that a smear campaign by the pro-Israel lobby, accusing many critics of Israel of anti-Semitism could push Corbyn and Labour members to be less vocal on the issue.
Archive IMEMC post 03/14/16:Â Gino Kenny Raises Palestinian Flag Upon Election Victory