Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
2 January 2013updated 07 Sep 2021 11:50am

Jeremy Corbyn is the best argument against safe spaces

By Helen Lewis

I just watched a video of Jeremy Corbyn talking to a journalist about exactly what happened at a cemetery in Tunisia in 2014. For anyone who has been mercifully deprived of access to news for the last few days, the story revolves around exactly who was being commemorated that day – victims of an Israeli bombing, or Palestinians linked to the terrorist organisation Black September.

Corbyn’s own account is confusing: his Morning Star article at the time referred to wreaths being laid (passive tense) to “others killed by Mossad agents in Paris in 1991”. He might have got the date wrong, and be referring to three Palestinians killed in Tunis in 1991; or the place wrong, and be referring to a Black September operative killed in Paris in 1992. For what it’s worth, I find this account by SOAS lecturer Yair Wallach convincing, and assume that Corbyn was thinking of the first group, which includes “Abu Iyad”, otherwise known as Salaf Khalaf, whom Wallach describes as an ideologue who might be connected to Black September, but was “also involved in pushing the PLO to recognise Israel” and in the end of the PLO’s armed struggle.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

As I’ve written before, by this point I feel as though everyone has picked a side 

Content from our partners
The shrinking road to net zero
The tree-planting misconception
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?