With his familiar acuity, John Rentoul highlights this pearl of wisdom from ex-Labour MP Phil Wilson, believing it to be a devastating take-down of Corbyn, but only manages to reveal his and Wilson's anti-Palestinian racism. 1/ https://twitter.com/JohnRentoul/status/1245348923314786304
"Don't lay a wreath at the grave of a terrorist." We all know what Wilson's talking about: the story of Corbyn visiting a cemetery in Tunis that took up acres of media coverage in 2018. As it happens, Corbyn didn't lay a wreath for PLO leader Abu Iyad. But so what if he had? 2/
Abu Iyad was accused by the Israelis of masterminding the Black September attacks at the Munich Olympics. He was also Arafat's right-hand man, a close US ally, and an architect of the peace process before he was assassinated by a proxy of Saddam Hussein in 1991. 3/
This is the way Abu Iyad was spoken of in the final years of his life by dovish, centre-left Israeli politicians (the kind of people Corbyn's Labour/Guardianista critics claim to support). They saw him as a conciliator with whom they could make peace. 4/

Jstor is free at the moment, so you should be able to read this article by Abu Iyad from Foreign Policy in 1990, explaining to a US audience the PLO's vision for a two-state peace settlement; again, the kind of peace Corbyn's critics claim to support. 5/

I first heard of Abu Iyad when I watched this excellent documentary. It includes an interview with a retired US official (CIA, if I remember rightly) who says how much he regretted Abu Iyad's death at the hands of Abu Nidal's gang in 1991. 6/

I'm absolutely certain that if either Phil Wilson or John Rentoul had been asked who Abu Iyad was before the summer of 2018, they would have looked at you blankly. 'Abu who?' His existence only matters to them to the extent that he can be used as a stick to bash Corbyn. 7/
The idea that Abu Iyad was a notorious terrorist who was beyond the pale of civilization was retrospectively concocted by the British media that summer, purely so they would have another opportunity to screech about Jeremy Corbyn's 'dodgy track record'. 8/
Blair paid tribute to Sharon as 'a giant of this land'. No shrieking about that either. Because Sharon's victims were Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, whose lives are considered less valuable than Israeli ones by the political mainstream in Britain. 10/
The rest of Wilson's tiresome litany can be picked apart just as easily. 'Friends with Hamas'? So what? No British politician faces a backlash for declaring his friendship with politicians from Likud, and other Israeli parties that are even more extreme. As for the Saudis ... 11/
The message from Wilson and Rentoul boils down to this: Corbyn had no right to expect a fair hearing from the British media because he wasn't a racist. He considered Palestinians to be fully-fledged human beings. That put him beyond the bounds of acceptability. 12/
They're not wrong about that, as far as it goes. But it's a far more devastating indictment of the mainstream consensus in Britain than anything Corbyn himself has dared to formulate. 13/
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