October 1 is a poignant day in Palestinian history and is commemorated in Tunisia. This year was no exception as a group of us gathered at the hillside cemetery overlooking the villages and walked down to the town and the beautiful blue Mediterranean where in 1986 Israeli jets screamed in to bomb the relocated headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, causing many deaths.The story was unearthed in 2017 during the election campaign and repeated with varying degrees of speculation, conjecture and hyperbole. Guido found the bottom of the barrel, pretty quickly, claiming "Corbyn honoured Munich massacre terrorist", a claim which is not borne out by any of the facts presented in the piece that followed. In particular, he attempts to conflate the unidentified persons described as being "killed by Mossad agents in Paris in 1991" with Atef Bseiso, one of the planners of the Munich murders.
The offices and buildings were destroyed and once again Palestinians, in exile, became the victims.
The PLO had relocated after the massacres at Sabra and Shatilla in 1982 when Israeli troops oversaw massacres by Phalangist militias at the huge refugee camps in Lebanon, home to Palestinians driven from their homes in 1948.
After wreaths were laid at the graves of those who died on that day and on the graves of others killed by Mossad agents in Paris in 1991, we moved to the poignant statue in the main avenue of the coastal town of Ben Arous, which was festooned with Palestinian and Tunisian flags.
Bseiso was killed, possibly by Mossad agents, in Paris. But this happened in 1992, not 1991 and was a single killing, when Corbyn refers to 'others'.
Three members of Black September were killed by Mossad, in 1991, but not in Paris. So it is hard to square Guido's interpretation with what Corbyn reported. As Guido points out, there are no killings attributed to Mossad in 1992 in Paris. So quite who Corbyn was referring to is unclear. According to the Indie, The Times asked Corbyn if he meant Bseiso:
According to The Sunday Times, that was a reference to Atef Bseiso, a PLO agent who was involved in the 1972 attack. Mr Corbyn denied this was the case.The story went away, quite quickly, and the election went about its business.
Now it has resurfaced. The Mail apparently has obtained pictures and even went as far as to visit the cemetery. The claim the pictures show Corbyn standing at the graves of the Black September murderers:
One picture places Mr Corbyn close to the grave of another terrorist, Atef Bseiso, intelligence chief of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.On first glance, the pictures bear out the Mail's implication (never directly stated) that Corbyn was taking part in a ceremony honouring Bseiso, Salah Khalaf, Fakhri al-Omari and Hayel Abdel-Hamid, who are all buried in that part of the cemetery.
Bseiso has also been linked to the Munich atrocity. Another image shows the Labour leader apparently joining in an Islamic prayer while by the graves.
Last night sources close to Mr Corbyn insisted he was at the service in 2014 to commemorate 47 Palestinians killed in an Israeli air strike on a Tunisian PLO base in 1985.
But on a visit to the cemetery this week, the Daily Mail discovered that the monument to the air strike victims is 15 yards from where Mr Corbyn is pictured – and in a different part of the complex.
Instead he was in front of a plaque that lies beside the graves of Black September members.
But look more closely.
Here are the pictures:
This image clearly identifies the graves occupied by the Munich murderers. Note the plaque to the right, in front of another, slightly elevated tomb. The occupant of this tomb is not identified by the Mail.
Now, look at the image of the wreath laying. You'll see they are standing right in front of that plaque, which the Mails states is "honours three dead men: Salah Khalaf, who founded Black September; his key aide Fakhri al-Omari; and Hayel Abdel-Hamid, PLO chief of security."
The Mail state they visited the cemetery to confirm the details of the story. You'd think they wold check who was interred in the grave the group was specifically honouring.
So either they didn't bother to find out (poor journalism, verging on the deliberately dishonest) or the person who was being honoured is someone not too repugnant, and the Mail opted to trick casual readers into thinking the ceremony was honouring the Black September murderers.