Benjamin Netanyahu has suggested that Israel may stop sharing intelligence with the U.K. if Jeremy Corbyn wins next month’s election and follows through on his pledge to stop selling weapons to Israel, according to a report Tuesday.
The Telegraph reported a statement the Israeli prime minister made in September -- and now reinforced by intelligence officers -- suggests he would cut intelligence ties with Britain if Corbyn becomes its leader.
Corbyn, who leads the Labour Party, has been an outspoken critic of Israel. He has accused the country of committing human rights abuses against the Palestinians. Allegations of anti-Semitism have grown within the Labour Party since Corbyn was elected leader in 2015.
James Sorene, chief executive of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, warned that a Corbyn victory would make London and the U.K. government “be seen as the center of the global anti-Israel movement.”
Israel, along with the U.S., remains one of the U.K.’s most important intelligence partners on matters of terrorism and security. Mossad, the country’s main spy agency, is second only to the CIA in terms of intelligence sharing with Britain’s intelligence services.
In September, when asked by the Telegraph whether that partnership would be jeopardized if Corbyn made good on his promise of an arms embargo to Israel, Netanyahu said: “What do you think?”
Netanyahu did not elaborate, but Israeli officials have reinforced that sentiment.
Mossad has helped U.K. authorities track down Hezbollah-linked operatives stockpiling explosive materials and thwart an ISIS plot to blow up an airliner flying from Australia, the Telegraph reported.
But despite any cooling of relations, officials will likely retain some connections in the background, a former MI6 officer told the paper.