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“Friends” and “Not Friends”

Jeremy Corbyn’s response to the observation that he calls Hamas and Hezbollah “friends”:

The term ‘friends’ was used purely as diplomatic language in the context of dialogue, not an endorsement of a particular set of views. In the difficult quest of establishing a peace, it is common for the term “friend” to be used as part of the process. “Friend” in this case becomes a term of diplomacy as an aid to dialogue between disparate groups rather than a description of a relationship or an endorsement of a set of views.

Jeremy Corbyn’s use of “friends” in the House of Commons:

Mr. Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North) I begin by offering my apologies to the House for not being here for the beginning of the debate. [HoN. MEMBERS: “Hear, hear.”] It’s nice to be among friends. …
Mr. John Marshall Where are they?
Mr. Corbyn My friends are all around me, but not opposite.
Mr. Ian Taylor On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Can the Chair clarify exactly where the hon. Gentleman’s hon. Friends are?
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael Morris) That is not a point of order.
Mr. Corbyn In an existentialist maner, my friends are all about me, so let that not worry anyone.

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