British Jews to tell Corbyn: Enough is enough

Members of British Jewish community to protest Monday outside the weekly meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Ben Ariel ,

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn
Reuters

Members of the Jewish community in Britain are planning to hold a major communal demonstration outside the weekly meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party on Monday, the British Jewish News reports Sunday.

The protest comes amid escalating anger over Labour anti-Semitism and the specific response of Jeremy Corbyn.

The Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council have joined forces to call for community members “and all those who oppose anti-Semitism” to join the ‘enough is enough’ protest in Parliament Square Monday afternoon.

Leaders will deliver what is expected to be an uncompromising letter to the PLP chair John Cryer for the meeting.

MPs have called on Corbyn to attend the meeting to explain his questioning the removal of a mural featuring classic anti-Semitic images in Tower Hamlets in 2012.

MP Luciana Berger on Friday highlighted a Facebook post from that time in which Corbyn responded to a question as to why the mural would be destroyed and wrote, “Why? You are in good company. Rockerfeller (sic) destroyed Diego Viera’s mural because it includes a picture of Lenin.”

Corbyn, who had not provided any explanation when the issue was raised two years ago, acknowledged he should have looked more closely at the image before posting on Facebook.

“In 2012 I made a general comment about the removal of public art on grounds of freedom of speech. My comment referred to the destruction of the mural Man at the Crossroads by Diego Rivera on the Rockefeller Center,” he said, according to the Jewish News.

“That is in no way comparable with the mural in the original post. I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on, the contents of which are deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic. I wholeheartedly support its removal,” he added.

Corbyn stressed he is “opposed to the production of anti-Semitic material of any kind, and the defense of free speech cannot be used as a justification for the promotion of anti-Semitism in any form. That is a view I’ve always held.”

The statement from Corbyn came after a backlash against his initial response and was issued through a spokesman.

“In 2012, Jeremy was responding to concerns about the removal of public art on grounds of freedom of speech,” the spokesman said. “However, the mural was offensive, used anti-Semitic imagery, which has no place in our society, and it is right that it was removed.”

The mural controversy is the latest in a series of incidents involving anti-Semitism in the Labour party.

Over the last several years, dozens of Labour members have been suspended over their anti-Semitic statements.

Corbyn himself been criticized in the past due to his calling Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends" and for outright refusing to condemn those two terrorist organizations despite being urged to do so by local Jewish groups.

In 2016, however, the Labour leader said that he regretted making those comments.

Most recently it was revealed that Corbyn had temporarily been a member of a private Facebook group that spread anti-Semitic hate speech. Several other Labour members were a part of that group as well.



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