A major communal demonstration will be held outside the weekly meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party tomorrow amid escalating anger over Labour anti-Senitism 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 tomorrow afternoon at 5.30.
Leaders will deliver what is expected to be an uncompromising letter to the PLP chair John Cryer for the meeting due to take place at 6pm.
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. However sources have indicated he will not attend, despite one backbencher suggesting he could have been facing disciplinary action in other circumstances.
MP Luciana Berger on Friday highlighted a Historic Facebook post in which Corbyn responded to the imminent destruction of the mural, saying: “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.
He said: “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.
“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.
“I am opposed to the production of anti-Semitic material of any kind, and the defence 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 Mr Corbyn came after a backlash against his initial response, 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.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.