Community to demand ‘enough is enough’ in demo against Labour anti-Semitism
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Community to demand ‘enough is enough’ in demo against Labour anti-Semitism

Leaders to hand over landmark letter to PLP amid growing anger over Corbyn’s response to anti-Semitic mural

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

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.”

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