John McDonnell criticised for linking Eid message to Palestine rally attendance

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John McDonnell criticised for linking Eid message to Palestine rally attendance

A long-serving Brent councillor criticised the ex shadow chancellor saying he needs to show 'responsibility, to ensure the streets do not become a place to play out the conflict'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Labour’s John McDonnell has sparked anger after posting an inflammatory message to Muslim voters which linked celebrations of this week’s Muslim Eid festival with a need to attend at partisan demonstration in support of the Palestinians.

The former shadow chancellor tweeted Eid Mubarak – the traditional greeting to mark the end of Ramadan – “to all my Muslim constituents” before he added “Islam is a religion of peace.”

He then proceeded to state: “I urge my Muslim constituents to join me on Saturday in the demonstration in London to support the Palestinian people in their call for peace and justice.

“Assemble Marble Arch 12 pm 15 May.”

The march, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which takes place before lockdown measures are fully lifted, finishes outside the Israeli Embassy building.

Brent Labour councillor Neil Nerva was amongst those to condemn McDonnell’s tweet telling Jewish News: “Communal leaders are working hard to ensure the streets of London do not become a place to play out external conflicts.

“Political leaders such as John Mcdonnell need to show responsibility.”

Nerva, a Jewish Labour Movement official, added: “It is far better to demand a ceasefire and a just peace – a viable Palestine and a secure Israel.”

The left-wing Jews4Socialism group also criticised the MP for Hayes and Harlington’s tweet writing: “Will you be calling on Hamas to immediately stop launching rockets at Israeli civilians?.”

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner also merged Eid festivities with a political message on the Palestinian issue writing:” Eid Mubarak to all. I want to especially keep in the worlds conscious the Palestinians who are suffering terrible injustices during this joyous occasion.”

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