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Jewish protesters tell UK Labour Party ‘enough is enough’Protesters gathered outside the UK Parliament on Monday to demonstrate against anti-Semitism within Britian’s Labour party, urging leader Jeremy Corbyn to take a stand against such incidents. “Today, leaders of British Jewry tell Jeremy Corbyn that enough is enough,” the protest organizers wrote in an open letter.
Hundreds of demonstrates gathered in London’s Parliament Square on Monday in a protest against anti-Semitism within the UK’s Labour Party. In a letter sent to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council said Corbyn had failed to tackle anti-Semitism within his party.
“Today, leaders of British Jewry tell Jeremy Corbyn that enough is enough,” read the letter. “We have had enough of hearing that Jeremy Corbyn ‘opposes anti-Semitism’, whilst the mainstream majority of British Jews and their concerns are ignored by him and those he leads.”
Monday’s demonstration came amid a recent controversy surrounding Corbyn’s previous support of an anti-Semitic mural painted in London, depicting Jewish businessmen playing monopoly on the backs of the poor. The issue surfaced on Friday, when Labour MP Luciana Berger tweeted a screenshot of the artist’s Facebook page from 2012, containing a comment by Corbyn that apparently criticized the mural's removal.
I asked the Leader’s Office for an explanation about this Facebook post first thing this morning. I’m still waiting for a response. pic.twitter.com/DL8ynBtES4— Luciana Berger (@lucianaberger) March 23, 2018
Corbyn has since apologized for the incident. “I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image,” Corbyn said. The Labour party also addressed the concerns in a statement: "In 2012 Jeremy was responding to concerns about the removal of public art on grounds of freedom of speech. However, the mural was offensive, used anti-Semitic imagery, which has no place in our society, and it is right that it was removed."
Responding to the pressure of the protesters on Monday, Corbyn drafted a letter to the Jewish organizations, vowing that he remained a “militant opponent” to anti-Semitism. “I recognize that antisemitism has surfaced within the Labour Party and has too often been dismissed as simply a matter of a few bad apples,” Corbyn wrote. “This has caused pain and hurt to Jewish members of our party and to the wider Jewish community in Britain. I am sincerely sorry for the pain which has been caused and pledge to redouble my efforts to bring this anxiety to an end.”
I have written to the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council. I will never be anything other than a militant opponent of antisemitism. In this fight, I am an ally and always will be. pic.twitter.com/QhQnFEpplU— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) March 26, 2018
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