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Momentum postpones antisemitism debate after Shabbat timing row

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Momentum, a hard-left group loyal to Jeremy Corbyn, have postponed an antisemitism debate which was set to take place tonight.

The event, organised by Momentum’s Haringey branch in north London, was cancelled after members of the Jewish community said the Friday night timing was “insensitive”.

Jeremy Newmark, head of the Jewish Labour Movement, argued that the event was set to take place too close to Shabbat. He said the timing would exclude observant Jews.

A senior Momentum source has told the JC he was “relieved” by organisers’ decision to cancel the event.

He said: “I am relieved that Haringey decided to postpone the meeting.”

When the event was first announced Mr Newmark said: “People clearly require preparation time and simply, holding this event on a Friday evening is crass and insensitive.”

Mr Newmark also criticised the lack of balance on the panel event, titled: “Debate on Antisemitism, Racism and Freedom of Speech”.

Jacqueline Walker, who is under suspension from Labour after accusing Jews of being “chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade”, was set to speak at the event alongside Annie Cohen, an active member of pro-BDS group Jewdas. Unison activist Emine Ibrahim - a Labour councillor who called for John Mann, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, to be disciplined after he confronted Ken Livingstone - was also set to speak at the event.

Earlier this week, Mr Newmark said: “I don’t think they reflect the diversity of views on this issue inside the Jewish community. I don’t think they have a speaker on the panel that comes from inside the established democratic consensus of British Jewry on these issues.”

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