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Second antisemitism rally draws crowd of over 500

Speakers attack Corbyn and Labour's tolerance of antisemitism

    Today's Campaign Against Antisemitism demo
    Today's Campaign Against Antisemitism demo

    A crowd of over 500 people have attended a second demonstration against antisemitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party on Sunday afternoon. 

    Organisers of the protest, which took place less than two weeks after a high-profile Parliament Square demo, claimed the gathering outside Labour’s headquarters in Victoria, central London reflected “deteriorating” relations between the community of Mr Corbyn’s party. 

    Many of those attending the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) demo carried Union Jack flags or banners reading ‘Zero Tolerance To Antisemitism.’ Organisers said the multitude of Union Jack flags helped make the point that this was a gathering of “British Jews. “

    Maureen Lipman drew loud applause from the crowd as she questioned Mr Corbyn's commitment to being "anti-racist".  

    She said: "You can easily be antisemitic and still call yourself anti-racist - and that's what he's doing."

    Ms Lipman added:"Everything you have heard today points to the fact we have an antisemite at the head of the British Labour Party."

    Actress Ms Lipman said she was now a "disenfranchised” socialist and claimed: "Jeremy Corbyn has made me a Tory.” She also said it was “appalling” that Mr Corbyn had attended a Seder organised the Jewdas group. 

    The demo also saw Gideon Falter, chair of the CAA, address the audience first.

    In an earlier radio interview Mr Falter defended the decision to go ahead with the demo so soon after the March 26th protest organised by the Board Of Deputies along with the Jewish Leadership Council.

    He said: "The Jewish community demonstrated two weeks ago saying 'Enough Is Enough' - but since then things have deteriorated even further. We filed a disciplinary complaint against Jeremy Corbyn which has been met with an initial rejection that is nothing more than a hurried whitewash trying to protect Mr Corbyn without even the formality of an investigation. We cannot stand for it.

    "Jews and non-Jews are now congregating outside the Labour Party headquarters demanding that it fulfils its duty to hold Jeremy Corbyn to account."

    Mr Falter also attacked the alleged double standards of Momentum founder Jon Lansman in tackling antisemitism.  Mr Lansman’s name was roundly booed by the crowd.

    At numerous stages during the demo crowds chanted: “Corbyn Out!” Others yelled: “Don’t vote Labour”, while a few said:”Vote Conservative.”

    Rabbi Joseph Dweck of the S&P Sephardi Community also spoke to the crowd - but pointedly he made no reference to Mr Corbyn in his speech.

    He said: "Standing silent allows for hate to take hold.  Sometimes you need to preach to the choir that this is not the time to be silent."

    Rabbi Dweck described the rally as a "first step."

    The JC has learned that the CAA had sent invitations to Lord Sugar and other dignitaries asking them to speak at the event, which the organisers claim had 2000 attendees. 

    But on Sunday afternoon, speakers addressing the crowd included longtime former Labour Party member and donor David Abrahams.

    But Mr Abrahams was shown little respect from the crowd as he said: ”We have to make we have good relations with Labour going forwards. Labour has traditionally been the home for Jewish people.”

    As the chants of “Corbyn Out!” grew louder, Mr Abrahams protested with the crowd to show tolerance. But this only led to louder chants of “Off! Off! Off!”

    Unlike the earlier ‘Enough Is Enough’ demo, which took place on Monday 26th March, none of the 40 Labour MPs and politicians from other parties were to be seen on Sunday. 

    Both the JLC and the Board have agreed to attend a meeting with Mr Corbyn in the aftermath of their demo.

    Other speakers at the demo included Holocaust survivor Agnes Grunwald-Spier and composer Joe Glasman, who now works as a volunteer for the CAA.

    Later Mr Abrahams told the JC he had found the crowd “feisty and vocal.”

    Another onlooker said:”This was just an anti-Labour demo. I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn will be quaking in his boots though.”
     

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