A giant left-wing political banner in one of Britain’s biggest cities has been condemned as antisemitic for portraying Theresa May wearing Star of David earrings.
The banner, which was hung at the Bearpit roundabout in Bristol, depicted Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May facing each other, with positive slogans endorsing Jeremy Corbyn and negative statements about Theresa May’s policies.
As well as the earrings, the word “Balfour” was also written on the poster next to Theresa May. This November will mark the centenary of the signing of the Balfour Declaration, which called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”, as well as saying that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country”.
In April the UK government rejected calls by the Palestinian Authority to apologise for the declaration, with the Board of Deputies welcoming “the government’s strong, principled stance”.
A Jewish resident of the city told the JC he was “incredibly sad and angry that the place both me and my partner, who is also Jewish, live is rife with such disgusting views.
“It's even more worrying that the Bristol city council have given these views credence by allowing them to be shown in such public space such as The Bearpit, which is driven past by thousands of motorists a day”.
He condemned the banner as antisemitic, saying “the Magen David [Star of David] earrings are clearly implying that the Jews/Israel have hegemony over our government, which is a century old antisemitic trope.”
Nima Masterson, one of the organisers who put up the banner, told the Bristol Post that it was not meant to be antisemitic, saying that the earrings were “a tiny element of the whole banner.
“What we are doing with that symbol – it’s an earring – is a reference to Theresa May’s Government’s relationship with Israel.
“It is a critique of her foreign policy, rather than against religion.
“I’m definitely not an antisemite”, Mr Masterson continued.
“I have Jewish friends, and my half brother and sister are Jewish.
“This is about foreign policy.”
Bristol city council confirmed the poster has now been removed. It was reported to the council and police.