The consultation on plans for a National Holocaust Memorial has attracted antisemitic claims of a "well-funded Holocaust industry" and complaints that Jews are given "special privileges”.
The claims appear online on the planning application to Westminster City Council for the National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Houses of Parliament.
Ian Austin MP and Bob Blackman MP, Co-Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Holocaust Memorial told the JC they were "shocked" to read "antisemitic remarks about Jewish people and the Holocaust."
The former Labour MP, now sitting as an independent, and the Conservative member for Harrow East both called for the Council "to monitor these posts and ensure this type of language is removed straight away."
One response to the plans from a public of the public says: “EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THAT THE SERVICE APPEARS TO BE DISCRIMINATORY, UNLAWFUL AND RACIST , BECAUSE IT WOULD APPEAR THAT MONEY AND ASSETS PER CAPITA ARE BEING GIVEN DISPROPORTIONATELY TO JEW MEMORIAL SERVICES.”
The same message continues: “Jews only make up 0.5% of the population of the UK and one would expect any memorial to Genocide built in Victoria Tower Gardens to reflect that figure.
“ANY MEMORIAL MUST LARGELY REFLECT WHITE BRITISH VICTIMS OF GENOCIDE.”
Another comment says:”The well-funded holocaust industry could buy a plot of land anywhere in London to erect a memorial centre.”
Another submission said: “I am concerned by the ethnic and religious makeup of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation. There appears to be a grossly disproportionate number of Jews both on the board and Jury of the UKHMF relative to the jew population of 0.5% of the UK population, which appears to be discriminatory, unlawful and racist.”
Another response read: “If jews want a memorial why can't jews build a memorial in the new Jewish Cemetery at Bushey, safe and secure for jews and everyone else and the country saves £100million.
"Westminster council do your duty and protect the kids & tourists & jews. No memorial = no terror attacks on the memorial = no people die. The logic is compelling. “
Mr Austin and Mr Blackman added: "Ignorance and hate have led to horrific crimes throughout history and these posts highlight just how much a new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre is needed.
"This Memorial and Learning Centre, next to Parliament, will stand as a lasting reminder of the need for each one of us to stand up and tackle prejudice and intolerance wherever and whenever it is found."
On Monday, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was among those to add messages of support for the £50 million project.
The Chief Rabbi - who was on the panel of judges to pick the preferred memorial design alongside Holocaust survivor Sir Ben Helfgott and London Mayor Sadiq Khan - wrote: “The memorial will act as a permanent reminder of Britain's role in easing the suffering caused by the Holocaust.
“ It will commemorate the time when our nation acted to save and protect Jewish people from persecution and murder and remind us that we should never close our doors to those who need our help. It will also take a sobering look at our continental history, challenging future generations to safeguard our society from the very worst crimes against humanity.
“The memorial will provide a unique reminder of the fundamental responsibility that our democratic institutions share - to stand up for our values, and to cultivate a new generation of engaged citizens that can hold decision makers to account for decades to come."
Other people commented online in support of the prokect. One identified herself as the widow of a Shoah survivor. She wrote: "Even though mainland Britain wasn't occupied, the Channel Islands were. It is very important to have a memorial and an education centre as a national place of memory, communication and understanding.
"I think it is very important to have it in the capital and where it is next to Westminster is very good.”
Holocaust survivor Jan Goldberger, who lives in Cricklewood, wrote the memorial was important because "there are already deniers".
"The Holocaust is well documented even the perpetrators admit it... The memorial helps us all remember. It should definitely be outside parliament. It is very important that there is a learning centre.”
In February, plans for the national monument suffered a blow after the Royal Parks, which manages Victoria Tower Gardens, submitted a letter of objection.
The Royal Parks called the gardens a “highly sensitive location in planning and heritage terms”, objecting to the proposal “given the impact it will have on a popular public amenity space in an area of the capital with few public parks”.
Most Westminster residents have expressed support for the project.
Speaking at an Association of Jewish Refugees 80th Anniversary of the Kindertransport event on Monday, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: “I want to reassure our country’s Holocaust survivors, Kinder and refugees that this important Memorial will be delivered, because we remain determined that our country stands together against the hatred, ignorance and bigotry that led to the Holocaust and other genocides."
He added: “Moreover, it is right that the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre should be next to our Houses of Parliament, at the heart of our democracy, standing as an important reminder of parliament’s power to oppress – and its duty to protect.”
Sources at Westminster Council confirmed moderators had tried to remove antisemitic comments from their planning portal but that some had then been reposted.
The council had been using the IHRA definition of antisemitism to determine what posts could be considered to be unacceptable.
A Westminster City Council spokesperson said: “It is extremely concerning to find anti-Semitic comments posted on our website. These have now been removed.
“The opportunity for members of the public to comment on planning applications is an important part of the planning process. There are valid arguments for and against any application and comments from the public help us reach informed decisions. However abusive and threatening comments are totally unacceptable.
“We will continue to monitor comments on the website and ensure any anti-Semitic or abusive remarks are removed.