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Call by Campaign Against Anti-Semitism for Labour to discipline Jeremy Corbyn over Brick Lane racist mural

PUBLISHED: 11:56 26 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:31 27 March 2018

Anti-Semitic Brick Lane mural depicting grotesque imagery by artist 'Meah One' on a wall in Hanbury Street in 2012 before Tower Hamlets Council had it removed. Picture: Peter Golds

Anti-Semitic Brick Lane mural depicting grotesque imagery by artist 'Meah One' on a wall in Hanbury Street in 2012 before Tower Hamlets Council had it removed. Picture: Peter Golds

Peter Golds

The row in which Labour’s national party leader Jeremy Corbyn is accused of fermenting anti-semitism over a racist mural on a wall in Brick Lane six years ago has led to mass demonstrations planned outside parliament today and next month.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews stages a demo at 5.30pm this-evening, while the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism holds a mass protest in central London on April 8.

The mural—first revealed exclusively in the East London Advertiser in October, 2012—was hurriedly removed after Tower Hamlets Council used planning regulations and receiving complaints from councillors.

It appeared to get endorsement from Jeremy Corbyn in a Facebook comment before he became party leader, while the artwork depicting grotesquely anti-Semitic imagery of “Jewish bankers” was still visible.

He posted a response on the artist’s Facebook page saying: “You are in good company—Rockerfeller destroyed Diego Viera’s mural because it includes a picture of Lenin.”

Campaigners are demanding Corbyn be disciplined after no action was taken following a previous complaint two years ago that the Labour leader “has brought the party into disrepute for endorsing extremist race hate” views.

“We accuse the party of complicity and promoting anti-Semitic racism,” the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism’s Joseph Glassman said.

“Labour under Corbyn is now a racist party. Most Labour MPs with heroic exceptions have merely wrung their hands and spoken fine words without at any point or putting themselves at risk.”

He is calling for all Labour MPs and rank-and-file party members to “act and support our disciplinary complaint”.

Mr Glassman added: “This is the point of no return—future generations are watching.”

The campaign is restating a disciplinary complaint against Corbyn made in 2016 which also charged him with dismissing anti-semitism and “participation in and lies about the anti-Semitic ‘Palestine Live’ Facebook group.

It denounces his “defence” of the Brick Lane mural that “even he now admits was anti-Semitic”.

Jewish community leaders fear the national party has been “seized by racists” who back Holocaust deniers, genocidal antisemitic terrorist groups, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and “a litany of Jew-haters”.

They urge Britain to “stand up for its Jewish community—to be silent is to condone”.

The 20ft by 30ft Brick Lane mural appeared in 2012 over Yom Kippur and the Jewish New Year.

The issue was raised in a letter to the Advertiser newspaper by Tower Hamlets Tory Opposition leader Peter Golds, complaining that it bore a similarity to Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda in pre-war Germany.

The mural by American artist ‘Mear One’, painted on private property owned by a Brick Lane curry restaurant owner, was also condemned by Tower Hamlets Inter-Faith Forum.

The forum’s chairman, Church of England Area Dean The Rev Alan Green, Rector of St John on Bethnal Green, complained that it had images used for centuries to incite hatred and persecution of Jews.

Jeremy Corbyn claims Labour is an anti-racist party and insists: “I utterly condemn anti-Semitism, which is why as party leader I will not tolerate any form of it that exists in our movement”.

He later apologised for any “pockets of anti-Semitism” in the party.

But it hasn’t placated the community which is going ahead with a protest by the Jewish Board of Deputies at Parliament Square at 5.30 this-evening and the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism’s central London mass demo at 2pm on April 8.

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