Antisemitic poster removed from Labour Party Conference by Sussex police

The police's reasoning behind the poster removal was racism.

By
September 23, 2019 14:51
2 minute read.
Antisemitic poster removed from Labour Party Conference by Sussex police

A man runs past a Labour Party sign with pictures of both Jeremy Corbyn and Britain’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, in north London. (photo credit: HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS)

Sussex Police removed a poster showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn  an antisemite. The poster was displayed at the 2019 UK Labour Conference in Brighton, England and removed on Sunday afternoon.

The poster features caricatures of both Corbyn and Netanyahu where the latter is seen piloting an Israeli fighter jet proceeding to launch missiles at the Labour leader standing who is speaking from a podium displaying the Palestinian flag, while the words 'antisemite, antisemite, antisemite' hang  in the air as the jet appears to be swooping towards him.

The photo is accompanied by a message saying, "IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance): Tell the NEC [National Executive Committee] how you feel."


The conference agenda included a discussion on rising antisemitism within the party,a question whether the party should officially adopt the IHRA's definition of antisemitism into their new code of conduct, Brexit, and other issues.

The police's determination for removing the poster was that it was deemed racist.

Labour has been struggling to revamp their image as strong claims emerged recently that the party allegedly suffers from deeply-rooted antisemitic, nationalistic and extremist views –  after which multiple Labour politicians resigned from the party – and criticism that  "institutional antisemitism" was becoming normalized within the left-wing group.

Corbyn, a veteran campaigner for Palestinian rights and critic of the Israeli government, has long been dogged by charges that he has allowed a culture of antisemitism to thrive in Britain's main opposition party, which he denies.

Eight lawmakers left the party earlier this year over antisemitism and Corbyn's position on Brexit, which has also angered many members who want Labour to adopt an unequivocal pro-European Union position.

More than 60 opposition Labour members of Britain's upper House of Parliament signed a statement in a July newspaper accusing leader Corbyn of failing "the test of leadership" over antisemitism in the party.

The statement in the Guardian newspaper, signed by several former ministers when Labour was in power from 1997 to 2010, has a stark message: "The Labour Party welcomes everyone* irrespective of race, creed, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. (*except, it seems, Jews)."

"You have failed to defend our party's anti-racist values. You have therefore failed the test of leadership."

The statement, signed by about a third of Labour members in the House of Lords include former ministers such as Peter Mandelson, who challenged whether the party could ever win a national election "if we can't get our own house in order."

Also in July, a BBC program reported that Corbyn's office had interfered in the independent party discipline processes aimed at rooting out antisemitism, a charge rejected by the party.

A Labour spokesman said the party stood "in solidarity with Jewish people and are fully committed to the support, defense and celebration of the Jewish community" and supports speeding up its procedures to deal with antisemitism cases.

"Regardless of false and misleading claims about the party by those hostile to Jeremy Corbyn's politics, Labour is taking decisive action against antisemitism," he said.

Corbyn has made clear through the media that antisemitism had no place in the party, he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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