Antisemitic graffiti in UK city blamed on Labour Party activists

'Jewish lies matter' was daubed on walls as Labour Party in turmoil over readmission of Jeremy Corbyn.

Antisemitic graffiti found in Brighton and Hove, England, November 17, 2020. (photo credit: AMANDA MENAHEM)
Antisemitic graffiti found in Brighton and Hove, England, November 17, 2020.
(photo credit: AMANDA MENAHEM)
Two large graffiti signs with the words “Jewish lies matter” were found in the English city of Brighton and Hove on Tuesday.
They appeared on the same day that the Labour Party readmitted former leader Jeremy Corbyn. He recently had been suspended for downplaying the results of an investigation that found Labour mishandled complaints of antisemitism within the party under his leadership.
The graffiti was spray-painted in black on a wall near the coastal promenade in the southeastern city and on what appeared to be a municipal shed near a park square.
Antisemitic graffiti found in Brighton and Hove, England, November 17, 2020. (photo: Amanda Menahem).
The graffiti was “reflective of a nasty Jew-hating cohort [within the city] who are obsessed and fixated with us,” Naomi Kapuza, a resident of Brighton and Hove, told The Jerusalem Post.
“I have no doubt that this graffiti is in response to the Labour Party disciplinary meeting happening the same day, during which they decided to reinstate Jeremy Corbyn, and the allegation that Jews are making up the charges of antisemitism,” she said.
Brighton and Hove has become a hotbed of antisemitism in recent years due to the strong presence of Labour and Green Party activists. In 2014, Israeli-owned SodaStream was forced to close down its profitable local outlet following a two-year-long boycott campaign against it.
Anti-Israel activism has since developed into open antisemitism.
In 2018, a Labour activist called for a “march on the synagogues.” The following year, a red substance was found splashed across the doors of Brighton’s Middle Street Synagogue, a 144-year-old building that is Grade II listed. The police were reluctant to investigate, dismissing the substance as a drink that had merely been splashed and deeming the incident not to be malicious.
Kapuza was unconvinced.
“The incidents and vile rhetoric from Labour and left-wing activists over the years in this city leave me in no doubt as to what these people really believe,” she said, adding that all of the city’s MPs represent either the Labour Party or the Green Party.
“A local community group is regularly awash with vindictive commentary, blaming Jews for Corbyn losing the general election,” she said.
The Labour Party is in turmoil after its National Executive Committee ruled on Tuesday to readmit Corbyn following his three-week suspension.
Reports of antisemitism with the party were “dramatically overstated for political reasons” by opponents and “much of the media,” Corbyn had said. However, he later walked back those remarks, giving the committee grounds to reinstate him.
In response to Corbyn’s readmission, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said: “I know that this has been another painful day for the Jewish community and those Labour members who have fought so hard to tackle antisemitism.”
He later withdrew the whip from Corbyn, who will sit as an independent MP.
The decision to reinstate him was a “retrograde step for the party in its relations with the Jewish community,” the Board of Deputies of British Jews said.
Corbyn’s readmission showed that “the Jewish community has been conned” by the party, said Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Kapuza said the Jewish leadership did not speak for her or many other British Jews on this matter.
“In order for Jews to be conned by a Corbynite from the Labour Party yet again, they would have to be either extremely gullible or else in denial,” she said.
“To be conned, one would need to have accepted Keir Starmer’s promise,” Kapuza said. “To do that, one would need to have denied his collaboration with the Corbyn regime over many years.”
“I find it humiliating to have some spokespeople claiming to speak for us, talking about the Jewish community in this way,” she said. “It is inaccurate and does not reflect the sensible and strong nature of so many of us. If people say the Jewish community was conned, they are saying that we were gullible and trusted someone who had only shown us he was untrustworthy, as though we are all stupid. I do not believe any but a very small minority of British Jews actually chose to believe Keir Starmer.”
Starmer had failed to stand with his Jewish Labour Party colleagues who faced abuse under Corbyn’s leadership, Kapuza said.
She likened the willingness by some Jews to trust his leadership as being “like someone returning to an abusive partner again and again.” Those people were in a state of denial, she added.
“I don’t believe most British Jews are feeling conned by the Labour Party at all,” Kapuza said. “I believe most Jews are thinking: ‘This is exactly what we expected.’”