Chuka Umunna has identified problems with anti-Semitism “on the fringes of the left”, and singled out Ken Livingstone as the “obvious example” of someone who has “very much offended” Jewish people.
Speaking to The House magazine, the Labour MP said: “I think there is a problem with anti-Semitism on the fringes of the left, there is no doubt about that; it would be completely disingenuous to deny that. And there are some people who have clearly said some things which have very much offended the Jewish community. Ken Livingstone’s the obvious example.”
In 2005, Livingstone, the left-wing former London mayor, faced heavy criticism after he likened a Jewish newspaper reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard.
Livingstone later said the incident was “a huge fuss over nothing”, and attacked the Jewish community for being “obsessive” about his relationship with an extremist preacher.
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A community meeting in a gentrifying neighborhood of Philadelphia was forced to end abruptly after local activists hurled anti-Semitic comments at Jewish real estate developers.
At the Feb. 22 meeting in Point Breeze, in South Philadelphia, activists with Concerned Citizens of Point Breeze yelled “Go back to Israel!” and other insults at developers who were making presentations, Philly.com reported.
“This was not one person with a screw loose. This was a mob mentality,” Ori Feibush, a local developer who is Jewish but was not presenting at the meeting, told Philly.com.
One witness, who asked not to be identified, told Philly.com he heard someone shout “Go back to Lakewood,” a town in New Jersey with a large concentration of Orthodox Jews.
City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said that while past meetings concerning gentrification have “become heated,” it “never rose to this level of disrespect.”
Johnson, who was not at the meeting but heard about it from an aide who was attending, added that “those comments — whether anti-Semitic or racial — are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
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A GLEN Eira councillor has been censured by fellow councillors for making disparaging remarks in the council chamber about the Jewish community.
In a tense council meeting on Tuesday night, Oscar Lobo’s eight fellow councillors unanimously voted to censure him for comments that, in the words of the motion, were “racist and anti-Semitic”.
During a debate on community security at Glen Eira Council’s December 15 meeting, Lobo, who has served as Glen Eira’s deputy mayor, caused outrage by remarking that maybe the Jewish community “wouldn’t have to worry about being attacked if they didn’t draw attention to themselves”.
A statement from B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission chair Dr Dvir Abramovich was read to the council, in which he said blaming Jews for anti-Semitism “is one of the oldest and most pernicious anti-Semitic myths”.
Councillors also voted unanimously to adopt a second motion censuring Lobo for remarks he made “that he has been the subject of racism” in the council chamber and urging Lobo “to undertake counselling” which the council was prepared to facilitate.
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