A British Member of Parliament of Palestinian Arab descent has denounced the defacing of bus-stops in London with “Israel is a racist endeavour” posters as “blatantly anti-Semitic,” The Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday.
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who represents Oxford West and Abingdon, told the BBC: “I’m a Palestinian… The fact that this has come from a group that purportedly is speaking for Palestinians, I take great offence at myself, because I think it is blatantly antisemitic.” She clarified that “there are extremes in the Israeli government… But to say that an entire country is racist is entirely wrong.”
Moran was responding to comments made by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who stated that “It is not at all anti-Semitic to describe a state as racist.”
The posters were meant to mock the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which Labour reluctantly adopted in full last week with a caveat vowing “free speech” on Israel. The IHRA definition, which gives calling “a state of Israel… a racist endeavour” as an example of anti-Semitism.
London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan on Thursday ordered the signs to be taken down and described them as “offensive.” A spokesman for Corbyn refused to condemn the posters because Labour was not officially involved in the campaign by Palestinian activists.
The party, meanwhile, has come under fire again, after an Iranian state-owned TV station, which had its license revoked in Britain in 2012 over claims that editorial decisions were being made in Tehran, carried footage of a local party meeting passing a vote of no confidence in the Enfield North MP, Joan Ryan.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Ryan said that Iranian journalists from Press TV had “infiltrated” the party and had targeted her because of her support for Israel: “I’m horrified that they’ve infiltrated the Labour party in this way and I think it needs to be investigated, because it is incredibly serious.”
[Photo: Liberal Democrats/YouTube]