British Jews come together for Manchester rally against rising anti-Semitism in UK and Labour Party


(JTA) — More than 2,500 people demonstrated in Manchester, England, in a display of Jewish unity against increasing anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom and the problem of anti-Semitism in the British Labour Party.

Some 32 Jewish groups ranging from Orthodox to Progressive Reform came together to sponsor Sunday’s rally during a rainstorm in Britain’s second-largest Jewish community.

“Enough is enough,” said Raphi Bloom of North West Friends of Israel in opening the event in the Manchester city center, the Manchester Evening News reported. “We will not be scared, cowed or intimidated by these racists and we demand immediate action against the perpetrators of this anti-Semitism.”

Among the speakers were British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis; Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews; Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council; and several area lawmakers.

Margaret Hodge, a member of Parliament who recently called Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn “an anti-Semite and a racist,” spurring online anti-Semitic attacks, called for an “end to the vile racism against Jews,” according to the newspaper.

“I never, ever dreamt that my identity as a Jew and my work as public servant in the Labour Party would lead me to a rally protesting against anti-Semitism in my party, in our politics and in our communities,” she said.

“We’re standing together, we’re shouting to everybody, were making everybody hear that we mean what we say when we say enough is enough.”

Van der Zyl accused Corbyn of “complicity” in the party’s anti-Semitism problem.

“Labour should be concentrating on the great issues to affect our country… yet they chose to spend the summer picking a fight with the Jews,” she said, referring to the party’s efforts to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism in order to fight it.

Recommended from JTA