Tommy Sheppard MP made a speech calling for pressure on the British Government “to make sure that Israel does answer for its actions.”
However, at the sparsely-attended protest, there were signs with cartoons condemning “bogus antisemitism” and making use of the antisemitic Livingstone Formulation. The “Livingstone Formulation”, named by sociologist David Hirsch after the controversial former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, is used to describe how allegations of antisemitism are dismissed as malevolent and baseless attempts to silence criticism of Israel. In its report on antisemitism in the Labour Party, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found that suggestions of this nature were part of the unlawful victimisation of Jewish people in the Party.
The signs also claimed that “Zionism is Racism” and described the Labour Party’s Jewish affiliate and Friends of Israel faction are a “cancer”.
The signs appear to be associated with Labour Against Zionism and Islamophobic Racism (Lazir) and the so-called “Campaign Against Bogus Antisemitism”, both of which were founded by suspended Labour member Pete Gregson, who was expelled from the pro-Corbyn pressure group Momentum and from the GMB trade union and suspended from the Party after suggesting that the Holocaust was exaggerated and for abusive behaviour towards a female Jewish Labour member.
The rally Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh took place on 3rd June.
Several years ago, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards opened an investigation into an event hosted by Mr Sheppard MP, in which it is alleged that Jewish people were deliberately excluded.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.