THEY came in their hundreds to Manchester city centre on Sunday, from all parts of Britain, to show solidarity in the battle against antisemitism. Estimates put the number present at anything between 1,500 to 2,500, but who’s counting? The fact was that so many people were prepared to turn out in pouring rain, on a Sunday lunchtime, just before Yom Kippur, to make their feelings known.
There was a galaxy of political speakers from all parties. And the message was clear: antisemitism in Britain cannot and will not be tolerated in any form. It is a shame that all those present were on message anyway and that more who are prepared to espouse and tolerate antisemitism, particularly within the Labour Party, could not have heard what was being said and sensed the atmosphere of outrage and injustice.
But it was hardly surprising when one of the final speakers, Labour MP Lucy Powell, was barracked repeatedly with “Corbyn out!” She took exception to the interruptions, pointing out that she was on the side of the protesters, but by that time the crowd was restless. For two hours, they had heard speaker after speaker condemn antisemitism, but only Dame Margaret Hodge really got to grips with the root cause of the recent upsurge — the inability and unwillingness of Jeremy Corbyn to address the problems in his own party and his refusal to apologise for the offence he has caused British Jewry, over and again. None of the speakers demanded that Corbyn step down — and that is what the massed gathering wanted to hear — and did not.
The Editor and staff wish readers chag sameach