(JTA) — An activist suspended by Britain’s Labour Party for, among other things, saying Jews led the slave trade has accused the country’s top Jewish governing body of trying to shut down her one-woman show.
Jackie Walker, whose show “The Lynching” is to open Friday night as part of the Edinburgh Festival, accused the Board of Deputies of British Jews of attempting to have her show canceled, London’s Jewish Chronicle reported.
“The Board of Deputies attempts to have The Lynching shut down,” Lynch wrote on her Facebook page Friday morning. “[I] thought traditionally Jews were against book burning.”
In an accompanying video she says: “This morning we were told that the British Board of Deputies have written to our venue to ask that they should close down the show.
“What I don’t get about these people is, if they are concerned, why don’t they just come and see the show? Why do they have to stop everyone else coming? You always have to ask why do organisations want people to be silenced?”
Board officials told the Jewish Chronicle that they had contacted the Edinburgh Council, which owns the venue where the performance will be held, to express its concern that “this performance [is] being held on publicly-owned and funded premises.”
“We contacted the council to inform it that Jackie Walker had been suspended from the Labour Party and removed as vice-chair of Momentum because of her repeated offensive and false comments about Jews being ‘chief financiers of the slave trade’ – which they weren’t; Holocaust Memorial Day ignoring other genocides – which it doesn’t; and Jewish institutions exaggerating the security threat against them – which, given the deadly terrorist attacks against Jewish schools, synagogues and museums in Europe in recent years, is both patently false and staggeringly ignorant,” Marie van der Zyl, the Board of Deputies vice president, told the Chronicle.
Walker has served as vice chair of Momentum, a grassroots group supporting Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been accused of tolerating a climate of anti-Semitic and harshly anti-Israel behavior among party activists.
Walker’s Facebook page is largely dedicated to attacks on Israel and support for its critics. Her show is expected to be about those themes. A poster advertising the show reads, “To oppose Israel is not to be antisemitic.”