UK Labour party suspends members in Facebook group rife with antisemitic posts
Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP, file
The UK Labour party has suspended several party members who reportedly posted antisemitic material in a closed Facebook group said to be bristling with Holocaust conspiracy theories and anti-Israel rhetoric, British media reported on Thursday.
David Collier, a British-based blogger and self-proclaimed antisemitism expose, published a 280-page dossier detailing the derogatory content shared in the 3000-member-strong secret group known as ‘Palestine Live.’
His report provides an in-depth description of the group’s activities including one member discussing his reading of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography ‘Mein Kampf’, whilst others peppered their posts with terms such as “ZioNazi” and “JewNazi.” Meanwhile, debates centered on whether Israel was involved in the 9/11, Paris terror attacks and the training of Islamic State fighters.
Most revelatory, was the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s past membership of the group, to which he was said to have been a member of for approximately a year up until September 2015 when he left just prior to assuming his senior position.
The admin of the group founded in 2013, Paul Eisen, is a known Holocaust denier. Other notable members include Baroness Jenny Tonge, a pro-Palestinian activist, as well as Labour Member of Parliament Clive Lewis and Jeremy Corbyn’s son Seb who is senior aide to the current Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.
The Labour party, already embroiled in a number of incidents relating to anti-Semitism, launched its official investigation following the allegations, promising to enforce disciplinary action Labour party members using derogatory language. Suspensions have since targeted a number of individuals, however their names remained anonymous.
Whilst Corbyn was a member of the group, there appears to be no evidence that he made anti-Semitic comments or engaged in hate speech.
“I have never trawled through the whole group. I have never read all the messages on it. I have removed myself from it,” he told the Press Association. “Obviously, any anti-Semitic comment is wrong. Any anti-Semitism in any form is wrong.”
Since Corbyn assumed leadership of the Labour party a series of controversies relating to his seemingly one-sided pro-Palestinian rhetoric, failure to stamp out anti-Semitism in his party and past actions, have led to a tumultuous relationship with British Jewry.
Corbyn has been criticized for the company he keeps and has come under fire for referring to Lebanon’s powerful Shiite militia Hezbollah and Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas as “friends” urging dialogue with the latter, as well as meeting representatives of both organizations.
"Jeremy and the Labour Party are implacably opposed to all forms of anti-Semitism and will take whatever necessary action to stamp it out in the Labour Party,” Corbyn’s spokesman said. "It is repugnant if there are anti-Semitic posts - and I gather there are. If they involve anyone to do with the Labour Party then investigation and disciplinary action will be taken."
Director of Labour Friends of Israel, Jennifer Gerber harshly rebuked the recent revelations. “That Jeremy Corbyn was a member of a Facebook group frequented by anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and Israel-hating conspiracy theorists is both appalling and utterly unsurprising,” she said. “We have long known about the kind of company that he keeps and this is simply further confirmation of a deeply disturbing pattern of behavior.”
The Palestine Live group shares white supremacist material. They hate the #Jews and make up stories about them. The UK flag is seen as a symbol of hate. The name #Churchill makes them froth at the mouth. Play join the dots. Work out who #Corbyn hangs out with.
— David Collier (@mishtal) March 9, 2018
“Mr. Corbyn has repeatedly failed to apologize to the Jewish community and to recognize the hurt caused by his past actions and associations. Now would be a good time for him to do so,” she added.
Although he launched a government-wide inquiry to investigate rising anti-Semitism within the party in April 2016, many have rebuked it as a “whitewash”, leading to little or no visible change.
Many have slammed his inadequate disciplinary action for party members accused of engaging in anti-Semitic rhetoric. Former London May Ken Livingstone, suspended from Labour in 2016 for claiming that Adolf Hitler once support Zionism “before he went mad”, despite a delayed suspension, is set to return to the party.
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Full of Nazi in the Labour party. British Jews should get out of the party unless they are ok w Nazi and communists.
So many Jews have sided with socialists & communists over 100 years. These can't be people of the book!
all Jews should abandon all of Europe... not just the UK