Photo Credit: CAA / Facebook
Campaign Against Antisemitism screenshot of Facebook page

The UK-based Campaign Against Antisemitism is accusing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn with participation in a Facebook group rife with anti-Semitic activity, prior to his first weeks in the leadership.

A document released this week contained screenshots allegedly showing that Jeremy Corbyn was a participating member in the secret Facebook group called “Palestine Live” in which vehement anti-Semitism was posted, “right up until his first weeks as leader of the Labour Party,” the group alleged.

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The screenshots, gathered by blogger David Collier, catalogue exchanges which apparently took place within the Facebook group, including discussion of conspiracy myths about the Rothschild family and supposed Israeli involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as links to material produced by neo-Nazi groups.

The Facebook group’s membership reportedly includes numerous anti-Semites and Jew-baiters including Paul Eisen, Baroness Jenny Tonge and Gilad Atzmon, the group said. Some users were said to have shared articles by conspiracy theorist David Icke and David Duke, former grand wizard of the KKK. Other members of the group allegedly included Thomas Suarez and journalist, Paul Mason.

Among many posts, the screenshots show members of the group discussing whether they prefer the term “ZioNazi” to “JewNazi’. One member is shown commenting “am reading Mein Kampf [by Adolf Hitler]…everybody should be forced to read it, especially Jews who have their own agenda as to why they were not liked”.

The Labour Party’s logo is also displayed in the group alongside exhortations to join the Party, even as links to articles from neo-Nazi and white Supremacist websites such as the Daily Stormer and Veterans Today were circulated by group users.

The Facebook group appeared to link those responsible for disseminating extreme anti-Semitism with a host of current supporters and members of Corbyn’s team, as well as sitting members of the House of Lords and the Labour Party’s leadership team. Clive Lewis MP appeared to be a member, as did Corbyn’s son, Seb, and a key member of his inner team, Jack Bond. Former Labour counselor Terry Couchman and members of so-called ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’ also appeared to have been present.

Corbyn allegedly stooped to personally comment in threads that include the term “Zio”, which even Baroness Chakrabarti’s whitewash report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party condemned as an unacceptable term of abuse. He also allegedly collaborated with group members to organize an anti-Israel event that took place in his own office.

Following the meeting on October 3, 2017, in a thread contributed to by activists who overtly disseminate anti-Semitism, Corbyn acknowledged those who organized the event, and apologized for his absence. In one comment he aligned himself with a group member who declared that “Israel is illegitimate” and in another he praised the controversial Dr. Mads Gilbert, who said of the 9/11 attacks: “The oppressed also have a moral right to attack the USA with any weapon they can come up with.”

“There is no conceivable justification for Jeremy Corbyn’s participation in this group. One of Mr. Corbyn’s slogans is ‘standing up, not standing by,’ but in this case he has not stood up but instead he actively joined in,” said Joseph D. Glasman, head of Political and Government Investigations at Campaign Against Antisemitism.

“As a result of these allegations, we will be filing a disciplinary complaint to the Labour Party against Jeremy Corbyn, Clive Lewis, Sebastian Corbyn and Jack Bond, submitting that participation in such a Facebook group is “grossly detrimental” to the Party under Chapter 2, Clause I (8) of the Party’s rule book, as well as breaching the Labour Party Social Media Policy agreed by the National Executive Committee in 2016, which requires that Party members report “hateful language” by other Labour Party members.

“We will also be reviving our disciplinary complaint against Mr. Corbyn from September 2016 which the Labour Party has ignored until now. We further call on all MPs of all parties to condemn the alleged participation of Mr Corbyn and others within the group,” Glasman added.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.