Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

UK Labour suspends members over anti-Semitic Facebook page

UK Labour suspends members over anti-Semitic Facebook page

The call was supported by a new pressure group Scottish Labour for the Single Market, headed by former leader Kezia Dugdale, Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray, MEP Catherine Stihler and several constituency Labour parties.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is to open the Party's conference in the Scottish city of Dundee on March 9, claiming that his shadow cabinet is a "government in waiting", on the verge of seizing a further twenty electoral seats in Scotland at the next election.

Corbyn added that he had not seen the anti-Semitic posts on the group.

And because the most active members of this Facebook group also tend to be the more anti-Semitic ones, their views set the tone for the group as a whole. In one thread, a member comments "I$3 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", reported the Jewish Press.

"Obviously, any anti-Semitic comment is wrong".

The Palestine Live group was founded in 2013 and had a privacy setting that meant administrators could add people to the group without their agreeing to it.

Jacqueline Walker, the former Momentum steering group member who is suspended from Labour for comments calling Jewish people "the main financiers of the slave trade", is also a member. "I am very very careful, it is a secret group".

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Yesterday, Mr Corbyn's spokesman said: "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".

However, Jennifer Gerber, the director of Labour Friends of Israel, argued that Corbyn's membership in Palestine Live, itself, was problematic, "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".

Sky News understands disciplinary procedures are under way over the Palestine Live group on the social network, amid allegations anti-Semitic posts were shared.

"As anyone knows, in social media all sorts of things are posted which often others participating aren't even aware of", the spokersperson, who was not named, was quoted as saying.

While the Labour Party's logo was allegedly displayed in the group in connection with pleas to join the Party, group members posted links to neo-Nazi websites and other incendiary content. If they involve anyone to do with the Labour Party then investigation and disciplinary action will be taken'. Last night, it complained about the page after it was discovered by blogger David Collier.

However, the CAA said there was "no conceivable justification" for Mr Corbyn's involvement in the group and that it would be filing a complaint against him to Labour.

With Tories at Westminster and the SNP administration at Holyrood locked in a bitter dispute over what should happen to devolved powers once these are returned from Brussels, Mr Corbyn said Theresa May's party had "played right into the SNP's hands in hoarding power for themselves in the back corridor of Westminster".

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