JVL statement on antisemitic posts on social media

As a Jewish organisation of Labour Party members, we are appalled and sickened at antisemitic posts which have been pointed out on social media. We would never tolerate such posts among our members, nor any form of racism or other bigotry. In fact, in the last few weeks, our members have also been subject to abusive attacks on social media and by email. Where hate crimes appear to have been committed, we urge people to report them to the police.

We note that the Sunday Times has drawn attention to some antisemitic posts in Facebook groups which claim to support Jeremy Corbyn. We must emphasise that these groups do not represent us nor the Labour Party, and we have no control over them.

We note also that there may well be members of these groups who have been signed up to them without their knowledge, and who have never participated in them. Furthermore, among the very large number of members, and the much larger number of posts, these represent a very tiny proportion. They may never have been noticed by some of those who participated in good faith in these groups.

Nevertheless, we would urge our members, and all members of the Labour Party, to challenge all such bigotry when they see it.

The Labour Party is committed to equality, fairness and the eradication of all forms of racism. We are proud, as Jewish socialists, to be drawing on a long tradition in our communities as part of that project.

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Postscript, 2 April 2018

We have been criticised, and accept, that we didn’t begin to understand the problems that Corbyn supporters’ groups with many thousands and thousands of members face in monitoring the posts, comments, and comments on comments, that flood in every day. We are happy to withdraw any implication that they don’t try hard to deal with the issue of hate posts and now recognise they are very successful in doing so given that the 2000 incidents identified represent a very tiny percentage of posts and comments on these groups. We understand that they find any hate posts just as abhorrent as we do and have invited Wendy Patterson to write an article for our website on the work of these groups.