Momentum activists attack Labour councillors over antisemitism definition

Councillors said members from the pro-Jeremy Corbyn Momentum group threatened them for supporting the motion


Hard-left Labour activists shouted down Haringey Labour councillors who supported a motion to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, recognised by the government and now widely used in the public sector.

Councillor Joe Goldberg said members from the pro-Jeremy Corbyn Momentum group threatened him for supporting the motion while other speakers were also shouted down at the meeting on Monday night.

Immediately after the meeting, he wrote on Twitter: “Tonight I sat in Full Council threatened by Labour Party members for voting for motion on antisemitism while speakers were shouted down.”

A Momentum group on Facebook had earlier encouraged members to attend the north London council meeting to oppose the motion.

The group said Haringey Momentum was working with Haringey Justice for Palestinians to oppose the “proposed adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance guidelines on antisemitism.

“Some of the guidelines equate legitimate criticisms of the Israeli state with hatred towards Jews and therefore have the effect of suppressing support for the national rights of Palestinians.

“The campaign for councils to adopt these guidelines - which is not Labour Party national policy - has been ramped up in the context of the denigration of Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party.”

A national senior Momentum figure wrote on social media that Monday's protest was a "local decision" and was not backed by the main group.

The JC understands Labour chief whip Lorna Reith excused a number of councillors from voting after they indicated they would refuse to back the motion.

Councillor Joseph Ejiofor, Labour's deputy council leader in Haringey, has previously posted a link on Twitter to a Jewish Socialists' Group article which claims accusations of antisemitism in Labour were being "weaponised" to attack Jeremy Corbyn. Mr Ejiofor supported the motion at the meeting.

Despite the protests councillors voted to adopt the definition after a motion was proposed by council leader Claire Kober.

As the meeting concluded, the council posted a statement on Twitter which said: "Both parties on the council have proposed adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism as part of wider commitment to community cohesion."

Haringey Council is made up of 49 Labour councillors and eight Liberal Democrats.

  • This article has been amended to remove an earlier suggestion that Momentum activists had pledged to protest at two other councils in London this week

WATCH: Haringey council meeting disrupted by activists as it discusses adopting antisemitism definition: 


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