Two Jewish Labour councillors have spoken for the first time about the antisemitism they have experienced from Momentum’s Haringey branch in north London.
Joe Goldberg told the Sunday Times that it has become impossible to be a Jewish Labour councillor.
Mr Goldberg and Natan Doron said that members of Momentum and fellow Labour councillors regularly abused them with references to the Holocaust.
Mr Goldberg, the council’s cabinet member for economic development, said one councillor compared academy schools to “Kristallnacht.” The same councillor was reported to have to accused Mr Goldberg of “bagel-barrel politics.
“This is not just on social media. Many members have repeated to me assertions about Jews having big noses, controlling the media and being wealthy,” Cllr Goldberg said. “It has become impossible to operate as a Jewish councillor in the Haringey party without having your views and actions prejudged or dismissed in terms that relate to your ethnicity.”
His colleague Cllr Doron also suffered similar abuse. He said that when he was out canvassing his fellow Labour members were abusive to him. “One of them started having a rant about how Israel was a Nazi country and I had no right to be offended because Israel had no right to exist,” he said.
Haringey council has seen more that 20 councillors resign or be deselected. They are expected to be replaced in May’s local elections by pro-Momentum candidates.
Both Mr Goldberg and Mr Doron have resigned.
When Mr Goldberg announced he was resigning, a Haringey Momentum activist, Shahab Mossavat, tweeted: “At least [you] will have more time to count your money.”
Mr Doron said: “People are worried and scared and Haringey Labour is definitely not a safe space for Jews. This is 100% not the party I joined.”
Mr Goldberg said complaints he made to local officials were not dealt with.
“I complained to the Labour whip, Lorna Reith, but she told me anti-semitism was a ‘debatable term,” he said.
Responding to the Sunday Times Ms Reith said: “It doesn’t sound like anything I would say.”
Ms Reith, who retweeted a picture equating Israel’s military attacks on Gaza to the Holocaust on Holocaust Memorial Day in January 2015, said Mr Goldberg had not responded to her invitations to meet.