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Jewish councillor accuses party of failing to discipline Labour member over antisemitic posts

Labour councillor Adam Langleben tweeted that he 'put in a complaint in July and to date no action has been taken'

    Councillor Adam Langleben said the party had taken no action, despite his report in July (Credit: Twitter/ @adamlangleben)

    A Jewish Labour councillor has shared antisemitic content on social media, claiming that it was first posted by a member of his local party and urging the member to be expelled.

    Councillor Adam Langleben said he was forced to post the material after the Labour Party failed to take action following his complaint about the member four months ago.

    Councillor Langleben, of the West Hendon ward in north-west London, tweeted that he hoped “by sharing these images it will apply and people sharing will apply the necessary pressure for action to be taken.

    “There is a member of the Labour Party in the constituency where I am a councillor. She is an antisemite. I put in a complaint in July and to date no action has been taken. She continues to attend meetings and take part in street stalls. I believe in due process and I had hoped that my formal complaint would lead to a swift and speedy conclusion... But it has not.”

    Councillor Langleben said that the member in question, who he did not name, ran a Twitter account called “GazaBoatConvoy”.

    Examples of tweets from the GazaBoatConvoy account which he shared include: “Hear it from a Jewish grandmother how Jews love money and are a bunch of crooks”, “Must still be plenty shekels to be wrung out of the memory of the Holocaust. #HolocaustIndustry” and “All Jews are above the law – as in, they cheat the laws of Moses etc. God gives edicts, they set their Rabbis to find ways around them”.

    Tweets the account has shared include an age old antisemitic trope, adapted for a new generation, that “Zionists” poisoned Palestinian wells, as well as the statement that “Judaism isn’t a religion, it’s an enormous crime syndicate” and picture of “Wall Street Jews” along with the caption “speaking of Nazis… whoever heard of a Nazi swindler?”

    The person running the account describes themselves as a Labour member who had joined the party as part of its £3 membership offer in 2015 specifically to vote for Jeremy Corbyn, tweeting in April 2016 that “I want my £3 back. I thought Corbyn would rid Labour of Zionist occupation. Seems he buckled under Zio bullying”.

    At the time of writing, Councillor Langleben’s tweets on the subject have been shared over 1000 times on social media. He urged the party to “expel this member.”

    On Tuesday, in a speech to the Labour Friends of Israel lunch, Emily Thornberry, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, said “there can be no place in our party for anyone who holds antisemitic views or who denies the right of Israel to exist, and any people who hold those views must and will be drummed out of our party.”

    Joan Ryan MP, the parliamentary chair of LFI, told the lunch that ““Our party does not have a problem with ‘all forms of racism’. It has a problem with antisemitism. And we will never be able to confront it until we acknowledge that fact.”

    Speaking to the JC, Councillor Langleben said that in July he had sent the party’s compliance unit “the full dossier, of everything I had” on the member in question, which included the tweets the councillor published last night, as well as further material.

    Mr Langleben said that what had led to his decision to tweet about this member now, four months later, was her presence at a constituency Labour party meeting last week.

    “She just can’t be there anymore. To my mind, it’s such a clear cut issue – there’s no ambiguity in this one,” he said.

    He added that since tweeting “he had received a response [from the Labour compliance unit] and they’re looking into it.” He also said that the general response to his tweets had been “overwhelmingly positive. But clearly there’s been a whole bunch of antisemitic filth thrown at me.”

    What had angered him the most about this case, he said, was that the person in question was “abusing the Palestinian cause” to promote a “sick and twisted” view of Jews.

    “I think exposing that is important”, he continued. “There are millions of people who care about the Palestinians, and they go about that without being antisemitic. But there is a… narrow strain of pro-Palestinian activism which engages in the blatant antisemitism that we’d expect from the BNP or the Nazi party”.

    Mr Langleben belongs to the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). They said: "Adam is a senior member of the JLM Executive. We stand foursquare behind his complaint and await swift and appropriate action from the Party."

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