Labour antisemites have taken to Facebook in the wake of Israel’s victory in the Eurovision song contest to claim the competition was rigged.
Members of the notorious Labour Party Forum Facebook called Israel a “terrorist state”, and compared the country to both Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa.
The antisemitic comments were triggered by a now-deleted post to the group saying “congratulations Israel – mazel tov!” following their victory in the contest
Members of the group soon piled in criticise Israel and its victory in the contest, with many claiming that the contest had been rigged by Israel to cover for its activities in Palestine. One member named Shane Selfe commented “fix” before asking “how much more land will they steal from Palestine, Syria and Lebanon as a celebration or how many people [will] they murder because they won this”. Jim Butler-Daulby claimed it was “a propaganda exercise for Israel” and responded to users questioning his conspiracy theory by saying “don’t pretend to be so naïve”. Other members claimed the Israelis had won the contest so they could “broadcast propaganda whilst hiding the genocide of the Palestinian people”.
Israel was described by many as a “terrorist state”, with comments such as “terrorist win Eurovision” and “fucking terrorist scum”. A member called Jack Nash went further, saying “the Israeli government are exactly what ISIS would be if they had control of a whole country”.
Comparisons of Israel with Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa were also rife. At least two members compared this year’s song contest with the Nazis’ “summer Olympics of 1936”, while another referred to “the Palestine holocaust”. Others drew comparisons with South Africa, with one suggesting that singer Netta Bazilai was “paid by [Israel] to whitewash and deflect from domestic policies and apartheid”. At least one appeared to deny Israel’s right to exist, claiming that “Israel is not a country and never existing”.
Some were concerned that antisemitic comments could be damaging to the group and to Jeremy Corbyn, with one saying “I want Corbyn to win the next election, and this thread is totally unhelpful”. The post has now been deleted, but others have surfaced featuring similar comments from Labour supporters.
What action has been taken by moderators of the Labour Party Forum group to report antisemitic comments to Facebook or to the Labour Party is unclear, but it appears that they banned a number of those that were calling out antisemitic responses to the post. One member marked by Facebook as having been banned had commented “no wonder Labour gets a bad name with voters like these” and another appears to have been banned after commenting “none of you would have said this if it was any other country – why always Israel?”.