Momentum owner, Jon Lansman, joined a secret antisemitic Facebook group to campaign for last month’s internal Momentum elections.
When the story broke in March that Jeremy Corbyn was a member of Palestine Live, a secret antisemitic Facebook group, Lansman defended him in a tweet which claimed that its common for people to be added into Facebook groups without knowing about it, implying that Corbyn was unaware he was in the group. He has now deleted the tweet.
On 5 April, Jon Lansman joined a secret Facebook group called ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party Forum,’ on which a large number of antisemitic and violent messages are posted. The ‘secret’ setting means the group can’t be seen by those who aren’t members of it. The group has over 16,000 members.
Lansman used the group to campaign for the internal Momentum elections, posting his campaign materials in the group several times over two weeks. The elections finished in 16 April, with Lansman being successfully re-elected to the organisation’s National Co-ordinating Group.
The group is full of antisemitic and violent postings. While Jon Lansman was in the group, one member called for all MPs who supported the recent airstrikes in Syria to be beheaded, adding in another comment, “guillotine the swine.”
Members claimed they were “sick to death of creeping around the jewish question,” while others claimed Israel was behind the antisemitism crisis in the Labour Party.
Following the debate in the House of Commons on antisemitism, several members called for jewish Labour MPs Ruth Smeeth and Luciana Berger to be deselected. One, Joe Kelsall, wrote: “We need to root out the sleepers. One such person, Luciana Berger, ex zionist activist, broke cover to attack JC this week. I was wondering when she would show her true colours!”
The Red Roar asked Jon Lansman whether he reported any of the antisemitism or violent comments found in the secret group to the Labour Party, and whether any Momentum members found to be posting antisemitism will be expelled. He said: “I have never read any of the contents of this group and do not have time to read them let alone police them. My “membership” of this group was purely to broadcast my own reasons for standing in an internal Momentum election. I am no more associated with the views of individuals who read my posts there than I am with people who follow me on Twitter or who watch an interview with me on television.”