A Palestine solidarity group have said it is “so sorry” for sharing tweets from an account which had claimed there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz.
London Palestine Action, which describes itself as a network “taking creative action against Israeli apartheid through BDS and other effective, participatory Palestine solidarity work”, were made aware last weekend (25 April) that they had unknowingly retweeted a Twitter user who shared links to Holocaust denial material and white nationalist articles on “the Jewish Supremacist-controlled mass media”.
Opposition to “discrimination on the grounds of religion or culture, including antisemitism” is listed on the group’s website as one of its working principles. It blocked the account in question after being informed of its allegedly anti-Semitic output and say they have discussed the issue at recent meetings.
In a post on its website entitled “Be careful on Twitter”, London Palestine Action – which counts London mayoral contender Diane Abbott and and journalist Owen Jones among its Twitter followers – admitted that “any level of anti-Semitism is a problem” and reaffirmed its commitment to “act whenever we see it rear its head”.
Part of the statement reads: “The fact that we didn’t know about the Holocaust denial when we were doing the RTing doesn’t really matter. On Twitter, reach is social power, and who wants to give more power to bigotry than it already has? We’re sorry for our part in that cycle.”
Whilst maintaining that “antisemitism in the Palestine solidarity movement can definitely [be] over-exaggerated by some media outlets/Zionists”, the anti-Israel campaigners conceded that a more diligence was required when using Twitter.
“We need to be mindful of how antisemites use Twitter to promote their ideologies, especially because they often dress their oppressive views up in the “language of the Left” (e.g. nominally anti-war, anti-corruption, anti-politicians), and have a tendency to hang around pro-Palestinian discussions looking for an opportunity to spread their bigotry”.
A spokesman from London Jewish Forum said “Whilst reassuring that London Palestine Action have apologised for their tacit endorsement of this individual, it is disappointing that they felt the need to qualify their condemnation of antisemitism by suggesting it can “definitely [be] over-exaggerated”. London Jewish Forum and associated partners will tackle antisemitism wherever it is found, and will always listen to those who believe they are a victim”.