Administrator of antisemitic “Palestine Live” Facebook group was not an “acquaintance” of Jeremy Corbyn but a close friend who repeatedly propagated extreme antisemitism
Last week, Jeremy Corbyn was exposed as being a member of a deeply antisemitic Facebook group in which he participated for two years. Now, damning new evidence made available to Campaign Against Antisemitism proves that Mr Corbyn or his team were demonstrably lying when, as was reported in The Guardian they had said that his relationship with the founder and key administrator of the Facebook group “Palestine Live” was that of a mere “acquaintance”. Research and documents in our possession indicate that he had an intimate relationship with Elleanne Green, a woman who has expressed antisemitic beliefs and who has prolifically disseminated extreme antisemitic material, including neo-Nazi articles. They shared a love of the same poetry and of various common causes even before he joined the Facebook group, almost certainly at her invitation, despite Mr Corbyn implying that he was added against his wishes. They organised events together, and she proudly noted the two years he spent in the group with her.
Those familiar with Mr Corbyn know well that he was not – before becoming Party Leader – someone who posted frequently on social media, so when he bothers to pay attention to someone publicly, it is noticeable. Mr Corbyn has paid Ms Green a lot of attention, and that attention has been returned. In fact, Mr Corbyn and Ms Green could be described as sharing a personal bond. As early as January 2014, he approved when she spoke of Caroline Kennedy’s poetry; when she publicly posted a favourite poem by Rose Milligan, he confessed to her that it contains a sentiment meaningful for him; when she professed her fears for the future of the rhinoceros, he agreed; similarly when she backed an African water charity; they have shared a little joke together online; and when she was off on her travels to Cuba he wished her a “wonderful time”.
Wherever Ms Green was to be found at live events, so too was Mr Corbyn, and because of the particular place she clearly holds in his esteem and his awareness of her presence, he chose her Facebook account to thank all those who attended. Whether he was commenting on her posts at a Ukrainian Stop The War event; an alternative economics conference; another Stop the War event, this time marking World War I; at a testimonial evening for Tony Benn or even a demonstration or two about Guantanamo – she was there, and he was using her social media feed to thank everyone.
In short, there is not much about Ms Green’s tastes and opinions that Mr Corbyn does not seem to know or approve of, and he singles her out to use when he wishes to thank others. She is clearly not just an acquaintance or friend, she is ‘special’.
However, this is all without their mutually shared passion, even above poetry and rhinos, namely: the Palestinians. So it is no surprise that Ms Green, whose social media Mr Corbyn invited and then signed Mr Corbyn up to her “Palestine Live” group, of which, at that time, it appears that she was the only administrator and Mr Corbyn can be seen, for example, approving two of her Palestine-themed posts in August 2014, and again in October 2014) There is evidence that Mr Corbyn joined in late 2013, participated in online conversations, and remained a member for two years.
With regard to “Palestine Live” and other so-called ‘pro-Palestinian’ forums, Ms Green and Mr Corbyn don’t just interact online, but in person (she is also on chatting terms with MPs such as Chris Williamson and John McDonnell when she sees them). Finally, her involvement with him is deep enough that at one point they jointly organised a talk to be given by the controversial Max Blumenthal at Mr Corbyn’s own office, using Mr Corbyn’s staff, as chronicled in detail by David Collier in his report into the “Palestine Live” Facebook group. Again, the talk having taken place at this venue, Mr Corbyn thanked those who attended on the “Palestine Live” Facebook group in a thread with Ms Green.
But what of Ms Green’s views?
Ms Green is a prolific and obsessive poster of conspiracy theories. A list of those to which she subscribes constitutes an A to Z of the genre: on more than one occasion she promoted the theory that the Israeli intelligence services were secretly behind the 9/11 terrorist atrocities, as well as the terrorist massacres in Paris, able to boast when the celebrated conspiracy theorist who had written the article became a member of the group. She shared a post that suggested the wife of a witness to 9/11 was deliberately killed six days after meeting former President Obama; shared a post suggesting that the BBC is deliberately employing “obnoxious Jews” in order to encourage antisemitism and suggests it “could even be true”; claimed that Israel bombed its own embassy in a ‘false flag’ operation; shared a link to an article claiming that ISIS leaders were trained by Israel; supported the idea that the London Bridge terrorist attacks may have been a stunt to throw the general election off track; and posted a claim that the BBC is “completely controlled” by Rothschild influence.
Similarly, the people she supports, and has invited to be members in the group, are a Who’s Who of Britain’s most infamous antisemites. She participates in conversations with Holocaust denier Paul Eisen (a friend of Mr Corbyn’s whose work he used to help fund, but with whom he claims to no longer associate) in one of which, Mr Eisen says to Baroness Tonge and Ms Green: “You’ll continue feeling depressed, dismal and let down until you start standing up to the Jews – not the Israelis, not the Zionists, the Jews” to which Ms Green responds asking: “What do you suggest?”. In another thread, after she encouraged him to ask for comment, Mr Eisen asked of another member “but what do you you find so unsavoury about Dr Duke?” (Dr Duke is the former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan). She defended disgraced Baroness Jenny Tonge, who resigned from her party over antisemitism allegations, claiming that the notion that her remarks might be antisemitic is “appalling”. She shared posts by David Icke. She is personally friendly with and supports Gilad Atzmon, who has allegedly said that “the burning down of a synagogue is a rational act”, whose ideas are better described as far-right than far-left, and whose book The Wandering Who has been described as “probably the most antisemitic book published in this country in recent years”. She posts his work on the group, and praises his “truth” when, ironically, Gilad Atzmon is considered so antisemitic that ‘anti-Zionist’ Palestinian groups and activists have taken care to distance themselves from him. Ms Green also appears to be friendly with and supportive of Jackie Walker who is touring the country describing how she was “lynched” for claiming that Jews were the “chief financiers of the slave trade”.
It is difficult to give an account of every example of antisemitic discourse in which Ms Green has participated. She has shared a post claiming “Zionists” are “killing children and stealing children to sell them on the black market”. She promotes the London Forum, described as “a secret neo-Nazi society”. She has posted an article by an author convicted in a Canadian court for promoting hatred against Jews, a piece that appeared on the Radical Press website that promotes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Adolf Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf. Bearing in mind that the overwhelming majority of British Jews are Zionists, her assertion that “The time must surely come” when no “friend of Israel” can stand as an MP is chilling. She describes Ruth Smeeth MP’s distress at being accused of orchestrating a media conspiracy as “disgust[ing]..amateur theatrics”. She adored Gerald Kaufman, who claimed that “Jewish money…bias[es] the Tory Party”. She likes social media posts that suggest Jewish influence in Britain is “dangerously close to being treasonable.” She shared a post and endorses the author of a raw antisemitic diatribe describing Jewish values as “massacre, rape…torture, sex-trafficking and child abuse”, describing the author as a “great man”. She refers to “zios”, which even Labour’s Baroness Chakrabarti accepts is an unacceptable term of abuse. She was proud to be among those who yelled and intimidated when Haringey Council adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.
So much of what she posts is simply raw Jew-hatred that she seems to have forgotten that she is supposed to be maintaining the fiction of being a mere critic of Israeli policy. However, at one point in the “Palestine Live” Facebook group she admits that the ideas behind Holocaust denial are “true and clearly the questions are legitimate…but not HERE” – a cynical admission that while she has sympathies with Holocaust deniers she is, on the group at least, trying to draw a virtuous skein over the views aired. In the end, by commenting positively on a link to the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website, all pretence disappears.
Elleanne Green is a member of the Labour Party in the Cities of London and Westminster, who enthusiastically backs the Reverend Steven Saxby – also a member of Palestine Live – as a future Parliamentary candidate; is a representative of Momentum, and a member of the so-called Jewish Voice for Labour. Evidence held by Campaign Against Antisemitism shows that she was reported to the Labour party on 4th September 2017 yet clearly no action has been taken. Instead she is on friendly personal terms with Mr Corbyn, Chris Williamson MP, John McDonnell MP, Clive Lewis MP (who even blows her virtual kisses), journalist Paul Mason and others.
Elleanne Green is not the only individual propagating extreme antisemitism on “Palestine Live”. As David Collier’s research demonstrates, using a sample period to analyse posters and their postings from 1st to 15th February 2018, antisemitic postings on the site were ubiquitous and unmissable. Furthermore, witness reports bear testimony to the level of antisemitism a member would have been subjected to during the summer of 2014, when Mr Corbyn was an actively posting member of the group.
Members of “Palestine Live” comprise a roll call of many of the UK’s leading so-called ‘anti-Zionists’, either posting or tolerating nakedly antisemitic material that hardly requires the International Definition of Antisemitism to assist in its identification. The naked truth laid bare by Mr Collier’s report is that in the current culture of the UK’s far-left, anti-Zionism and antisemitism are indistinguishable. The very notion that anti-Zionism on the British left is, in practice, an historical and intellectual debating point that honourably takes up a political position regarding the State of Israel, is now shattered.
For Mr Corbyn to suggest that Ms Green is a mere “acquaintance”, as he or Labour’s press officers have communicated, is demonstrably a lie. Given both their intimacy and the fact that she prolifically posts hardcore antisemitic material, to say that he had no knowledge of her antisemitism stretches credulity. Further, to claim that in two years as a member and close friend of Ms Green’s he saw no antisemitism posted by her or others on the site itself would be like standing in an open field during a rainstorm and claiming that the raindrops missed you.
Perhaps another explanation lies in two posts, in which Ms Green says: “Am disgusted [to be under investigation] but suppose it is inevitable if one speaks up for justice for the Palestinians” and “I am NOT antisemitic”. Ultimately, people like Ms Green are perhaps blinded to their own racism, however extreme, by cloaking it within the virtue of a ‘pro-Palestinian’ position, both externally for others, but also for themselves. If Mr Corbyn is similarly blind, it is perhaps because he is so similar to his friend, Ms Green.
Joseph D. Glasman, Head of Political and Government Investigations at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Jeremy Corbyn said he did not see antisemitism in the Palestine Live Facebook group but he wrote comments on antisemitic posts during his two-year membership of the group. He said he was added to the group by an ‘acquaintance’ but in fact it was his intimate friend Elleanne Green, a prolific disseminator of extreme antisemitic material. By lying about their relationship and pretending that he saw no antisemitism on Palestine Live, he takes the British public for fools, drags the Labour Party into further disrepute and causes yet more fear and anguish for British Jews. But what is most frightening by far is the lack of public outrage. Where are the cries of ‘Not in my name’? Through their silence these past weeks, British politicians are allowing our society to descend deeper into a dark place where antisemitism is tolerated, and history shows us where that path leads.”
We are grateful to Labour Party members for contributing some of the material used in this article, as well as to David Collier for providing additional material and for allowing us to reproduce screenshots from his report.
Ms Green did not respond to a request for comment.