Fake accusations against Momentum over Luciana Berger are undermining the fight against anti-Semitism

Luciana Berger is Labour’s MP for Liverpool Wavertree and a former shadow minister for mental health [Image: PA].

Isn’t it stunning, the way some people are willing to twist the facts?

It seems that Momentum members have gained control of the executive of Liverpool Wavertree Constituency Labour Party, with nine out of the 10 available positions.

Luciana Berger is the MP for Wavertree, and is known to have resigned a shadow cabinet position last year as part of the so-called ‘chicken coup’ to have Jeremy Corbyn removed as Labour leader.

A member of the new executive – who is not a member of Momentum – has demanded an apology from Ms Berger for her actions against Mr Corbyn last year, saying she should “get on board”.

But commentators including the Jewish Chronicle have accused Momentum of anti-Semitism, as Ms Berger is Jewish. Read that paper’s article. It acknowledges that the comments were not made by a Momentum member – but still attacks the organisation for anti-Semitism. What gives?

None of the information we have suggests anti-Semitism by anybody, so why mention it at all?

This Writer is pretty sure that Ms Berger’s resignation from the shadow cabinet had nothing to do with her religion. She probably believed that Mr Corbyn’s views and policies were too left-wing for the general public at the time.

History has shown that opinion to be mistaken, so there is a good argument for her to make a public declaration of support for Mr Corbyn.

And she made just such a declaration, in conjunction with the new CLP secretary, Angela Kehoe-Jones.

The statement (below) also disassociates the Executive from remarks made by Mr Bentham. As far as I can see, though, there is nothing anti-Semitic in his comments. He said: “Luciana needs to get on board quite quickly now. She will now have to sit round the table with us the next time she wants to vote for bombing in Syria or to pass a no-confidence motion in the leader of the party – she will have to be answerable to us.”

Was it the reference to bombng in Syria that prompted the accusation of anti-Semitism?

Here’s the CLP’s response:

Owen Jones, who posted the comment on that response on Twitter (above) added the following, and I think he is right:

This comment is also accurate – isn’t it?

And Paul Ewart makes an excellent point. Ms Berger has suffered actual anti-Semitism and should know the difference between that and the fabricated claims that are being made now:

As for Mr Bentham:

Is that why this Mail writer is attacking him? Not because of any genuine misbehaviour, but because Mr Bentham stands up for workers who are being persecuted?

Check out the brilliant put-down from Aaron Bastani:

So, what are we really seeing here? An attempt to discredit a good man for a comment that may be seen as off-colour? Bear in mind that Ms Berger did vote to bomb Syria.

This Writer knows how that story runs, of course – in April an organisation called the Campaign Against Antisemitism published an article smearing me with false claims of anti-Semitism, in an attempt to prevent my election to Powys County Council. As this is illegal, I have made a complaint to the police, who are handling it in their meticulous manner.

Anti-Semitism does exist, of course, and EL4JC has an important point to make about that – one which I endorse:


That is exactly right. Baseless accusations, such as those made against me or Mr Bentham, undermine the fight against anti-Semitism. One wonders why people do it.

Is it to spread division, confusion, disinformation?

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6 thoughts on “Fake accusations against Momentum over Luciana Berger are undermining the fight against anti-Semitism

  1. aidsnation

    It seems such an effective flag to raise and can do a lot of damage to the party with its use. The accusations need to stop if they aren’t true.

  2. Zippi

    As I have said, many times; the sooner that we decide what anti-Semitism is (racism, or religious hatred) and call it thus, the sooner many these problems will be solved. Isolating peoples is never a good idea.

  3. Florence

    While the wheels of justice move slowly, I hope there is some positive progress in your own fight against false and illegal claims against you.

  4. Archie qw

    I feel it really is time to call this out for what it is. There are some organisations who appear quite willing to use their faith as a weapon to instill fear and stifle genuine comments for a political end.That end in this casebeing the continuing underminig of JC and his support. When you consider JC stance on Palestine I very much doubt that the state of Israel would wish to see JC as pm
    When you consider the findings of the chakrabarti report reguarding antisemitism within labour , then I have to agree with the comments made by Zippy , the sooner that we can describe a working definition of what anti-semitism is , the better for all concerned , which funnily enough is what Jackie Walker was attempting to do before she was expelled from the Labour Party

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