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Breaking the Silence…with Holocaust Deniers?

You guys told me when I wrote positively about Breaking the Silence that I was wrong and it looks like you were right. Hat tip to all of you but most importantly to David Collier for putting all this stuff together.

Thanks to the work of the researcher David Collier, a secret antisemitic Facebook group called Palestine Live has been exposed. At one time, the group’s membership included Jeremy Corbyn, the man who now leads the UK Labour Party.

In this group, Holocaust denial material was shared as well as other explicitly antisemitic material, whilst the idea that there was antisemitism in the Labour Party was ridiculed.

The group has over 3,000 members, two of them are or were Avner Gvaryahu and Eran Efrati, the former and current heads of the left wing group Breaking the Silence.

This came as a blow to me personally. I’ve gone to bat for Breaking the Silence a couple of times in the past, and took their tour of Hebron, which I found to be a truly eye-opening experience.

I thought that this was a group of people with Israel’s best interests at heart. Clearly, they’ve lost their way.

Palestine Live was founded by a lady called Elleanne Green, who has shared posts claiming Israel was behind terrorist attacks in France, claiming that the Kotel isn’t Jewish, that 9/11 was a conspiracy, and on and on:

And here is a board member of Jewish Voice for Peace Eran Efrati chatting with her in that very group, the one filled with antisemitism. In fact they rather like him there;

How did things get so bad that he’s chatting to a person who promoted, in the same group, the Iranian Holocaust denial competition?

The current head of Breaking the Silence, Avner Gvaryahu, was also a member of the group;

It’s unlikely that Elleanne Green could have added him to the group if they hadn’t been Facebook friends at the time.

Gvaryahu decided to respond to this fact becoming known with flippancy;

And then later he gave us this;

And then this;

He claims to have had a good social media clean. Maybe not good enough. It took me all of five seconds to find his friend Howard Cohen, a man who thinks British government policy is directed by “Zionists” and who defends Tony Greenstein who was recently expelled from the Labour Party for…yes antisemitic Tweets he’d made;

Collier delved right into the heart of the Pro-Palestine campaign in the UK and found antisemitism in it.

As Israeli Pro-Palestine campaigners, it must be tempting for people in Breaking the Silence and elsewhere to look away, to pretend it’s no big deal because then they still have people they can work with in the UK pro-Palestine community.

But really, Collier’s work doesn’t leave much up to the imagination. Gvaryahu has been placed in a group with people who are avowedly pro-Palestinian. Nothing wrong with that…except that they also tend to think 9/11 was a Mossad operation and that the Rothschilds secretly rule over the world.

Yesterday, another Corbyn, this time Jeremy’s son Tommy, posted this on Facebook:

The post became a thread hopelessly inundated with antisemitic conspiracy theories from various people who seem to be voting for Tommy’s father.

Breaking the Silence should be asking how it’s possible that they have been caught up in all this. When you spend your entire life calling other people racists, when you devote your life to the cause of fighting oppression you really don’t want to be hanging out with racists and conspiracy theorists just because they say they’re fighting the same cause as you. If you do you want to take it all more seriously than a few flippant remarks on Twitter in the hope that no one will really notice. I noticed. I’m sure others did too.

Now, what is he going to do about it?

UPDATE:

Earn Efrati was never the head of Breaking the Silence. I have updated the article to reflect this. According to his Twitter account he is “Executive Director, RAIA (Researching the American-Israeli Alliance)/ Board Member, Jewish Voice for Peace” he was an activist for Breaking the Silence at one point.