Times columnist Oliver Kamm was threatened with legal action after suggesting the UK's Young Labour of supporting a 'second Holocaust' against Israel in a 'libellous' tweet.
This comes after the UK Labour Party chose to prevent the Young Labour conference from taking place, despite it being a rulebook requirement, however as a compromise they were offered an "increased presence" at Labour's national conference.
Kamm took to Twitter to declare his support for shutting down the Young Labour organisation, which is chaired by left-winger Jessica Barnard, suggesting that Young Labour supported a 'second Holocaust' against Jews over its critique of the occupation.
He said in a Twitter thread: "Labour supports a 2-state solution between a secure Israel & a sovereign Palestine; Young Labour urges the abolition of Israel, which could only be accomplished by means of a second Holocaust against the Jewish people. Hence Young Labour's views are alien to the party's. QED."
(3) Labour supports a 2-state solution between a secure Israel & a sovereign Palestine; Young Labour urges the abolition of Israel, which could only be accomplished by means of a second Holocaust against the Jewish people. Hence Young Labour’s views are alien to the party’s. QED.— Oliver Kamm (@OliverKamm) August 31, 2021
Barnard replied, threatening legal action against Kamm for his accusations: "Honestly astounded. Appalling, hurtful, libellous lies from someone supposed to be a journalist with a huge national platform. Delete and apologise, or we will be forced to take legal action."
Honestly astounded. Appalling, hurtful, libellous lies from someone supposed to be a journalist with a huge national platform.— Jess Barnard (@JessicaLBarnard) August 31, 2021
Delete and apologise, or we will be forced to take legal action. https://t.co/2U3ioCiFOu
Barnard went on to allege that the national Labour Party had done little to support her or young members on the accusations levelled.
She said in a series of tweets: "Not to pick a fight, but ive been really disheartened today by the total absense of support from the leadership over these second holocaust accusations. I don't know what I was expecting, maybe a how can we help, or do you need some support? Our party feels a cold place to be."
"Definitely going to work on a process for support for young members who have to go through potential libel lawsuits, it's not normal. If anyone wants to work with me on this, particularly MH workers or people with capacity to offer pro bono legal advice, lets make it happen."
"They are looking into it, don't want to misrepresent the situation in any way, but ive mostly just had a 'thanks ill pass that on' response."
Users took to Twitter to express shock and disgust at the allegation of Young Labour supporting a 'second Holocaust'.
Novara Media and Vashti Media Editor Rivkah Brown said: "To those who continue to insist the Labour antisemitism crisis wasn't overblown: two years post-Corbyn, it remains totally acceptable for a journalist at Britain's newspaper of record to claim that a group of student doorknockers wants to massacre Jews."
She continued: "And the craziest part of all of this is that I, a Jewish woman, could – for pointing out that Oliver's claim is a dangerous fiction that exploits Jews' Holocaust trauma for McCarthyite ends – be expelled from the Labour Party."
Tribune writer and economist Grace Blakeley joined calls to begin a legal fund to take Kamm to court: "Sue the shit out of him. You'd raise every penny through a crowdfunder in a few hours."
Bakers' Union President Ian Hodson also offered his backing: "Solidarity Jess and all our Young Labour members this is an appalling and disgusting smear, totally untrue but has become the norm for those who want to destroy those who want to see a world full of peace and justice and not one of fear and inequality."
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