Former London Mayor insists he isn't anti-Semite

Ken Livingstone defends himself against accusations of anti-Semitism ahead of disciplinary hearing.

Elad Benari,

Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone
Reuters

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone defended himself against accusations of anti-Semitism on Tuesday, ahead of a British Labour Party disciplinary hearing.

Livingstone caused an uproar several months ago when he told the BBC in an interview that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had supported Zionism – comments which resulted in his suspension from Labour.

He has repeatedly refused to apologize for the comments, even after being harangued as a "racist, Hitler-apologist" by an MP from his own party.

On Tuesday, the former mayor posted a 17-page summary of the defense he will present later in the week before the party’s National Constitutional Committee, reported JTA.

He wrote in his defense that “I have broken no Labour Party rule. I am being attacked by the right-wing of the Labour Party because I support Palestinian human rights and strongly back our Leader Jeremy Corbyn. There is no real evidence against me, so hopefully the Labour panel will dismiss the charge against me. Only a biased and rigged jury could find against me.”

He added, “I did not say or suggest that Hitler was a Zionist. I did not make any equation of Hitler and Zionism. I neither criticized the Transfer Agreement or the section of Zionism that participated in the Agreement. I did not draw any historical parallels with the situation today anywhere, including with the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Any suggestion that my intention was to draw equivalence between Nazism and Zionism is entirely false.”

Livingstone stressed in the summary, “I do not believe that Zionism or the policies of Israeli governments are at all analogous to Nazism. Israeli governments have never had the aim of the systematic extermination of the Palestinian people, in the way Nazism sought the annihilation of the Jews. There is a gigantic difference between Israel’s ethnic cleansing and the Nazis’ extermination policies. As I have said before, my view is that the Holocaust against the Jews is the greatest racial crime of the 20th Century.”

Livingstone is one of dozens of Labour members who have been suspended and expelled from the Labour party over the past year, when the British media began scrutinizing the proliferation of anti-Semitic incidents within Labour.

Corbyn himself has been under fire by the local Jewish community, due to his calling Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends" and for outright refusing to condemn those two terrorist organizations despite being urged to do so by local Jewish groups.

A report released in October determined that the Labour party’s leadership is failing to seriously confront the anti-Semitism among its ranks.








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