A man who defended a late British Labour politician for saying former Prime Minister Tony Blair had been “unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers” is among several activists recently offered readmission to the Labour party, the British Jewish Chronicle reported Sunday.
The activist, Mike Sivier, was suspended by the party last year for remarks he made about Jews and Zionism, including a claim that he could not comment on whether thousands or millions of Jews died in the Holocaust. He said, “I don’t know” when asked about that.
In a post on his website, Sivier had said “it may be entirely justified” for former Scottish Linlithgow MP Tam Dalyell to remark that Blair had been unduly influenced by “a cabal of Jewish advisers”.
Sivier is also the author of The Livingstone Presumption, a book defending former London mayor Ken Livingstone’s claims about Hitler and Zionism.
Livingstone was suspended from Labour after claiming that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler supported Zionism.
Sivier and the former London mayor are among dozens of Labour members who have been suspended in recent years over their anti-Semitic statements.
However, The Sunday Times reported that Labour’s National Executive Committee voted by a majority of 12 to 10 to issue a warning but not expel Sivier.
He was also instructed to attend a workshop on anti-Semitism run by the Jewish Labour Movement, but he said he would not attend.
“I’m not accepting my readmission under the terms offered to me,” Sivier said, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
A Labour source told the newspaper that Sivier's readmission was "a necessary condition" of his continued membership and that, as he had refused the training, he would not be readmitted to the party.
Labour has come under increased criticism over the anti-Semitism in its ranks. Its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was also criticized in the past 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.
In 2016, however, the Labour leader said that he regretted making those comments.
More recently, Corbyn said he does not support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, but does back targeted action against Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
The head of the Jewish Labour Movement in Britain recently accused the Labour leadership of failing to deal with “a vast backlog” of complaints about anti-Semitism in the party ranks.