In this meticulous rebuttal of the former Mayor of London’s charge that “you had right up until the start of the second world war real collaboration [between Nazis and Zionists]”, Paul Bogdanor, author of Kasztner’s Crime, points to Ken Livingstone’s “mutilations of the historical record and of the very sources he cites’”and the politically reactionary character of Livingstone’s version of history which “equates persecutors and rescuers, aggressors and victims, the powerful and the powerless, oppressors and the oppressed”.
“One of the reasons we make so many mistakes in politics is that so few politicians study history.” Ken Livingstone (Independent, 2016)
The crisis surrounding antisemitism in the Labour Party refuses to die down. Aside from all the other incidents occurring on a regular basis, Ken Livingstone – the former Mayor of London and one of the party’s best-known members – has been the subject of an internal inquiry for bringing the party into disrepute. Even after being found guilty of this charge in April 2017, he has been given the light sentence of suspension – not from membership but only from holding office in the party for another year, prompting calls from over 100 Labour MPs for his expulsion. The British Jewish community, appalled at his continuing statements that Hitler supported Zionism and that there was “real collaboration” between Zionists and the Nazis, has deserted Labour in droves. (By May 2016, after a series of revelations about antisemitism within the party, only 8.5 per cent of the Jewish community planned to vote Labour. The figure had been 22 per cent a year earlier.)
Livingstone has declined to apologise; he links the Jewish national independence movement with the Third Reich at any opportunity. When challenged, he asserts the existence of a malicious campaign by pro-Israel lobbyists and “Blairites” to silence him. The well-established tactic of diverting attention from the issue of antisemitism by accusing Jews and others of trying to suppress “criticism of Israeli policy” is now known as “the Livingstone Formulation”. (Hirsh, 2010)
Read the full article in Fathom.