European Jewish Congress
Labour Party Suspends Former London Mayor Over Hitler Remarks
EJC in the Media
Labour Party Suspends Former London Mayor Over Hitler Remarks

A dispute over accusations of antisemitism within the ranks of Britain’s Labour Party escalated on Thursday as the party suspended Ken Livingstone, a former mayor of London, over remarks suggesting that Hitler had at one point supported Zionism.

Mr. Livingstone is an ideological ally of the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who on Wednesday took action against one of his lawmakers, Naseem Shah, in a separate dispute over comments on Facebook about Israel.

A well-known personality who has often defended Mr. Corbyn, Mr. Livingstone is not a member of Parliament but leads the international policy commission of Labour’s National Executive Committee, its governing body. His suspension comes as a blow to Mr. Corbyn, who has been accused of failing to root out anti-Semitism within the party. The left wing of the Labour Party, to which both Mr. Corbyn and Mr. Livingstone belong, has long been critical of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians — something its members argue should not be confused with anti-Semitism.

The latest dispute occurred in the aftermath of Wednesday’s decision to suspend Ms. Shah, pending an investigation, after it emerged that in 2014, before entering Parliament, she had endorsed a Facebook post displaying a graphic that showed Israel’s outline superimposed on a map of the United States. The map was under the headline, “Solution for Israel-Palestine conflict — relocate Israel into United States,” with the comment, “Problem solved.”

Ms. Shah added a note suggesting the plan might “save them some pocket money.”

Though Ms. Shah has apologized, Mr. Livingstone inflamed the situation when he was asked in a BBC interview about her suspension on Thursday.

“Let’s remember, when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel,” Mr. Livingstone said. “He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”

Mr. Livingstone also said that there had been an attempt to “smear Jeremy Corbyn and his associates as anti-Semitic from the moment he became leader.”

Later on Thursday, Mr. Livingstone was confronted by John Mann, a Labour lawmaker, who in a series of angry exchanges filmed outside a television studio described him as a “disgusting Nazi apologist” and accused him of “rewriting history.”

Worries about the stance of the party’s leadership had already led to criticism from one Labour donor, David Abrahams, who told the British newspaper Jewish News that he had been “appalled by the growth of anti-Semitism in the party,” describing it as “a plague that has to be stamped out.”

Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, appealed to Mr. Corbyn to institute a zero-tolerance policy toward anti-Semitism.

“Corbyn has to answer why there are special criteria for anti-Semitism as if it is somehow considered a more acceptable form of racism, discrimination and bigotry,” he said in a statement. 

Click here to read the full article in New York Times

Monday, May 02, 2016
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Life in Israel
  • Massive section of Western Wall and Roman theatre uncovered after 1,700 years
    Archaeologists are one step closer to solving the riddle of what took place in Jerusalem following the destruction of the city by Romans in 70 CE.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Massive section of Western Wall and Roman theatre uncovered after 1,700 years
  • Israel targets fashion industry over underweight models
    Israeli lawmakers want to tighten a ban on the employment of underweight models and on the undeclared digital slimming-down of fashion images, amid concern that the measures are being routinely flouted even as they are adopted abroad.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Israel targets fashion industry over underweight models
  • Work on Israel-Cyprus-Greece electricity link to start in 2018
    A Cypriot official said work on an electric cable linking the power grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece is on track to start in the first quarter of 2018 after Greek and Cypriot regulators approved the project.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Work on Israel-Cyprus-Greece electricity link to start in 2018
  • In Israel, ultra-Orthodox women emerge as high-tech entrepreneurs
    While Silicon Valley is just beginning to confront decades of sexism and discrimination, female founders in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community say their segregated gender roles have an unintended benefit -- encouraging growing ranks of women entrepreneurs.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 In Israel, ultra-Orthodox women emerge as high-tech entrepreneurs
  • First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
    Construction of the first fully disabled-accessible synagogue in Jerusalem is about to be finished, giving disabled worshipers easy access to the compound, with comfortable seating arrangements for wheelchair-bound visitors, Braille bibles and more.

    On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
  • Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
    A poll of Israeli Arabs has found that sixty percent surveyed said they had a favourable view of the state, while 37% said their view was unfavourable.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
  • Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
    Trade between Israel and Russia has grown this year by 25 percent, officials from both countries revealed, amid complications with other Russian trading partners.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
  • Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
    The Israel Innovation Authority aims to double the number of high-tech workers in the country over the next decade, while encouraging companies in older industry to use more technology and become more innovative, the authority said in its annual report released on Sunday.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
  • 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
    A shipment of 20,000 date palm fronds were transported on Monday from the Gaza Strip to Israel where they were to be sold for use in a traditional Jewish religious ritual during the coming Sukkot holiday, the Defence Ministry said.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
  • Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
    The Israeli intelligence community has shared information with other countries over the past two years that has helped thwart dozens of terror attacks about to be perpetrated by Islamists who were in contact with members of Islamic State and Middle Eastern factions identified with Al-Qaida.

    On Thursday, September 28, 2017 Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism