Britain’s Labour Party has suspended Ken Livingstone from holding office for another year for “bringing the party into dispute” over comments he made about Hitler and Zionism.
Livingstone, who served as Mayor of London from 2000 to 2008, has been suspended since April 2016 for breaching party rules after he said Hitler had Supported Zionism in the 1930s.
It all started when he said: “When Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”
Livingstone made the comments in defense of MP Naz Shah over claims that she had published anti-Semitic posts on social media.
A disciplinary panel ruled that Livingstone should be suspended for another year from holding office as a member of Labour Party.
Livingstone has said that he had nothing to apologize for. “If I’d said Hitler was a Zionist, I would say sorry. You can’t apologise for telling the truth,” he said.
“I apologise for the offence caused by those Labour MPs who lied. In the weeks after I was suspended I had hundreds of people stopping me in the street saying, ‘Don’t give in.’”
Livingstone said that the disciplinary process was like “being in North Korea”. He also maintained that there was a “double standard” as those Labour members who accused him of being a “Nazi apologist” had not been suspended.
He further defended his remarks by referring to Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, a book written by the American historian Lenni Brenner, and said the book was full of details that he would cite in his defense.
In an interview with Muslim Press which was published last September, Brenner explained how he gathered information for his book and that he was contacted by Livingstone a few years ago. He also provided us with details regarding Zionist-Nazi relations.
Brenner added that Livingstone had told him that “the increasingly popular anti-Zionism fight will go on in any circumstances.”
He went on to say that after pro-Palestinian Jeremy Corbyn was elected Leader of the Labour Party, claims that anti-Semitism is a major Labour Party problem were triggered.
The news of Livingstone’s suspension comes as Corbyn himself is also facing mutiny over “Labour’s failure to expel Ken Livingstone from the party over his remarks.”
Michael Dugher, vice chairman of the Labour friends of Israel group, called for expulsion of Livingstone. “Ken Livingstone should be kicked out for good. Years of supposed long service and closeness to the leadership do not entitle you to a free pass when it comes to anti-Semitism,” he said.
Since Corbyn became Leader of the Labour Party, several other Labour politicians have been accused of anti-Semitic hate speech.
Back in April 2016, the party membership of a columnist from Ireland was suspended because he had said Israel was using the Holocaust to receive money.
John McAuliffe, an international member of the British party, was suspended after posting on Facebook a message that described Holocaust as “the most useful political tool of the Zionist government in Israel to establish a financial racket in the West, whereby Israel receives an unlimited sum for the duration of its existence.”
Critics say the so-called anti-Semitism problem in Britain’s Labour Party was created as to silence criticism of Israel and Zionism.
“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that in the UK the allegations of anti-Semitism have something to do with the Israeli PR machine and its agents who are terrified of seeing Corbyn become Prime Minister, and will stop at nothing to stop him, but sadly, the Brits too bowed down,” Miko Peled, an Israeli writer and activist living in the US, said in an article.
“The right approach would have been to admit that for seventy years Palestinians have been facing a slow genocide, and that it is time for Europeans to act,” he added.