Ken Livingstone: Stubborn and Wrong, But Not Anti-Semitic 327


After careful consideration I have decided to venture into the question of Ken Livingstone and his suspension from the Labour Party.

To my knowledge, nobody has intimated that Ken Livingstone is an anti-Semite in the sense that he is a racist who acts with prejudice towards Jewish people. I do not think it even vaguely probable that he is that. I know him only slightly, and have shared a platform with him on a couple of occasions. But from everything I can find in his history, I believe he has been a genuine campaigning anti-racist his whole life.

There is however a perfectly open movement to define anti-Semitism not as prejudice against Jewish people, but as deviation from accepted political views on the formation of the state of Israel and its current position and policies. I do not accept this attempt to argue that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. I believe that the attempt to conflate the two needs to be resisted for the sake of maintaining our own political freedom of expression.

But that does not mean Ken Livingstone acted wisely or even properly. The disaster that attended European Jews in the second world war was so huge, that it needs to be approached with great sensitivity. Livingstone claims that certain Jewish Zionists had a pre-Holocaust deal with the Nazis. To me, that is very analogous to alleging that an acknowledged rape victim had some previous relationship with her abusive rapist. It has no possible relevance other than to be some kind of “she asked for it” point.

Livingstone’s point may or may not be true but, even if it is, we do not go around throwing out random facts out of context. Just because something is true does not make it helpful to say it at any given moment.

I quite genuinely have no idea whether the point Livingstone makes is historically true, and if so how fringe or not were the elements involved in the relationship. But it is not relevant. It would be surprising if there did not, in the very early stages of Nazi power, appear to a few fringe elements to be some room to explore common interests between those who wanted Jews to leave Germany, and those who wanted to establish a Jewish homeland in the Middle East. Everyone was trying to accommodate to the difficult fact of Nazi power. The British royal family and aristocracy, the Pope, Northcliffe and his Daily Mail, David Lloyd George, pretty well all of corporate Germany and, I even admit, a very few isolated Scottish nationalists, failed at some stages to realise or to respond correctly to the evil of Nazism and sought various ways to use Nazi Germany to forward their own interests. Some of these were very culpable. You can find attempts on that difficult spectrum from accommodation to collaboration in various forms everywhere, in almost every community.

I do not want to see the apartheid state of Israel continue in its current form, though as with apartheid South Africa I wish to see a solution to unifying Palestine that does not involve further forced movement of any population. But I do not in any sense accept a historically important link between Israel and the Nazis, except in the obvious sense that revulsion at the Holocaust created the conditions for international acceptance of the violent establishment of Israel. Picking at the oddities of history on such a sensitive subject is mischievous.

Freedom of speech has limits. There is no doubt that Holocaust denial is very closely linked de facto to Nazi apologism and to anti-Semitism. I say that with a clear acceptance than there were many other victims of the death camps too – Poles, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Communists, Freemasons etc. etc. But the fact there are other victims does not reduce the Jewish disaster and attempts to deny or minimise what happened to the Jewish people under the Nazis are not acceptable.

I therefore think that Livingstone was wrong to blunder into discussing Hitler’s alleged early support for Zionism, and much more wrong not to then realise this was a mistake and to apologise. I do not however believe that in any sense his motivation was personal anti-Semitism, and I do not believe that anybody believes he is genuinely somebody who dislikes Jewish people.

I am not a member of the Labour Party and it is not my fight. But it seems to me in consequence the suspension of Ken Livingstone for a further year is about the correct punishment. He was wrong-headed and distasteful, but not a racist. Nobody truly thinks he is a racist, so the light suspension was Labour’s way of reflecting this while not meeting head-on the question of the ludicrous expansion of the meaning of anti-Semitism.

As regular commenters know, holocaust denial is strictly banned on this blog and anti-Semitism has been by far the most common cause of comments being deleted. It is therefore very probable that your comments will get blocked for moderation by various keyword captures we have set up. Be patient.


327 thoughts on “Ken Livingstone: Stubborn and Wrong, But Not Anti-Semitic

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  • Dave

    I don’t agree with the post of Elected Mayor, but the position means the London Mayor has the highest personal vote, over 1 million with second preferences counted, of any politician in UK and Livingstone was elected 3 times and nearly twice more.

    Elected politicians are required to observe a Code of Conduct that stipulates treating other people with respect. This is difficult if you think they’re mad and if they think your ideas are insulting. It, as easily foretold, led to a flood of complaints to the Standards Board of England, mostly by politicians against each other. It was another bit of New Labour corruption, because it could involve your political opponents being your judge and jury and suspending you from office. But officially anyone could complain about a politician’s ‘lack of respect’.

    This happened to Livingstone! One evening he left a ‘County Hall’ social/meeting and was questioned by an Evening Standard journalist. After a number of exchanges Livingstone said he didn’t want to answer any more, presumably hostile, questions, but the journalist continued to ask saying it was his job. Now being subjected to the same repeated and not wanted questions becomes insulting in itself and this led Livingstone to counter-insult. He said, oh just doing your job, you’d make a good concentration camp guard! The journalist said the remark was insulting and particularly so as he was Jewish and carried on asking questions. No one else was involved.

    Contrary to tradition and practice the Board of Deputies of British Jews themselves submitted a complaint to the Standards Board of England saying Livingstone had bought his office into disrepute by insulting the Jewish journalist and said he should apologise. The Standards Board (whoever they were) agreed it was insulting and suspended him from office, which he successfully appealed, but I’m not sure with public or private funds.

    But there you are, a politician elected on over a million votes, insults a journalist late at night, with no one else involved. The BoDoBJ complains and he’s suspended from office, by some faceless civil servants. Hence the fear of the groundless charge of “anti-Semitism” that has been repackaged under iniquitous “hate crime” legislation.

  • ben

    it’s not really like the rape victim being asked if they had a relationship with the rapist tho, because those individuals who dealt with the Nazis were likely nowhere near the concentration camps when it all kicked off.
    the nazi collaborators were not raped. probably.
    and it wasn’t out of context, he was being asked about the topic as i recall.
    it is important to not kowtow to this zionist infiltration of british politics, of course you helped do to expose a big part of that recently, this war of attrition with ken is their flagship effort at the moment.

    • craig Post author

      Indeed it is Ben – but that is why Ken was wrong to offer such a daft comment for them to seize on. I genuinely think it is wrong to go down that route, irrespective of the current mccarthyist campaign.

      • ben

        i mean sure you can say it was unwise to give them ammunition, but once you start holding your tongue for fear of shenanigans you’re skipping down the path towards capitulation.. maybe.
        they were already creating drama out of nothing, they’d have continued their skullduggery regardless, maybe Ken knew this and thought “in for a penny..”

        • lysias

          If what Livingstone said was true as a matter of historical fact, then he may have been unwise to say it, but his right to say something that is true should be defended.

      • Shatnersrug

        Ken, was tricked, you know that Craig, this is just the old battle of the Labour right vs humanity, anythingbto getvrid of Corbyn. I think you’re giving it too much credence.

        Anyone who wants to know the truth about the Labour Party should read ‘the clandestine caucus” by Robin Ramsay. It pretty much explains what is going on and gives it historical context.

        http://powerbase.info/index.php/The_Clandestine_Caucus

        You can read it in the above link!

        It will help your view of all of this Labour Party hooey come into focus

  • Republicofscotland

    Yes I couldn’t agree more, that Ken Livingstone isn’t anti-Semitic, and to listen and see the concerted witch hunt now set against him, is appalling to say the least, by non more so that the over apologetics Tom Watson.

    • Habbabkuk

      Do you agree with the rest of what Craig wrote, RoS ?

      Let’s be hearing you on that.

  • Charles Frith

    The Transfer Agreement (Haavara) is an agreement between the NAZIS and the ZIONISTS.

    That’s the historical fact and actually it’s just a sniff of real history but Craig would be destroyed if he manned up and did the work.

    • Habbabkuk

      Frith

      Craig dealt with your sly little “point” before you even wrote it, thus :

      “Livingstone’s point may or may not be true but, even if it is, we do not go around throwing out random facts out of context. Just because something is true does not make it helpful to say it at any given moment.

      I quite genuinely have no idea whether the point Livingstone makes is historically true, and if so how fringe or not were the elements involved in the relationship. But it is not relevant. It would be surprising if there did not, in the very early stages of Nazi power, appear to a few fringe elements to be some room to explore common interests between those who wanted Jews to leave Germany, and those who wanted to establish a Jewish homeland in the Middle East. Everyone was trying to accommodate to the difficult fact of Nazi power.”

      I recall that our Transatlantic Friend – he of the Oirish roots – also used to go on about the “Transfer Agreement”. I hope he’ll read Craig’s post attentively and have the decency to keep his mouth shut this time.

      • Mathiasalexander

        Should people be punished for saying things out of context or for being unhelpfull?

    • lysias

      The historical truth of the Transfer Agreement is confirmed by Edwin Black’s The Transfer Agreement: The Dramatic Story of the Secret Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine . As Heinz Hoehne’s ‘ Gebt mir vier Jahre Zeit.’ Hitler und die Anfänge des Dritten Reiches confirms, the economic position of the German Nazi government in its early months, especially with regard to foreign exchange, was such that, without the foreign exchange provided by the Transfer Agreement, the Nazi government would probably have fallen within months of its inception.

  • Dave

    If Holocaust “denial” is banned from the blog, what about Holocaust “confirmation” with details provided?

    • Habbabkuk

      ^^ there you go. Sounds like a denier approaching from a different direction.

      Nice try!

      • Mike

        “Truth fears no questions”
        If this “Holocaust” which I only remember first hearing about in the sixties, happened as they say it did, why aren’t we allowed to question the details?

  • Habbabkuk

    Craig

    This is the best, most sensible and most level-headed post you’ve made in a while and I agree with every word of it.

    You have got all the elements of this storm in a teacup exactly right. Well done!

    • philw

      I come dangerously close to agreeing with Habbabkuk for once.

      However, I cant agree that “the suspension of Ken Livingstone for a further year is about the correct punishment.”
      As you say, Craig,”He was wrong-headed and distasteful, but not a racist. Nobody truly thinks he is a racist,”
      and he has served a suspension. What you call “Labour’s way of reflecting this while not meeting head-on the question of the ludicrous expansion of the meaning of anti-Semitism” I would call a ludicrous fudge and a way of kicking the can down the road. At some point Labour has to confront the “ludicrous expansion of the meaning of anti-Semitism” which in truth is just an Israeli power play.

    • Shatnersrug

      I certainly agree with you Hab, that it’s a storm in a teacup, there’s also an awful lot of bruised male egos going on here between Ian McNicol, John Byrne and probably Ken too.

  • david

    “Freedom of speech has limits.”

    Freedom of speech should have no limits Craig, otherwise you don’t have freedom of speech, you have repression. Not everything everyone says is nice, but in a world with true freedom of speech a person is free to express their thoughts, be they right wrong racist sexist or any other of the ism’s. Only by a person being free and able to express their thoughts is society as a whole able to challenge and change views. When those views are locked up inside with no outlet and no check or balance they grow and become entrenched, and in extreme cases violent.

    You have freedom of speech or you do not, there is no middle ground or grey area. You cannot be a proponent of free speech and then say it has limits. It would be the same as saying there is no speed limit then banning everyone who went faster than 70 !

    Other than that I’ve seen ken speak a few times, he did always seem a compassionate individual, I think this is more a labour witch hunt than anything else. Seems about the only thing labour do well currently.

    • craig Post author

      I have frequently quoted John Stuart Mill on the subject. To argue that corn merchants are thieves who profiteer on the misery of the poor is acceptable freedom of speech. To yell it to an armed mob outside a corn merchant’s house is not. Context and intent are important, and freedom of speech is not absolute.

      • Republicofscotland

        This is a difficult poser, but where does one draw the line between, respectful commemoration of an historical event, and the then use of that event, to capitalise on it.

        Surely there must be a distinction between the two?

        I do not believe that Livingstone is as you say anti-Semitic, foolhardy yes, but if he’d have used the same gusto like approach on say the Turkish/Armenina genocide or the British/Tasmanian, or even the indigenous North American Indian genocide, would there have been such an outcry?

      • david

        Freedom of action is not absolute, freedom of speech should be.

        I know its a case of perspective, but for me the example shows an action not a speech. So long as you are free to argue that corn merchants are thieves etc then there is less chance of you needing to shout it too an angry mob. The angry mob arises when freedom to speak is curtailed and outlets for discontent are closed. Incitement to violence is an action, all be it a verbal one. Free speech contains no action, or instruction to act or implication to act, its a expression of position and not movement. In context to Kens comments he was perusing free speech, and assuming he’s incorrect ( I don’t know) he should now be presented with the facts that prove it and allow him to change his mind. Punishing him forces him to remain quiet in future and so the formed ideas cannot be challenged because they are never expressed, causing entrenchment of position.

      • Phil the ex-frog

        Freedom of speech is a delusion fostered by those with power who want to retain their privileged platform.

        How about shouting amongst a mob outside a grain store? TBH I don’t have a problem shouting outside a corn merchant’s house. It’s a legitimate tactic for the hungry who have no formal political alternative. I would applaud any haranguing of the CEO of Glencore for their food speculation.

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/may/05/glencore-hunge-commodity-food-prices

      • Bhante

        “To argue that corn merchants are thieves who profiteer on the misery of the poor is acceptable freedom of speech. To yell it to an armed mob outside a corn merchant’s house is not.”

        A more realistic comparison though would be to an armed mob of vigilantes working for the corn merchants who surveil everything the poor whisper into each others’ ears in the privacy of their own homes to try to catch anyone who complains, who would then be tried in a kangaroo court and immediately hanged.

        It is certainly true that free speech must have limits. If it does not, there is nothing free about it at all but it is the opposite of freedom (free speech in its extreme means free violence, free exploitation, free theft, free deception, free negation, etc). Personally I find certain mentally deranged fascist publications that use something pretending to be humour as a fig leaf to justify mindlessly racist, intolerant and insulting speech every bit as disgusting and unacceptable in a civilised society as the mindless hate speech of supporters of ISIS (and arguably more effective in recruiting hoards to terrorism). Free speech that is not regulated by a sense of reasonableness, tolerance and openmindedness is no better than non-free speech (and is itself to that extent ultimately non-free).

        Equally self-censorship, when it is not motivated by and regulated by a genuine sense of reasonableness, tolerance and openmindedness, but instead by fear or corruption, is a deadly threat to reasonable free speech.

        Given the manner in which certain unclear historical questions have been so heavy-handedly repressed by interested parties from reasoned debate and scholarly research, it is dangerous indeed to allow oneself to be bullied into supporting those same interested parties when they try to enforce that repression. In Orwell’s “1984” are we to self-censor ourselves not to discuss – discreetly amongst trusting friends – the implications to our personal safety of Snowdon’s revelations on indiscriminate mass surveillance?

        Whilst I agree that Livingston’s discussion of the nazi-zionist agreement was foolish to the extent that it was highly counterproductive to the much more urgently pressing problem of the destruction of Corbyn’s popular message by the mass media – of which this issue is itself just one cog – I think it is both intellectually and morally dishonest to deny him the moral right to discuss it.

      • K Crosby

        John Stuart Mill was a proto-fascist who merely argued that the state has no business regulating such a matter, especially when an armed mob can do it cheaper.

        • Douglas

          No, but the Anti-Corbin faction soon summoned one.
          Conflating Anti-Semitism with Anti-Zionism is a major problem -and deliberate tactic.

      • Carl Olsen

        Freedom of expression should be absolute. Limited freedom of speech is not an option as it permits others to define the boundaries as to what is acceptable – i.e. you are free to speak as long as I don’t find it too distasteful. That said, immediate incitement is an entirely different matter, which was Mill’s only point, one that doesn’t apply in Ken Livingstone’s case.

  • Habbabkuk

    The “Transfer Agreement” (book by the US historian Black) – from Wikipedia

    “This book documents the agreement between Nazi Germany and an organization of German Zionists in 1933 to salvage all German Jewish assets and the voluntary emigration of German Jews to Palestine before the Third Reich implemented expulsion and then extermination. The Transfer Agreement rescued some 60,000 German Jews. A sweeping, worldwide economic boycott of Germany by Jews helped spur a deal between the Nazis and Zionists.[3] At that time, there were few Jews in Palestine but from 1933 through 1936, 60,000 German Jews migrated to the region,[4] bringing with them all of the assets they held in Germany.[5]”

    I trust that no one on this blog would take objection to Jews being allowed to leave Germany (instead of being locked up or worse) and even better, being allowed to leave Germany with most or all of their assets?

    Especially since the Jewish counterpart (of any) appears to have been so innocuous as to be seldom if ever mentioned.

    Now : if someone on here does take objection to that Agreement – or attempts to cite it as evidence that the Jews were somehow complicit with Nazi Germany, then I would submit that that someone is a true anti-semite.

    • bevin

      What you, or wiki, omit is the fact that the zionists broke the boycott of Germany which the international community had decided upon as a first response to the Nazi seizure of power. Nobody is suggesting that there was any complicity between the great majority of those most affected by Nazi racism- the minority of zionists who made the agreement, and broke the boycott, were inclined to fascism themselves. I refer to the Jabotinsky revisionists whose direct descendants politically currently, through Likud et al, dominate Israeli politics.
      And this is exactly what Ken Livingstone says and our friend RoS appears to be repeating.

      • K Crosby

        Look at the citations in the article; does 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis or Zionism in the Age of the Dictators: A Reappraisal by Lenni Brenner appear? Always a good reason to smell a rat; 51 Documents, P 47, “The conditions of the pact changed over the 30s, always in favour of the Hitlerites.”

      • Habbabkuk

        Bevs

        “What you, or wiki, omit is the fact that the zionists broke the boycott of Germany which the international community had decided upon as a first response to the Nazi seizure of power.”
        ____________________

        I was expecting someone to come out with that and you did not disappoint.

        The impression you attempt to give is

        1/. the the boycott was one of the “international community”

        and

        2/. the boycott would have killed Nazism in the bud had the “zionists” not broken it.

        Neither if those is correct in the slightest degree.

        Try harder, Bevs.

        • Professor Z.I.J. Orion

          “1/. the the boycott was one of the “international community”

          Would you please define “The International Community”?

          Is this the same really vaque“international community” that Blair and company gave so much credence to?

          or:

          Is it maybe the United Nations?

          • bevin

            What I meant was that the great majority of those professing Judaism or feeling an ancestral loyalty thereto, had reached a united decision to boycott Germany as soon as the Nazis came to power.
            Unhappily the moderation is such that one has to attempt to find formulae which might be ambiguous. I ought to have specified which international community I meant. It surprises me that I needed to. (I will now wait to see whether this is published.)

    • K Crosby

      You do realise that your quote (note that zionists troll Wiki even more assiduously than COMbbc) makes a distinction between Jews and zionists? Anyone not historically illiterate or on the make can see that zionism is a secular, fascist and antisemitic ideology.

    • Neil Anderson

      What about the Jews of Germany – and the rest of Europe – who had no assets?

  • Dave

    For once I don’t agree with you Craig. The only reason this is an issue is because of a hysterical Jewish lobby who conflate historical fact with anti-Semitism. We are not allowed to use history now without insane opposition. This from the people who plotted to bring down a UK Minister and which was quickly hushed up. As a diplomat you will know the seriousness of that. Instead we have to deal with this smokescreen.

    The Labour party is shamed by allowing this witch hunt on KL. As are those who seek to blame KL for this. Wrong target.

    • Habbabkuk

      I was waiting to see who would be the first of the regukars to break cover and disagree with Craig. 🙂

      No doubt others, emboldened, will now follow suit…….

      The very common sense, moderation and insight of Craig’s post is guaranteed to vex many of the faithful.

      I, for my part, again say “well done, Craig – your post should appear prominently throughout the MSM as a definitive statement”.

      • Professor Z.I.J. Orion

        “the MSM”

        That’s another term equally as vague as “the international community”.

        “Musical Soloists Memorandum” perhaps?

      • Chris Rogers

        Habbabkuk,

        I find it strange indeed, and as ever the case with your inane comments, that you have appointed yourself as the ‘official’ arbiter of all and sundry on this blog, with specific attention paid to what constitutes ‘anti-semitism’, which by my limited understanding the goal posts seem to change almost every day.

        For a rather more nuanced approach to Livingstone’s ‘off-the-cuff’ remarks and the context they were actually made under, I refer you to this post on the London Review of Books: https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2016/05/04/thomas-jones/labour-and-anti-semitism/

        As with those Commenting on the LRB Blog, let me make clear I’m not a bag carrier for Ken Livingstone, nor for that matter was I too impressed by some of Ken’s antics in the 1980s. On one issue I am confident is that Livingstone is no ‘anti-semite’ or ‘Holocaust Denier’, if only based on the fact that within the Israeli Historical Archives we have numerous documented evidence of Jewish collaboration with the Instruments of the Nazi State across Occupied Europe, some of which have been supplied by no less a name than Primo Levi – let me also stress, as Historians of the calibre of Prof. Ian Kershaw do continually, that such collaboration has to be placed within its correct context, such as the case of Chaim Rumkowski.

        I’ll leave it there for fear of having accusations of ‘anti-semitism’ heaped on myself, but again, and for the record, the furore surrounding Ken Livingstone’s remarks has absolutely nothing to do with ‘anti-semitism’ and everything to do with an on going power struggle within the Labour Party, one highly influenced by Zionist forces opposed to anyone in positions of leadership being critical of the state of Israel or expressing pro-Palestinian sentiments. Indeed, such is the hysteria from this highly organised and vocal minority, that even Bernie Sander’s when campaigning for the Democrat Presidential nomination last year was accused of being an ‘anti-semite’. Still, who am I to argue?

    • bevin

      I agree entirely. I commented at some length but my comment is yet to appear. I know how Ken must feel. You are particularly right to stress how appallingly cowardly the Labour Party is showing itself to be.

      • Shatnersrug

        Bevin, you know the Labour right’s role in the Labour Party is to prevent anything close to socialism from ever happening, if they can’t do this by capturing the party orthodoxy ala, Blair, Gaitskil, or even Ramsay McDonald then they will do their level best to prevent the party becoming electable with childish and noncooperative behaviour whilst undermining Party unity. It is their mandate, and is written into the core of the party.

      • Professor Z.I.J. Orion

        “You are particularly right to stress how appallingly cowardly the Labour Party is showing itself to be.”

        Hardly! Some of us are old enough to remember the “Marine Offences Bill”. All the Labour Party ever do is tug their forelocks and say “Yes Sir! How high Sir?” when the establishment tells them what to do. At least the Tories sometimes put up a fight!

    • TA Bell

      Not correct to say ‘Jewish’ lobby. It is a Zionist lobby and plenty of Jews are anti-Zionist.

    • Habbabkuk

      Good to see you’re around, RobG, because I’m still waiting for a helpful answer about your permanent French social security number : how long did it take to get it after they gave you a temporary number?

      • D_Majestic

        I hope he makes you wait as long as I shall, in reference as to what I had for my late lunch.

        • Habbabkuk

          I didn’t actually ask you what you had for that lunch, ducky, I asked you whether you’d had a good one. Perhaps I should have asked whether it was a liquid one…

          • Professor Z.I.J. Orion

            “I didn’t actually ask!”

            No! Maybe you didn’t, but you seem to have set yourself up as some kind of Netkop regardless. Now regarding this “International community” you spoke about? Who and what authority do they actually have?

  • Heather

    I don’t think that Ken used his comment in a ‘they were asking for it’ kind of way. I think rather that he was trying to defend Naz Shah by suggesting that if Nazis can be Zionists, then Zionists can be Nazis. It is of course a logical fallacy. Even if he had proved that Nazis were Zionists, (and there is some suggestion that, for a while, they shared common goals) that doesn’t mean it works the other way around! I think this is another example of Ken trying to be ‘helpful’ and just making everything 100 times worse. I do wish he’d stop shoehorning Hitler into every debate, but I genuinely think this was not meant in any way as an anti-Semitic comment – rather a comment on the vehemence of the current Israeli leadership.

    • Heather

      Also, Naz Shah apologised, as she should have done, for giving offense. That means that the press now takes it as an admission that she was and is anti-Semitic, and that will follow her everywhere she goes. What she did wasn’t at all anti-Semitic – she re-tweeted a joke meme by a leading Jewish academic about the amount of money the US sends to Israel. Not in itself anti-Semitic, but open to that interpretation when re-Tweeted by someone of Pakistani heritage.

      • TA Bell

        Disagree. She should not have apologized. She make a valid political point and if that offends someone, so be it.

    • bevin

      ” Even if he had proved that Nazis were Zionists, (and there is some suggestion that, for a while, they shared common goals) that doesn’t mean it works the other way around!..”
      There is a considerable body of Palestinian opinion that would differ. Those mourning the dead in Gaza might not see the difference for example.

      • Heather

        I’m not saying it isn’t true. I’m just saying that claiming that the Nazis were Zionists doesn’t make it true or prove that it’s true.

    • K Crosby

      Look at what he said and compare it with the facts. Contrast that with the behaviour of SS-Mann and the corp-0-rat and state media.

  • Phil the ex-frog

    I agree with this article but suggest you present a too narrow context that risks mischaracterising the extent and nature of anti-Semitism.

    Everyone was trying to accommodate to the difficult fact of Nazi power.

    The holocaust happened after a long history, and amid, widespread anti-Semitism. It was not an aberration that appeared out of nowhere. Many, including some of those you mention and others (including non German corporate power), were not merely ‘trying to accommodate’. They were anti-semitic. This included some on the British left who for example supported the 1905 & 1911 Alien Acts, thinly veiled responses to keep out Jews escaping Russian persecution. Forebearers of current Labour MPs who play the immigration card.

    I will add this thought: anti-Semitism, like Islamaphobia today, like much racism (including Zionism), is inseparable from nationalism. All nationalism.

    http://libcom.org/blog/anti-semitism-left-05012009

    • Republicofscotland

      Phil.

      I can’t agree with you on the all nationalism is a form racism.

      The renowned German Jürgen Habermas, said of Civic nationalism.

      “A civic nation or state does not aim to promote one culture over another. A liberal state need not assimilate into the host culture, but only need to accept the principles of the country’s Constitution.”

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civic_nationalism

      • fred

        That is just political theory, true civic nationalism doesn’t exist in the real world, a myth.

        For an example take American Nationalism, can’t get more civic than that there is no shared ethnic or cultural history yet they had apartheid till the 1960s, still do some say. The McCarthy witch hunts were nothing more than civic racism.

        Phil is right, nationalism is nationalism as how some nationalists try to pretend they are different, as how the Celtic Nationalist tries to make himself more acceptable.

          • fred

            How did I just know that the first reply to this post would have the word “you” at the beginning of it.

            I wrote my piece without using the word “you” at all.

      • Phil the ex-frog

        RoS
        “I can’t agree with you on the all nationalism is a form racism.”

        Well, I didn’t say that. I said racism is inseparable from nationalism.

        The nation state is a formation of us against them. If you’re not in you’re out. One of them. Every nation breeds racists. In your fictional cuddly liberal nation, under certain conditions this may be minimal. Yet it is always bubbling away as the diversity of millions are convinced they share a common cause under a flag by leaders who enjoy the spoils of the illusion that is the nation state.

        Take Scotland. You and other nationalists here may claim there is no, or little, racism in Scotland. I would suggest you go to a Rangers Celtic match. You may say the Scots are less war like than the English. I would laugh. However, even accepting there is little racism in Scotland I would suggest it is not a consequence of the people in the land we call Scotland are somehow magically blessed with a peculiar kindness. It is more a consequence of the social and economic situation as it currently stands. Which of course can change. For example, currently Scotland needs young people for it’s future economic prosperity. Come the day this is no longer the case I suggest the ruling class would readily revert to whipping up racism. To divert attention, to block further immigration, to go to war. You give them the means and it will be used to retain wealth and privilege.

        • Republicofscotland

          Phil.

          Some of the Nordic nation are progressive, and practice what I’d say is the closest thing to Civic Nationalism.

          No one believes in “a cuddly utopia” for it doesn’t, and due to human nature can’t exist.

          Yes every country has one form of sectarianism/racism or another, but to compare that to Civic nationalism, which strives to overcome those barriers is misplaced in my opinion.

          As you cite Scotland, I can only hope that Scotland follows in the footsteps of our Nordic neighbours, and strives to practice a more inclusive form of Civic nationalism.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            RoS

            I have to go and do stuff now but will respond later. In the meantime would you clarify specifically which nordic country/countries you refer to?

          • Republicofscotland

            Here you go Phil, the Nordic Model is in my opinion the closest to Civic nationalism.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model

            Now Phil since we’re asking questions can you give us all proof of your claim that Civic nationalism is as you said below, racist.

            From your 15.53pm comment.

            ” like much racism (including Zionism), is inseparable from nationalism. All nationalism.”

          • fred

            I looked through the page and I don’t see the word “nationalist” mentioned at all and it’s a long page.

            Basically you are pointing at governments which are not generally considered to be nationalist as examples of good nationalism rather than examples of not nationalist.

          • Republicofscotland

            Jeez Fred, you’ve scoured the page for the word nationalist, you’re not too bright are you. ?

            Of course you can’t find Civic nationalism it’s something to aspire to, in my opinion the Nordic Model comes closest to it. If any nation had achieved complete civic nationalism it would be utopia, but that I’m afraid doesn’t exist.

          • fred

            So do any of the ruling parties have the word “national” in them, like Scottish Nationalist or National Socialist do?

          • lysias

            The Irish party of Parnell and Dillon was known as the “Nationalist Party”. Its continuation in the first decades of the Northern Irish state, it was known by the same name.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            RoS
            “Can you give us all proof of your claim that Civic nationalism is as you said below, racist.”

            Proof? No. This isn’t science, it’s political theory. However, I can provide an argument. As you have not responded to the arguments in my previous comment, you instead restated your faith in the Nordic model, I am unsure what you make of them. So I will repeat myself somewhat trying to be a little clearer.

            The nation state is fundamentally a formation of us against them. If you’re not in you’re out. Not one of us. A foreigner. This otherness defines a nation state. A nation state cannot exist without this fundamental concept of others who are not us.

            A state is repressive because it exists to empower the repression needed to protect the privileges of the ruling class. It is essential the sense of otherness is fostered to gel millions of very different people into a group that submits to the control (and repression) of the state.

            The flag waving, the fermenting of national identity, will always breed some racists. However, the level of racism that raises it’s head is largely dependent on the social and economic situation. Which of course will always change.

            When the social economic circustances become such that it suits the ruling classes to whip up nationalism it will. At this point the problem is that the primary mechnism that empowers nationalism, the state, is ready to go. Centralised leadership in thrall to power, the monopoly on violence, the ability to control communications…everything is in place (my country is the best, god save the queen, I love Scotland). The ruling elite have at their fingertips the resources of the state to do whatever it takes to protect their privilege. The trigger simply needs pulling.

            This is the simple but powerful perspective of historical materialism: the notion that society is largely shaped by social economic circustances and that ideas emerge to rationalise the situation.

            An example to illuminate. Accepting the level of racism in Scotland is currently less than other countries I suggest this is more likely due to the social economic situation rather then some mystical superiority of the people who inhabit the land mass called Scotland. The Scottish government are perfectly explicit they need workers. To achieve this they need to make foreigners welcome. So the state does not need to stir the nationalism. However, come the day that immigration is no longer a necessity, the country will adjust to the new reality. This adjustment may be a reaction to divert attention from other failing policies, to build an army to steal resources from elsewhere, to reduce the consumption of services. A combination of all of these. Whatever. But the point is when circumstances demand the state, like all institutions, will resort to whatever is needed to protect privilege and power. And ntionalism becomes racism at the drop of a hat because everything is already in place.

            Racism under the umbrella of nationalism, stoked by a ruling class using the power of the state, reacting to a social economic threat to privilege. Perhaps you recognise this? Currently it’s exploding everywhere.

            Civic nationalism is just another slight variation on liberal democracy. I see nothing in it that makes it immune to the forces I outline above. This is absolutely confirmed by what is going on right now with the rise of the right , for example, in Sweden?

          • fred

            ‘Civic nationalism, that which is “promoted by the SNP, seeks an inclusive society based on where you are, not where you’re from.”’

            Do and say exactly what the SNP tell you and you are included otherwise you are not.

            If you oppose Nationalism they call you a “Britnat”, they point at governments of countries which are not Nationalist and call them Nationalist but they themselves who are Nationalist they claim they aren’t.

            All very Orwellian.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            RoS
            “So that means no then, just as I thought.”

            That’s no great insight mate. I have written several long posts which unambiguously say no. Yet I made a case. You simply link to pages that do not address the points made. I have no idea if you even understood the idea I was trying to outline.

            You do not engage. You simply restate your faith, make a trite observation as if it meant something and move on. Ho fucking hum.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Oops I got my last comment confused. Strike the second sentence and carry on.

      • K Crosby

        The state is inherently authoritarian, it’s a machine for minorities to exploit majorities, which is why idealist attempts to reform it always fail, egalitarianism is subversive of the state. The Bolsheviks capitulated in 1921, Liarbour in 1922, the Fascists in 1922, Liarbour again in 1931, 1945, 1997 and 2008. Nationalism may not be racist but it is always fascist (one of the C20th bastard children of C19th liberalism).

      • Professor Z.I.J. Orion

        Perhaps, but Scotland’s constitution is the constitution of the entire UK, so how are you justifying yourself by that stupid statement?

  • reel guid

    Many historians – including Volker Ullrich in his excellent recent biography of Hitler – have written of the Nazis exploring the possibility of deporting Germany’s Jewish population en masse to Madagascar around 1938. The idea had originated in the 1880s with the German intellectual and anti-Semite Paul de Lagarde and had been popular with various European anti-Semitic groups from then onwards.

    Madagascar’s climate and topography would not have been able to support large numbers of people as the Nazis well knew and so this idea was genocidal in intent and was in no way some quasi-benign policy to let German Jews go free. It was the polar opposite of Zionism.

    If Ken Livingstone thinks the Nazi policy before the war can be described as having links to Zionism then he is either an insensitive fool or else he does harbour some residual anti-Semitism. Which it is I don’t know. If he is innocent of the imputation then he certainly doesn’t help himself.

    • bevin

      What Livingstone says is true. And no understanding of the Holocaust or Naziism is possible unless you understand this. What he says in important and, as he suggested, indicative of the deep roots of fascism among the zionists. Netanyahu’s father was Jabotinsky’s secretary and a self proclaimed fascist.
      It ill becomes any nationalists not to understand the many links between fascist groups and every kind of nationalist group (from the Grand Mufti to Jabotinsky, to Indian anti-colonialists, yea even unto the Sinn Fein, Plaid Cymru and the SNP of yore.) And the many temptations, under Wolf Tone’s theory that England’s difficulty is Ireland opportunity, to reach out to the devil you don’t know to fight the one with whom you are all too familiar.

      • reel guid

        There is a considerable history of links between socialism and anti-Semitism. That’s more relevant to the discussion of Livingstone’s case. Why the hurry to bring nationalism into it?

        • TA Bell

          Links between socialism and anti-Semitism?!? A sign of the times that you can throw around canards like this without anyone taking ‘offence’ and calling for the political correctness police. Numerous prominent socialists in Germany and Russia were Jews. Numerous prominent communists in US were Jews. It is because the left opposes Zionism that that canard has currency.

          • reel guid

            Yes there was considerable Jewish involvement in socialism in Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. And also there is considerable historical record of anti-Semitism in socialist movements. It wasn’t usually widespread perhaps but was nevertheless there.

            Liberalism also is not free of a history of anti-Semitism. Some of the persecutors of Alfred Dreyfus were prominent French liberals.

            Communism doesn’t get excused either. Stalin was quite virulently anti-Semitic.

            Conservatism. Well obviously there’s never been any shortage of people with prejudices against most groups including Jews.

        • bevin

          “There is a considerable history of links between socialism and anti-Semitism..”
          Perhaps you could explain this assertion, preferably by citing cases.
          As to nationalism, my intention was not to smear, I consider myself to be a nationalist of sorts, but to point out that nationalist movements, especially where they are emptied of class struggle can be taken over by fascists. In fact most of the popular advances since 1945 have been made by nationalists with an anti-imperialist and democratic agenda.

    • Loony

      I have no idea whether what you write is true – but I do know that arguments need to be fully coherent.

      Take your observations on the climate and topography of Madagascar and your conclusion that it “would not have been able to support large numbers of people” From these “facts” you impute a genocidal intent.

      Consider then that the current population of Madagascar is about 24.9 million. Consider further that the current population of Israel is just over 8 million

      In 1950 the population of Madagascar was just over 4 million – it would have been lower in 1938.

    • K Crosby

      How can the Havaara Agreement not be a link? See Christopher Browning: The Origins Of The Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy September 1939 – March 1942.

      • reel guid

        The Havaara Agreement was negotiated in the early months of Nazi rule when Hitler was to some extent still pretending to govern with a coalition consisting of conservative and right wing German nationalist parties. The Havaara Agreement is not irrelevant but in the light of what later happened it’s surely a bit insignificant.

        The question is why does Ken Livingston and his supporters have to keep on obsessively talking about links between Nazism and Zionism? What does it achieve?

        All freedom loving people should criticise Israeli government persecution of the Palestinian people but to try to do it via a discussion of historical Zionism just sounds anti-Semitic.

        • lysias

          This “insignificant” agreement helped the Nazi government survive its critical first months when it was woefully short of foreign exchange that was needed to maintain Germans’ standard of living and thus the popularity of the Nazi government.

        • Mathiasalexander

          Should people be punished for saying things out of context or for being unhelpfull?

      • Chris Rogers

        K Crosby,

        Many thank’s for making reference to Christopher Browning’s book, a copy of which I have on my lap presently. Regrettably, most of my historical reference books, academic research papers and personal undergrad/postgrad notes on Nazi Germany are at my parental home in the UK, with my views and opinions being informed greatly by Prof. Ian Kershaw and a number of revisionist German Historian’s that Kershaw himself was influenced by.

      • Professor Z.I.J. Orion

        Who is this “International Community” that you speak of Habbabkuk? What authority do they hold and who gave it to them?

  • John C

    First of all Ken has spoken accurately about a matter of historic record; and the events in question occurred well before there were any concentration camps (1933-34). Secondly, I don’t know why he was speaking about this, but I don’t think he is to blame for highlighting it in the media. As I recall (seeing it on the news) he was barracked by a very angry John Mann MP on a stairwell somewhere from which there was no escape and coincidentally where there was a television news team with cameras running. I believe that the campaign to define anti-zionism as anti-semitism is pernicious. Of course there will be anti-semites who use the terms interchangeably, and there are also Jews who do as well, but there are many Jews including Israelis who do not. As you have noted, apart from other considerations, this conflation is incompatible with free political speech. It is certainly being promoted as a means to shut down criticism of the Israeli government. More to the point here, however, it is being used to condemn Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters, such as Ken Livingston, even at the risk of smearing the entire Labour if necessary.

  • bevin

    Livingstone is correct.. There is no doubt at all that zionists saw the Nazi seizure of power as a cloud with a silver lining. In fact two silver linings: firstly, that persecution would drive Jews towards zionism and separation, with increased, crucially important from the colonists viewpoint, emigration to Palestine where the indigenous population was beginning to realise that the immigrants were not going away. Zionists were in desperate need of reinforcements and they could not but be grateful for the push that the Nazis gave to it.
    Secondly, and this is an example of one of the aspects of the Holocaust that is consistently obscured and pushed down the memory hole, Zionists were not unhappy at the first wave of Nazi persecution, the offensive against Communists and Socialists, their very powerful rivals for leadership of Jewish communities. It is often forgotten that one of the motors of Nazi racism was its identification of Bolshevism with Jews. It is one of the themes still to be found, in profusion, on the internet where Jews are blamed for the ‘crimes’ of Bolshevism.
    The Holocaust, as I see it, began with the murder, committed with complete impunity in Germany by right wing nationalists who later rallied to the Nazi cause, of Rosa Luxemburg. From that point on the course was clearly outlined. In 1933 Jews were being beaten to death with whips in Dachau and other camps. These were Socialist and Communist militants and Trade Unionists-the first victims of a process which only ended when the Red Army in the east and the allied armies in the west, holding their noses I have been told by a Jewish sergeant who was among them, entered Belsen etc.
    As to Ken Livingstone, he is part of an older generation which grew up in the almost secret knowledge of the Holocaust, a part of the meaning of the war that was part of the socialist faith, a reminder that the war had been something very different from 1914-18, a war of ideas, a clash between civilisation and barbarism. A war between right, socialism, fraternity, equality and democracy on the one hand and wrong, elitism, racism, privilege and authoritarianism on the other.
    It may surprise people to learn how little was talked of the Holocaust in those days when every factory in England had a couple of old workers whose units had liberated a camp or who knew someone who had been at Belsen. Or, for that matter its oriental twin Changi.
    In those days, in the Cold War, the offence of ‘premature anti-fascism’ levelled against those who had gone to Spain or protested against Munich, was coming into prominence in the US, and in Britain and Canada also. The communists were being expelled from the Trade Unions in Canada while the Waffen SS-Galician Division, was settling down to new lives and prosperity. Nobody was talking about the slave labour that he employed as von Braun was being honoured in America and the Gehlen organisation was transferring its allegiance from fuhrer to NATO, without much change in its objectives. In the days of Gladio it was felt to be tactless to ‘go on’ about Auschwitz.
    In fact it was only in the east of Europe that the full horrors and real meaning of the Holocaust was officially publicised and found a place in education systems. The truth is that most Jews remember, painfully, how much effort it took to establish the truth which has now become a cult and an industry and has unhappily, ceased to be the terrible truth of the unlimited ingenuity of evil men prompted by greed and hatred in their use of power.
    There will of course be limits of the freedom we allow ourselves to speak truths but Livingstone comes nowhere close to them- he was not addressing an angry anti-semitic mob. The idea that he would ever offer such a thing anything but defiance is libellous. There are very few social democrats with a record of anti-racism, when it counts, as long as Ken’s: in London he dared, in the darkest days of anti-Irish mobs, to speak sensibly of Sinn Fein and give it a chance to explain its positions. He has stood up to fascists, Mosleyites, skinhead hooligans and the foul right wing media, with its agenda of hatred and bigotry, throughout a long career.
    He is an old man and a wise one: those who reproach him for telling truths which they cannot handle are demonstrating to us the difference between cowardice and honesty in politics. It was men like Livingstone, who refused to recant their beliefs and principles who were being sadistically tortured to death in Dachau while The Establishment was clapping its hands at Herr Hitler’s robust way with reds and excusing Nazi anti-semitism because they had it in common.

    • Burt (not bert)

      “…There are very few social democrats with a record of anti-racism, when it counts, as long as Ken’s: in London he dared, in the darkest days of anti-Irish mobs, to speak sensibly of Sinn Fein and give it a chance to explain its positions. He has stood up to fascists, Mosleyites, skinhead hooligans and the foul right wing media, with its agenda of hatred and bigotry, throughout a long career.
      He is an old man and a wise one: those who reproach him for telling truths which they cannot handle are demonstrating to us the difference between cowardice and honesty in politics. It was men like Livingstone, who refused to recant their beliefs and principles who were being sadistically tortured to death in Dachau while The Establishment was clapping its hands at Herr Hitler’s robust way with reds and excusing Nazi anti-semitism because they had it in common.”

      Hear hear

    • Chris Rogers

      Bevin,

      As ever an erudite and excellent post – I’m in envy and wish I could have penned it myself – regrettably, one’s late to this dialogue given the Left Groups on FB supportive of Corbyn have been in convulsions over JC’s official statement with regards Ken Livingston issued late afternoon on Wednesday – so debate has been heavy.

      Taking note of Habbabkuk’s so called contributions to this thread, and in light of the fact, like you, I have been lucky enough to personally engage with one survivor of the Holocaust whilst an Undergraduate, and grew up in an environment that contained individuals who actively fought Nazism and Japanese militarism/fascism in Asia, one of whom was a survivor of the ‘railway’ horrors, another being part of the ‘Forgotten Army’, I’m thankful given Tony Blair’s comments earlier this week, whereby he accused Labour of being over run by ‘ultra-Leftist’, that it was these very alleged ‘ultra-Leftist’ in Germany in the 1920s and early 30s who battled physically with Rightist/anti-democratic forces across Weimar Germany, be they members of the KDP, Trades Unionist or working class segments of the SDP – many of whom were Jewish and fought bravely to combat the rise of fascism and ultra-nationalism. The majority of which were persecuted and eliminated by the Hitler State upon his seizure of power. I wonder what Habbabkuk has to say about this truth given his own weaponisation of anti-semitism to be used as an implement to batter the very same forces that fought fascism in the 20s and 30s?

      Further, and in support of your central thesis, it is indeed correct to state that reference to the Jewish Holocaust was not widespread until the 1960s, and has now been turned into an actual industry and politicised and weaponised to such an extent to make meaningful dialogue almost impossible.

      I do not support the present ongoing Witch Hunt within the Labour Party or the egregious claims that both the Labour Movement and Left in general are hot beds of anti-semitism.

      For the record, my own expulsion from the Labour Party in September 2016 was based on favourable Green Party tweets and re-tweets, this at a time I was a bloody member of the Green Party, which I left in February 2016, some four months prior to re-joining Labour, which, and according to the Party Rule Book, mean’t I broke no Rules or Regulations. Bluntly one was PURGED!

    • mog

      An excellent, honest and penetrating comment Bevin.
      I am disappointed in Craig’s position on this matter, one that seems rooted in a degree of self confessed ignorance.
      The history you mention is so crucial to understanding not just Livingston’s comments but the middle east today.

  • Roy Hiscock

    I don’t wiahto comment on your artcile except tp point out one historical/ownership inaccuracy, which I am sure you will correct: Northcliffe, not Beaverbrook, owned the Daily Mail.

    • Habbabkuk

      If that is indicative of disagreement, whether in part or in whole, it would be interesting for the debate and discussion which will surely flow to hear your comments.

      • Roy Hiscock

        As I intended to say (but there were a few typos) “I don’t wish to comment etc”. I was merely pointing out a factual inaccuracy.
        For what it’s worth, my comment will be limited to the following:
        About a year ago we were told by the then PM that Naz Shah MP had made a particular tweet. This tweet had been made by Ms Shah two years previously at a time when feelings were running high: it was before she had been elected as an MP and while Ed Miliband was leader of the Labour Party. She made an apology and (as I understand it – please correct me if I am wrong) she had since her election the previous May, been working with inter-faith groups in Bradford.
        The accusation of anti-semitism against Ms Shah came from David Cameron – the same David Cameron who seemed to think it not inappropriate to use the “Y”-word when describing Jewish supporters of Tottenham Hotspur. The BDBJ thought that the FA’s attitude of intolerance of that word was correct (again, for what it’s worth, the FA and the Board of Deputies were, in my view, absolutely right).

  • Republicofscotland

    The truth is if you dare to speak out about this matter and all its baggage you’ll end up like Norman Finklestein, ostracised.

    That’s why very few academics or people in any other fields speak out.

    https://chomsky.info/power01/

    If only our intellectuals had more courage, the world could be a much better place.

  • mog

    I think Craig should read the work of the Jewish historian on whom Livingston draws to make his accusations.

    I read one of Brenner’s books and his argument was not that described by Craig Murray here.

    I am not qualified to offer an opinion of the veracity of Brenner’s work on the links between the Zionist movement and fascism in Germany, Italy and Spain- only that it he makes claims (right or wrong) that I think most people would (-if right) consider ‘historically important’.

  • michael norton

    I think the Labour Party are overly concerned with Political Correctness

    • Shatnersrug

      It’s all those on the right have left*

      *see the Democratic Party of the United States of America.

    • Professor Z.I.J. Orion

      I think the Labour Party say “Yes Sir! How high Sir?” when the establishment tell them to jump. They always have and they always will.

  • Shakesvshav

    Is it OK to mention works that examine the Holocaust debate or is that a no no too? What the hell, read Thomas Dalton’s ‘Debating the Holocaust’.

  • TA Bell

    You got the wrong end of this stick, Mr Murray. Whether Livingstone is absolutely accurate or not, his position is prima facie tenable by a reasonable person. Not to stand up and defend his right to say it is to cave into Zionist pressure that any criticism of ZIonism is anti-semitic. That is a position obnoxious to democratic debate and it is a shame that you are conniving at it in this way.

    The treatment meted out to Hannah Arendt in the the 60’s is apposite. The hold of right wing on political culture of UK and US, and the virulent racist Zionism of Netanyahu is part and parcel of that, has strengthened substantially since then. Every democrat and progressive should defend Livingstone against it.

  • Andreas Mytze

    May I suggest you read Ben Hecht’s Perfidy (1961) a book which caused a stir at the time, banned in Israel and out of print for 30 years.
    It deals with the famous/infamous Rudolf Kastner trial in Jerusalem 1954/55 where an “unimportant” Holocaust survivor (Gruenberg I think) claimed that Kastner (a Ben Gurion minister) collaborated with the deadly Nazi machine sending Hungarian Jews to their certain deaths into the gas chambers although pretending otherwise (“resettlements”).
    If you know a bit more of (Israeli) history you might ask yourself: why the hell (sorry) do we waste our time discussing Ken Livingston’s historical “aberations”.
    I hope I was not too arrogant/rude.

  • Sharp Ears

    Habbabkuk has thrown down so many challenges the floor is completely littered. Send for the cleansing dept. someone.

    • Sharp Ears

      20% of the total……so far.

      Now Corbyn has rolled over to Watson (TUFoI) and the JLM and there will be a ‘fresh investigation’. FFS the planet is going to hell in the proverbial handcart yet there is this obsessing.

      Ken Livingstone: Jeremy Corbyn announces new investigation
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39499640

      • Dave

        Its difficult to see how Corbyn can put the Livingstone controversy to bed without resigning himself, because once the neurotics are on your case, every breath you take, is “anti-Semitic”!

    • bevin

      You could have put it much more succinctly, thus:
      “Habbabkuk. Send for the cleansing dept. someone.”

  • TA Bell

    I post the following fro Jonathan Cook’s blog several days ago. I hope you read it, Mr Murray, as it hits nail on head that you miss.

    Now as Livingstone fights to avoid expulsion before a closed hearing of the party’s national constitutional committee, it emerges that Labour’s general secretary, Iain McNicol, has written to Livingstone saying that the hearing is not interested in the historical accuracy of his statements or whether what he said was anti-semitic. Rather, it is about whether his conduct has been “grossly detrimental” to the party.

    In other words, this is a kangaroo court. Because, of course Livingstone’s comments have been detrimental to the party. Not least, they have angered the UK’s powerful Israel lobby. That is the same lobby – directed by the Israeli embassy and working through groups like the Jewish Labour Movement – that was recently exposed by an undercover Al Jazeera investigation as plotting to bring down a British government minister. Crossing people like that is undoubtedly detrimental to the party, because they are prepared to destroy Labour before they allow it, or its leader, to campaign on behalf of Palestinian rights.

    That is why, as long as Livingstone or Corbyn are around, the JLM and its allies in the liberal media, like the Guardian’s Owen Jones and Jonathan Freedland, will keep helping to confect an “anti-semitism crisis” in Labour, acerbating the very problems they blame Corbyn for creating.

  • P3t3r

    Drawing a line in the sand concerning the topic highlights, well, well done Sir!

  • Soothmoother

    It seems that comments made by whoever are a crime. To lie to the public or distort facts to promote wars leading to mass slaughter are perfectly acceptable. PC is being used to kill free speech. It used to be that actions speak louder than words. Now it’s actions cannot be questioned, words are not allowed.

  • K Crosby

    Livingston’s comments (not those imputed to him) were all true and it is monumentally hypocritical of you to write this

    But that does not mean Ken Livingstone acted wisely or even properly. The disaster that attended European Jews in the second world war was so huge, that it needs to be approached with great sensitivity. Livingstone claims that certain Jewish Zionists had a pre-Holocaust deal with the Nazis. To me, that is very analogous to alleging that an acknowledged rape victim had some previous relationship with her abusive rapist. It has no possible relevance other than to be some kind of “she asked for it” point.

    and

    Livingstone’s point may or may not be true but, even if it is, we do not go around throwing out random facts out of context. Just because something is true does not make it helpful to say it at any given moment.

    this. Freedom of speech is one and indivisible, not something to hide in a closet because someone else might find it inconvenient. It is this pathetic sophistry in the face of evil that is the reason that liberals are despised as crypto-fascist cunts. Your remarks are nearly as contemptible as Corbyn’s.

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