Facing expulsion from his own party, former London mayor Livingstone sticks to his claim “Zionists” collaborated with Nazi Germany.
London’s former mayor Ken Livingstone repeated controversial remarks made last year and claimed there had been “real collaboration” between Nazi Germany and Zionist leaders in the 1930s.
Speaking to reporters before a hearing by the Labour Party’s National Constitutional Committee, which will rule on Livingstone’s possible expulsion from the party, he said that Adolf Hitler “didn’t just sign the deal” [with Zionist leaders] but had “armed Jews moving to Palestine.”
“I simply said, back in 1933 Hitler’s government signed a deal with the Zionist movement, which would mean that Germany’s Jewish community were moved to what is now Israel,” Livingstone said.
“When the Zionist movement asked the Nazi Government, would they stop the rabbis doing their sermons in Yiddish and make them do it in Hebrew, he [Hitler] agreed to that. He also passed a law that said only the Zionist flag and the Swastika could be flown in Germany. The SS set up training camps so that German Jews who were going to go there could be trained to cope with a very different sort of country when they got there,” Livingstone claimed.
Pointing to what he said was cooperation between the Nazis and Jews before six million were killed in death camps, he insisted: “They started selling Mauser pistols to the underground Jewish army so you had, right up until the Second World War, real collaboration.”
The Labour Party veteran, who was a member of parliament and served as the first directly elected mayor of London from 2000 to 2008, was suspended in April 2016 after claiming that Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s before he “went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”
Lacking ‘Any Sense of Decency’
Livingstone faces a charge of engaging in conduct that was grossly detrimental to the party.
Last year, Board of Deputies of British Jews President Jonathan Arkush said the politician’s comments “were abhorrent and beyond disgrace” and called for Livingstone’s expulsion from Labour. “He lacks any sense of decency,” Arkush said then.
Labour’s general secretary, Iain McNicol, said the case against Livingstone was not about historical facts, but his remarks showed a lack of awareness or concern for the Jewish community’s sensitivity on the matter.
Jeremy Newmark, chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement, said “he just seems to be digging a deeper hole. At his own expulsion hearing he can’t show any sign of apology. We have been very clear that we feel there should be no future for Ken in the Labour party. He’s demonstrated constantly that he thinks it’s okay to sprinkle the language of Hitler around like political confetti.”
By: World Jewish Congress
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