Electronic Intifada Goes Full Antisemitism In Defense Of Ken Livingstone

1019

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended for effectively a year following the Labor Party tribunal hearing into his comments linking Hitler with Zionism – a grossly lenient punishment for something where only outright expulsion from the party would suffice. And now Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing demands to force him out.

This is what Corbyn had to say about Livingstone’s remarks (even though he also said he respects the panel’s decision):

“Ken Livingstone’s comments have been grossly insensitive, and he has caused deep offence and hurt to the Jewish community. It is deeply disappointing that, despite his long record of standing up to racism, Ken has failed to acknowledge or apologise for the hurt he has caused. Many people are understandably upset that he has continued to make offensive remarks which could open him to further disciplinary action.”

I say all of this as background for a piece on Ali Abunimah’s schmatta Electronic Intifada by one of their writers, the aptly named Asa Winstanley.



https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/defeat-israel-lobby-ken-livingstone-beats-labour-expulsion

Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone on Tuesday had his suspension from the Labour Party extended for “bringing the party into disrepute” last year.

But Israel lobby elements within the party had pushed hard for Livingstone, long a supporter of Palestinian rights, to be expelled outright.

Livingstone vowed in a statement to fight the suspension.

“Today’s Labour Party panel extended my suspension for another year because of my political views, not because I have done anything to harm the Labour Party,” he said.

Livingstone is a left-wing veteran of Labour, and for decades led anti-racism efforts in local government in London.

The new suspension is “an attempt to protect Israel from criticism, while simultaneously weakening the position of the pro-Palestinian left in the party,” a statement by Jewish members of the Labour Party said.

“It is the verdict, not Ken Livingstone, that has brought the Labour Party into disrepute,” they asserted.

In April last year, Livingstone was asked in a BBC radio interview if a Labour lawmaker’s comments about Hitler’s actions being “legal” had been anti-Semitic.

He replied by referring to the 1933 Ha’avara agreement between the Nazi government and the Zionist Federation of Germany as Hitler “supporting Zionism” by transferring Jews to Palestine.

Moving the goalposts

After initially being suspended for “anti-Semitism,” the charges against Livingstone were changed to “bringing the party into disrepute.” Now he is accused of having “revised the history of the Holocaust.”

His suspension was the peak of a witch hunt manufactured by right-wing Labour lawmakers and their allies in the Israel lobby.

The moral panic sought to portray the party under new pro-Palestinian leader Jeremy Corbyn as a hive of anti-Semitism.

But the media obsession with the “anti-Semitism crisis” in Labour was highly exaggerated and, in some cases, outright fabricated.

Livingstone’s historically accurate comment about Zionism was met with a storm of attacks by right-wing Labour lawmakers and anti-Palestinian activists.

At the time, these forces were seeking to undermine the Labour leader in the run-up to May 2016 local elections.

The manufactured crisis led to dozens of suspensions of Labour Party activists, usually for little more than an out-of-context social media posting from years earlier.

Fighting expulsion

One veteran Labour activist in south London was suspended for 10 weeks for merely agreeing that Livingstone’s comment on the radio was “largely accurate.”

Gloating over Ken Livingstone’s lenient punishment for outright antisemitism? Check

Justifying his comments linking Hitler and Zionism? Check

Painting the tribunal as a witch-hunt orchestrated by the Jewish lobby “Israel lobby elements”? Check

Putting “anti-semitism crisis” in scare quotes, as if it is also something orchestrated by you-know-who, and not the real thing that it is? Check

Well done, Asa! I am really glad you wrote this, and that Ali published it. This vile piece shows what you guys and the EI are really all about.

Please help ensure Israellycool can keep going,
by donating one time or monthly