Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London, has had his bid to join the Green Praty rejected, likely because of his antisemitic comments of the past.
Livingstone, 76, left the Labour Party three years ago after he was suspended for comments he made in 2016 where he linked the Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, to Zionism.
According to the Jewish News, the Greens interviewed him and he told them that he wished to become a leader within the party and expressed interest in again running as a candidate for London mayor. However, party insiders questioned Livingstone on his controversial statements about Jews and antisemitism, and asked him to clarify his intentions on repairing his very strained relationship with the Jewish community.
In January, Livingstone told the Guardian that he believed the Greens “thought that if they brought me in they’d be accused of being antisemitic.”
Livingstone’s application to join the Greens went through a regional council internal consultation process before being rejected.
What did Ken Livingstone do?
The disgraced former mayor claimed in 2016 that Hitler “supported Zionism” before “going mad”. The wild claim was made when defending anti-Israel comments of his former colleague MP Naz Shah who posted antisemitic images on social media.
While Ms Shah apologised and was able to remain in the Labour Party, Mr Livingstone doubled down and repeated his bogus claims.
Mr Livingstone is notoriously anti-Israel and so his views on Israel have allowed him to be blinded by antisemitism. Trying to rationalise the comment is impossible.
Hitler was responsible for the Holocaust which resulted in the murder of six million Jews. Likewise, Hitler himself said that his aim was not to allow Jews to flee to Israel but instead to exterminate them.
The opposite is true of Zionism, which is the belief that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people as promised to them in the Bible. Israel is a beacon of hope for the Jewish people that protects them from such atrocities.
The likelihood of Ken Livingstone’s equation of Hitler and Zionism is for the reason of demonising Israel. Hitler is well regarded as the worst person in history and claiming that this very bad person actually supported Israel is like saying that Israel is similar to Hitler.
Not only is this line of thinking factually wrong, but it is also deeply antisemitic. The IHRA definition on antisemitism explains that equating Israel’s actions to that of the Nazis is antisemitism.
The reality is that Hitler hated the Jews and wanted to wipe them out. Likewise, Palestinian leaders at the time, including the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, visited Hitler during the Nazi era and applauded his death camps, hoping to do similar back in Israel. There is an argument to be made today that the antisemitic hatred of the Nazis is very similar to the antisemitic hatred of Palestinian extremists and others who seek to wipe out Israel.
Shamefully, people like Ken Livingstone instead try to turn reality on its head. Claiming the victims of the Holocaust, the worst genocide in history, were instead supported by the instigator of the Holocaust is a deeply offensive, antisemitic and false claim.