Livingstone repeats Hitler claims: Board of Deputies calls for his expulsion from Labour


The Board of Deputies has called on Labour to expel Ken Livingstone immediately, after he reiterated his views on Hitler and Zionism on live radio, using Yad Vashem to support his claims.

Five month ago, during an interview on Vanessa Feltz’s BBC London radio show, Mr Livingstone claimed that Hitler had backed Zionism, insisting that this had been a key policy when the dictator stood for elections in 1932.

He was suspended from the Labour Party following outrage at the remarks.

Today, the former London mayor, 71, returned to Ms Feltz’s popular breakfast show and repeated his claims.

Still waiting to learn whether he will be expelled from the Labour Party, Mr Livingstone said that he had strong public support – as well as considerable evidence to support his views.

He told Ms Feltz: “After I did the interview with you and I got suspended I couldn’t walk down the street for people stopping me and saying ‘we know what you said is true – don’t give in to them’.

“It’s going to be very difficult for them to expel me from the Labour party when I’ve got this whole sheaf of documents and papers which shows that what I said was true.

“The fact that during the 1930s Hitler collaborated with the Zionists and supported them because he believed that a solution to his problem – the Jews – was that they should all move to Palestine. Then in the 1940s that changed and he decided on genocide.

“And that’s the point I made on your programme. I’m just surprised that people didn’t check that it was true before they started screaming ‘Nazi apologist’.”

In response, Ms Feltz asked whether he was not simply drawing on just one book for his evidence.

Mr Livingstone said: “If you go to the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem in Israel, one of the pamphlets they sell to tourists there is one that talks about the deal that was done between Hitler and the Zionists in the 1930s. If you are being given that at the Holocaust Memorial I think you might suspect it’s true.”

Mr Livingstone said he believed the issue had been hijacked by anti-Corbyn elements within the Labour Party.

He told Ms Feltz: “Then all these embittered old dour MPs who are trying to undermine Jeremy started screaming that I’m a Nazi apologist and so on.

“The simple fact is that until they started to undermine Jeremy, no Labour MP in my lifetime had ever said there was any issue of antisemitism in the Labour Party.

Mr Livingstone said that in Ed Miliband, Mr Corbyn’s predecessor, Labour had had a Jewish leader for five years.

“You are hardly likely to get many antisemites backing a party led by someone who is Jewish,” he said.

Mr Livingstone made his original claim in April while defending Labour MP Naz Shah against claims of antisemitism.
He also said that there was a “well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticises Israeli policy as antisemitic”.

In 2006 Mr Livingstone was suspended from office as mayor for four weeks for comparing a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard. The suspension was overturned in court.

Marie van der Zyl, Vice President of the Board of Deputies, called for Mr Livingstone to be expelled from Labour with immediate effect.

“Hitler’s persecution of the Jews started early in the 1930s. He expressed his loathing for Zionism in the 1920s", she said.

"But yet in 2016 Ken Livingstone seems to want to rewrite history to make it seem like Zionism was responsible for the Holocaust, which is as false as it is grotesquely offensive.

"Every day that Labour does not expel him is a stain on the party.”

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