Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ken's anti-semitism

DZ made an official complaint about Ken Livingstone's anti-semitism:

This is a copy of a ltter I posted to Brian Coleman. If possible you can add this as a citizen's complaint against Ken Kivingstone in the Finegold case

4 March 2005

Dear Brian Coleman,

I would like to add my voice again to ask for the resignation of Mr Livingstone, holder of the office of mayor of London on grounds of racist bias, slander and deliberate one-sidedness against Jews and Israelis.

I have just read in Haaretz about Mr Livingstone's interpretation of politics in Israel and the politics of Israel.


The views that Mr Livingstone airs are in tune with what is usually uttered by fringe politicians like the those of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and also those who have the down-fall of Israel at best interest. Mr. Ken Livingstone appears to share these views. In fact his interpretation of history is so tainted it is racist.*

I do believe that any major who holds such personal strong believes whilst in office is unfit to continue to hold such office as a fair and unbiased person. To throw such comments into the current debate when people point out at his disturbing comments against the Jewish Evening Standard Journalist can only be called a deliberate move to further annoy the Jewish population. It is hard to understand why it is necessary for him to discuss the Near East when other issues are far more pressing in London. To single out Israel for allegations of Human Rights violations amidst all possible scenarios in the world one could quote shows further that Mr Livingstone appears somehow obsessed with the Jewish State. **

London has several thousand of Israeli citizens, and even more so who are Jewish. Mr Livingstone is not representing us fairly.

His call of Ariel Sharon, a president elect, as a war criminal is an outrageous statement in a climate of peace negotiations and Gaza withdrawal. Likewise claims can be made against many Palestinian and Arab leaders.

His course of argumentation that New Anti-Semitism is over rated is silly. Mr Livingstone likes to devalidate facts by pointing the fingers at other facts. The fact that Asians and Muslims are suffering racism can not be used to devalidate the worrying growth of anti Jewish feelings in Europe. Many Jews are in fact considering emmigration ***

Likewise the fact that the Daily Mail has had their racist moments does not make Mr Livingstone's offences any better.

Mr Livingstone must resign, an apology is now no longer satisfactory. It is time for more constructive leaders to follow office. If Mr Livinsgtone had made comments like this to the Black community or the Asian or Muslim community it would not be tolerated. Neither should it be when it regards Jews.

I am undersigning any initiatives and calls in this matter to discipline or ask Mr Livingstone's resignation.


* Jews were always living in Israel and there were permanent settlememnts in Israel even during the diaspora years, including Zfad, Jerusalem, Tiberias and Jeriho. On the record the Palestinian identity is a fairly new one. This is not to deny their right of a cultural identity, I am just stating the fact, as likewise people on the argument line of Mr Livingstone declare Israeli identity and Zionism as racist. Palestinians are a mix of Syrian, Turkish, Druse, Greek, Egyptian, and Armenian people, whose families all migrated to the area in the last centuries. They do not have a biblical, religious and ethnical reference to the area that likens the Jewish one, but their presence in the last centuries, and teh fact that they now chose to identify collectively as Palestinains and are identified as such grants them cultural rights nevertheless. The destruction of the Jewish second temple, the errection of the Al Aqusar Mosq on the very place that is holy to religious Jews can likewise be seen as symbols of illegal, imperialist expansionist actions way back in history, whose victims were local Jews. Ut could equally be concern to Socialist intiuned leaders who hate expansionisn and imperialism. The later was causing one of most well known diasporas in world history. Nobody in their right mind in the current world would have called acceptable the errection of a shrine of one group on the very place of warship of another group .. Yet that is precisely what happened on the Jeruslem temple mount. Jews maintained the importance of Zion throughout in their prayers throught. Jews have very strong cultural, religious and anthropological rights to the land of Israel. Yet from the foundation of Zionism and the rebuilding of a Jewish State they had to share the land and even its holy locations with the fact that other people made now claims to it. Israel is a Jewish state that always had to accept the presence of people who were not and respect their believes, which means that there is access and self control of all holy sites.

Many of the borders or identities of Arab states were set up by the colonial powers. Jordan and Egypt both are partially responsible for denying land to the Palestinians. Since its independence Israel had to warrant its survival as a state amongst a largely hostile Arab environment. In the 1960s Israel got to govern the West Bank by default as Jordan refused its return. A settlement policy followed which is held to be wrong by many Israelis today. Israelis were willing to make serious concessions to allow the errection of a Jewish state in te negotiations between Rabin and Arafat and later bwteen Barak and Arafat. They let to nothing.

** He could equally discuss Cuba, the US, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, China, Korea, Sudan, Mali, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, or any other number of countries.

***One wonders if he appreciates the situation of Jews in Britain. Since the uprise of Islamic militancy I am for example publically hiding my true identity unless it is safe to do so, especially since Ilive in an area dominated by Muslims. I hide my star of david and do not talk Hebrew in public. This extends to my identifications with the Jewish state. An Israeli flag we have I had to put up in a place away from any windows so it can not be seen. Jews, Israel and America are seen as the prime enemy of militant Islam. I am therefore careful about revealing my identity in multi-cultural London. Such problems I did not have when I still lived in Germany, and definately not in Israel. It is more in line with what one would have done in Nazi Germany or in Reconquista Spain. Further many Jews are very concerned with any raise in anti Asian or anti Muslim hatred as it also can mean vulnerability for Jews, especially if it comes from right wing groups.

DZ received a reply:
Copy (abbreviated):
Notification of a new allegation received by the Standards Board for England (SBE).

SBE Allegation Reference Number SBE 10440.05
Name of person making allegation: Mr Daniel Z----
Name of person allegation is against: Mr Ken Livingstone

Name of relevant authority: Greater London Authority

Introduction: (Explanation of the Local Government Act 2000 and 2003 Section 112).

Allegations recently considered:
The Standards Board of England recently received an allegation and officers conducted an assessment to decide whether to refer it for investigation. The following is a general summary of the allegation:

The complainant has forwarded an email he sent to the Chair of the Greater London Assembly which the SBE has treated as a complaint. The complainant refers to an article in The Haaretz newspaper concerning Mr Livingstone's interpretatiopn of politics in Israel and the politics of Israel. In addition to matters which have already been referred for investigation (SBE 10001.05), it is alleged that he is biased against the state of Israel, has unfairly singled it out for human rights violations, and accused the Israeli government of presenting a wholly distorted picture of racism and religious discrimination across Europe. It is also alleged that he has called Ariel Sharon a war criminal. The complainant believes that Mr Livingstone has a racist view of history and that he is unfit to hold public office.

It is considered that as a democratically elected politician, Mr Livingstone is entitled to hold views on topical issues, to express his opinions and have them tested through political debate. His alleged statements about Israel and Ariel Sharon do not disclose a breach of the Code of Conduct and should not be referred for investigation.


N.B. The SBE permits a request for review by the chief executive within 14 days of receipt of this letter (22/3/5)

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