Thursday, April 10, 2008

Reasons to vote for Ken, no.2

Because Ken Livingstone is actually good for the Jews.

Sample Ken quotes:

On Saudi Arabia: "the Saudi royal family should be hanging from lampposts".
On being Jewish: "There’s no evidence of where my maternal grandmother came from, she was called Zona. And I remember a couple of times when I was a kid, she would say to me, 'Don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re Jewish.' Which made me think we must be, otherwise why would she raise this? And I remember chatting to Greville Janner about this, saying it sounds like a middle European name. So I might be Jewish"
On Zionism: "I think Zionism is like every other form of nationalism. It can be inspiring or it can have a dark side."
On Israel: "I went [to Israel] as the guest of Mapam in 1986 and was there for two weeks. Everywhere I went I found myself at home".
On Iran: "The idea of a society run by ayatollahs is horrifying to me and completely wrong... The [Iranian] president is barking mad... Iran is a threat, but we must encourage progressive forces in the country to elect a better government."
On Yusuf al-Qaradawi: "Qaradawi had [been] issued a visa virtually every other year during the [Margaret] Thatcher and [John] Major governments, and that had continued. He'd been issued a visa on the recommendation of the security services... more will come out about the role he played that led the British security services to see him as an asset. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the Muslim Brotherhood was being funded by MI6 during the 1950s when they were the main threat to [Egyptian president Gamal Abdel] Nasser. I have been surprised by the degree of commitment of our security services to Qaradawi."
On the Mayor of London's role in Middle East politics: "For those London Jews who have a problem with me, I quote a man who came up to me in Golders Green [a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in London] during the last mayoral election: 'I hate everything you say about the Middle East, but you're a very good mayor, and as nothing you say has any effect on the Middle East whatsoever, I don't mind voting for you.'"

By the way, I googled around a bit on Ken's claim that the Thatcher and Major Tory governments repeatedly gave Quradawi a visa. Anyone know anything more about this?

Previous: Reasons to vote for Ken, no.1.

Image: TotallyJewish


Anonymous said...


My knowledge of Yiddish and Hebrew ain't all that great, but I have to laugh at Ken's claim of a having a grandmother who may have been Jewish on the basis of the given name "Zona", which I understand may mean "whore" in either Yiddish or Hebrew from a friend.

Disavowing Jewish roots out of shame that it may be true is not the only reason someone would make mention of the fact. It's equally possible that Zona was an eastern European Gentile antisemite who feared being accused of being Jewish by her Brit neighbours.

As for Ken's occasional statements about supporting Israel's right to exist, or wishing to visit, so what of it? Without knowing on what basis he might give such support or desire such visit, this is meaningless.

So, Ken makes the trains run on time and has dealt with traffic, etc., but he also runs a political machine that is an affront to democracy and good governance.

bob said...

I had no idea Zona meant whore - but it seems you're right. See

All valid point you make. But I still think he's the best choice there is.

The Contentious Centrist said...

Yes, "zona" means a whore in Hebrew, "puta" in Spanish (just to show off my meagre knowledge of Spanish). Ben-zona is a favourite curseword, meaning, basically, sonofabitch.

"Zona" is actually a Biblical word. Rahab, in the book of Joshua, was a woman of Jerico, who had a bordelo and worked as a prostitute. When we learned the story, we were in grade three and the word "zona" was explained to us as if it meant that Rahav was a woman who sold food (food is "mazon" in Hebrew). Of course as aware as we were of its real denotation which had not changed in two thousand years, we politely accepted the teacher's explanation while exchanging knowing looks with each other...

bob said...

Tangential to Ken as a putatively "Jewish" hijo de puta: whose colloqial Hebrew is as bad as mine but the Australian "Independent Jewish Voices". See Tim Blair: Fake But Jew