Former London mayor: ‘It’s not anti-Semitic to hate the Jews of Israel’

Ken Livingstone denied accusations of anti-Semitism in Britain’s Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour party.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said the accusations of anti-Semitism in the British Labour party were “lies and smears,” orchestrated by supporters of former Labour party Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday.

“[A] Labour machine controlled by all the ghastly old Blairites, convinced Jeremy [Corbyn] was going to lead us to a wipeout, doing everything possible to get rid of him, and that’s what has fueled all this stuff about anti-Semitism,” he said, according to the Daily Mail.

‘At that stage, 80 percent of Labour MPs thought we’d be wiped out at the next Election. They didn’t believe Jeremy and his policies would connect with people. And so that was the first time I started to hear accusations about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party,” Livingstone said.

Current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is widely thought of as an anti-Semite, with a huge majority — 85.9 percent — of British Jews agreeing that he is, according to a poll conducted by The Jewish Chronicle. Anti-Semitism is said to be running rampant in the Labour party under Corbyn’s leadership.

Livingstone also made the rather peculiar statement that, “It’s not anti-Semitic to hate the Jews of Israel.”

Livingstone himself was suspended from the Labour party in 2016 after he said that Adolph Hitler supported Zionism. He then quit the party in 2018. He said that Corbyn opposed the suspension, calling the campaign against him a “witch hunt.”

“Jeremy Corbyn’s office did not want it to happen. It was about distracting … this is endemic if you have a genuine socialist leader who is going to transform things for ordinary people and make the bloody corporations pay their fair share of tax – they will do whatever is necessary to stop you,” Livingstone said.

“And that means lies and smears in most of the West. In other parts of the world it can mean assassination,’ he said.