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Why so many are twisting Ken Livingstone’s words about Hitler and Zionism

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Two days ago, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was sentenced to another year of suspension after a hearing by the Labour Party’s national constitutional committee (NCC) concerning his remarks on Hitler’s temporary support for Zionism.

Livingstone has been one of the most noted personalities in what has been a year-long ‘scandal’ over an alleged ‘Labour anti-semitic problem’.

The media has a part in it, a very worrying one. While blaming Ken Livingstone for supposedly distorting history, mainstream media outlets are distorting Livingstone’s own words – and this includes the Israeli liberal Haaretz.

Some background

A year ago, Livingstone was supporting Labour MP Naz Shah, who was under investigation mostly for having shared a satiric meme on her Facebook in 2014 – about ‘relocating Israel to the US’. While defending Shah, Livingstone noted in a BBC interview, that Hitler “was supporting Zionism”, before Hitler took on a mass extermination policy, remarks which became another storm. Livingstone’s remarks refer to the Transfer Agreement 1933-39 between the Nazis and Zionists. The Transfer Agreement can be read about among other places in a Yad Vashem document titled “The Transfer Agreement and the Boycott Movement: A Jewish Dilemma on the Eve of the Holocaust”, by Yf’aat Weiss. Livingstone has also been referring to this document in defense of his claim.

Last May, Norman Finkelstein commented on Livingstone’s remarks:

“Livingstone maybe wasn’t precise enough, and lacked nuance. But he does know something about that dark chapter in history. It has been speculated that Hitler’s thinking on how to solve the ‘Jewish Question’ (as it was called back then) evolved, as circumstances changed and new possibilities opened up. Hitler wasn’t wholly hostile to the Zionist project at the outset. That’s why so many German Jews managed to survive after Hitler came to power by emigrating to Palestine. But, then, Hitler came to fear that a Jewish state might strengthen the hand of ‘international Jewry’, so he suspended contact with the Zionists.”

At the time, the scandal was about Livingstone supposedly saying that ‘Hitler was a Zionist’ or that ‘Hitler supported Zionism’, whereas Livingstone’s phrase on that matter was actually more nuanced: that “Hitler was supporting Zionism” – that is, for a period of time, in a particular context, before that context changed.

As Jonathan Cook noted at the time:

“If I criticised you by saying “In lending Jim £50 yesterday, you were supporting his drug habit”, it would not follow that I thought you wanted Jim to be a drug addict. I would simply be making an observation about the consequences – intended or not – of your actions. “Supporting” in this context means “helping“, “facilitating”, “assisting”, “enabling”.

Media twist

Livingstone has had to repeatedly refute that he did not say Hitler was a Zionist. But mainstream media seems to have a habit of distorting his words. And that includes the Israeli liberal paper Haaretz.

Look at the Haaretz news story from Tuesday, headlined “Ex-London Mayor Ken Livingstone Suspended From Labour for One Year Over Hitler-Zionist Comments”. Alright, you may say, “Hitler-Zionist Comments” – that’s a paraphrase, yes? So in the article itself, Haaretz writes that “Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone has been banned from the British Labour party for a year over comments made in 2016 in which he said ‘Hitler was Zionist,’ The Guardian reported on Tuesday” [my emphasis].

Aha, so now it’s “Hitler was Zionist” – but who said so? The Guardian, according to Haaretz. Any link there? No. I tried to find the exact quote – but couldn’t. The Guardian certainly seems to be in the habit of referring to this euphemistically as “Hitler and Zionism” or otherwise slightly misrepresenting Livingstone’s words. But in fact, The Guardian did give Livingstone some voice to refute the charge, as in the June article titled “Ken Livingstone: ‘I didn’t say Hitler was a Zionist’”.

So why is Haaretz posting it like this? Haaretz is clearly trying to condition the reader, twice, to misinterpret Livingstone’s words. Only later in the article, does Haaretz provide us Livingstone’s actual words: “He was supporting Zionism.” But then it’s probably too late for the uncritical reader.

Does Haaretz stop here? No. Merely a couple of hours later, Haaretz publishes an article by its London correspondent Daniella Peled, titled “British Jews Livid After Ken Livingstone Receives Slap on the Wrist for Saying Hitler Was Zionist”.

Here we go again – “Hitler was Zionist” – as if it was what he said, as if it was fact. Only later in the article we may read a slightly more critical, yet still erroneous mentioning, that “to the horror of many in the Anglo-Jewish community, veteran Labour politician Ken Livingstone has escaped expulsion from the party over claims he made last year that Hitler supported Zionism.”

Now I’m not the one to normally be pedantic about grammatic insertions of past tense, whether it’s past-perfect “had”, past continuous of “was” (including interrupted past) or just simple past tense. But there appears to be a pathological wish going around, to take Livingstone’s words and over-simplify them, or even worse – to rather savagely distort them into an absolute ideological notion (“Hitler was Zionist”) that Livingstone never asserted.

The question is, why? Is it simply too uncomfortable for otherwise informative media to address the issues he addressed? Is it necessary to distort in order to make the point? And what point is that? That Livingstone is an anti-Semite? This of course seems to be the point of it all. The point that reeks of a witch-hunt, that bears the marks of a cynical political game to silence and weaken Jeremy Corbyn and Palestinian solidarity, for Blairite Labourists to gain the upper hand whilst using the ‘anti-Semitic’ card. Shamefully, Haaretz is playing this dirty game too.

Jewish Chronicle

Now let’s look a bit further, because in defense of his first mentioned claim, at the time of the recent hearings Livingstone has also made further claims about “a real collaboration” between Nazis and Zionists, on other fronts than the Transfer Agreement. While Livingstone may be provoking unease amongst some, the issues he mentions are certainly worth discussion. But this discussion seems to be something many Jews want shut down and discredited.

A few days ago, the Jewish Chronicle published Paul Bogdanor’s piece titled “Ken Livingstone’s claims are an insult to the truth”. Bogdanor, who is supposed to be a Holocaust authority, claims that “The former mayor of London’s comments about Hitler, Jews and Zionism are distortions or inventions which insult the historical memory of the Jewish people”. He calls the charges of “collaboration” “unfounded”. Bogdanor notes that “Livingstone cites two sources on the [Transfer] agreement: one paper by Yf’aat Weiss and another by Francis Nicosia, who is also the author of two books examining the issue”, opining that “Neither the papers nor Nicosia’s books endorse the “collaboration” fantasy.”

Bogdanor’s rebuttal deserves some scrutiny.

First of all, the notion of “collaboration” doesn’t have to be noted as an explicit word anywhere in those documents in order to be used as a general appraisal of the Transfer Agreement. “Collaboration” doesn’t have to mean total ideological affinity. It can just mean “working together”. That is exactly what happened.

But Livingstone’s reference to “real collaboration” rests upon more than just the Transfer Agreement. In the street interview this refers to, he was saying:

“He didn’t just sign the deal. The SS set up training camps so that German Jews who were going to go there could be trained to cope with a very different sort of country when they got there. When the Zionist movement asked, would the Nazi government stop a Jewish rabbi doing their sermons in Yiddish and make them do it in Hebrew, he agreed to that. He passed a law saying the Zionist flag and the swastika were the only flags that could be flown in Germany. An awful lot. Of course, they started selling Mauser pistols to the underground Jewish army. So you had right up until the start of the second world war real collaboration.” (see interview here).

So Bogdanor in the JC tries to refute the rest of the charges. First, Bogdanor applies the notion, resting upon the former mentioned fallacy, where Bogdanor opines that “Livingstone’s other “facts” are just as unreliable”.

In attempt to refute them, he ironically affirms them. The first issue is thus addressed:

“The idea that the SS “set up training camps” for German Jews is a fabrication. It was local Zionists who founded the hachschara farms as occupational retraining centres for Jews hoping to emigrate to Palestine. The SS initially tolerated these activities, while imposing strict controls on them.”

Alright, the SS ‘tolerated’ them. Anyone with a minute historical sense knows that if the SS knew about the camps, which Bogdanor concedes they did, then they at least ALLOWED them. If the SS would not have wanted those Zionist training camps to exist, they would have shut them down. The SS did not have problems shutting institutions down. Did the SS set the camps up, or did they let the Zionists set them up? Well, we don’t really expect Eichmann himself to come down and start building tents, do we? The Nazis used to have others do their work, like with the Kapos – the prisoners who assisted them at the concentration camps. So Livingstone’s notion of the SS having “set up” the Zionist training camps, is perhaps worthy of discussion – but does not deserve to be shut down as false.

In attempting to refute the ‘Zionist flag and the Swastika’ claim, Bogdanor writes:

On the claim that Hitler passed a law permitting the flying of the “Zionist flag” as well as the swastika, historian Richard Evans states that the Nuremberg Laws banned Jews from using the Nazi banner while allowing them to display “Jewish colours”. The laws never specified those colours, nor was any “Zionist flag” officially recognised.

So, let’s get this right. The Third Reich Nazi flag was the only flag to be flown, except that Jews were not allowed to fly it. This was under the racial notion of Jews as being separate from Germans, as stipulated clearly in the Nuremberg Laws. Nuremberg Laws Article 4 notes that:

“Jews are forbidden to fly the Reich or national flag or display Reich colours.

They are, on the other hand, permitted to display the Jewish colours. The exercise of this right is protected by the state.”

In his book ‘Zionism in the Age of the Dictators’, Lenni Brenner notes Rabbi Stephen Wise, who writes in his Congress Bulletin (24 January 1936):

“Hitlerism is Satan’s nationalism. The determination to rid the German national body of the Jewish element, however, led Hitlerism to discover its ‘kinship’ with Zionism, the Jewish nationalism of liberation. Therefore Zionism became the only other party legalized in the Reich, the Zionist flag the only other flag permitted to fly in Nazi-land. It was a painful distinction for Zionism to be singled out for favors and privileges by its Satanic counterpart.”

So what does this tell us? Bogdanor seeks to refute the notion of the ‘Zionist flag’ by asserting that the colors were not specified – but this is really pedantic. The Reich flag is also mentioned as “Reich colors”, because there were various versions of the Swastika flags, same colors. The Nazis didn’t have to spell out ‘Jewish colors’ as ‘The Zionist Flag’. They conflated Judaism with Zionism, in their wish, at the time, to have Jews separate and excluded. Zionism provided Nazism with this sense of ‘kinship’ as Wise noted, in that it too was adamant about “Jewish nationalism” and shared the racial anti-assimilationist notions of the Nazis. This was what the Nazis would have Jews be – Zionists.

As Annie Stern, a Czechoslovakian Jewish survivor of Nazi persecution who had emigrated to Palestine recalled:

‘‘Are you a Zionist?” Adolph Eichmann, Hitler’s specialist on Jewish affairs, asked her. ”Jawohl,” she replied. ”Good,” he said, ”I am a Zionist, too. I want every Jew to leave for Palestine.”

In addition, Eichmann told Time magazine shortly before his execution, that

“In the years that followed (after 1937) I often said to Jews with whom I had dealings that, had I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical Zionist. I could not imagine anything else. In fact, I would have been the most ardent Zionist imaginable.”

So now, Bogdanor claims that the “Zionist flag” wasn’t officially recognized, as a supposed refutation of Livingstone’s mention of a “Zionist flag”.

But the Zionist flag was conceived already at the first Zionist Congress in Basel (1897) by David Wolfsohn, who recalls:

“At the behest of our leader Herzl, I came to Basel to make preparations for the Zionist Congress. Among many other problems that occupied me then was one which contained something of the essence of the Jewish problem. What flag would we hang in the Congress Hall? Then an idea struck me. We have a flag — and it is blue and white. The talith (prayer shawl) with which we wrap ourselves when we pray: that is our symbol. Let us take this Talith from its bag and unroll it before the eyes of Israel and the eyes of all nations. So I ordered a blue and white flag with the Shield of David painted upon it. That is how the national flag, that flew over Congress Hall, came into being.”

Thus it was widely understood that the “Jewish colors” meant the blue and white Zionist flag. The Nazis did not have to spell it out. Zionism wasn’t a state, and calling it “Jewish colors” could just as well be a way of separating out Jews without offering them the pride of full ‘recognition’.

To summarize this point: There was a Zionist flag, and it became the Israeli flag. Livingstone’s formulation here is rather correct, whilst Bogdanor’s refute is merely pedantic.


So, what all this is about

It is admitted by Labour leadership, that the case against Livingstone is not about the historical facts, but whether his conduct was “grossly detrimental” to the party, as the Guardian noted, referring to a letter by Labour’s general secretary, Iain McNicol to Livingstone. “Grossly detrimental”, apparently because it challenged a classical Zionist narrative by which Zionism was the diametric opposite of Nazism, and the answer to Nazism. The notion of collaboration threatens to take Zionism down a rabbit-hole, which could potentially challenge the legitimacy and motives of Zionism. This might harm ‘brand Israel’. Thus there exists an interest to present any such nuances as inherently stemming from anti-Semitic motives. As Livingstone’s own words do not reflect such a motive in themselves, the words need to be twisted.

The UK Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) are not satisfied with the decision to suspend Livingstone. They want him expelled. Having launched a protest called ‘Not in my name’, they boasted yesterday: “100 Labour MPs sign statement condemning betrayal of party’s values over antisemitism”. Here they note:

Following the decision by Labour’s National Constitutional Committee not to expel Ken Livingstone, 100 Labour MPs have signed the following statement:

“This week the institutions of the Labour Party have betrayed our values. We stand united in making it clear that we will not allow our party to be a home for antisemitism and Holocaust revisionism. We stand with the Jewish community and British society against this insidious racism. This was not done in our name and we will not allow it to go unchecked.”

One may be reminded that the new JLM leader, Ella Rose, had stepped into the JLM outfit straight out from her Public Relations office at the Israeli Embassy. Rose recently featured in the Al Jazeera investigative documentary ‘The Lobby’ where she expressed the hope that journalist Asa Winstanley would “die in a hole” for having exposed her record, and vowed to use “Krav Maga” –Israeli hand-combat techniques–  to take down Jackie Walker, a leading critic and now twice suspended member of Labour.

“Anti-Semitism” and “Holocaust revisionism” – that should do it, throw all you’ve got at Ken Livnigstone.

Of course when Netanyahu enacts real Holocaust revisionism, as he did in October 2015 (putting the blame for the Final Solution on a Palestinian leader, the Grand Mufti), it was quite another story.  While Netanyahu’s own Likud defended him (Defense Minister Yaalon: “I don’t know what exactly the prime minister said”), the Germans were nearly begging to not have their Holocaust guilt taken away from them. A spokesman for the German chancellor Angela Merkel said

“All Germans know the history of the murderous race mania of the Nazis that led to the break with civilisation that was the Holocaust. I see no reason to change our view of history in any way. We know that responsibility for this crime against humanity is German and very much our own.”

But of course that just passed by with no serious repercussions, Netanyahu got away once again with his incitement with his usual ‘I didn’t mean it quite that way.’ No investigation, and don’t even mention expulsion. In the same way the Jewish Labour Movement’s Ella Rose got away without investigation for her documented violent curse. Or that the infiltration by the Israeli government in British politics documented by Al-Jazeera was brushed away as a mere case of one ‘bad apple’ (Israeli Embassy operative Shai Masot), and everything moved on.

Of course, this is not really about anti-Semitism. It’s about Zionism. The Labour party doesn’t have any substantial ‘anti-Semitic problem’ – it has a Zionist problem. The conservative attacks are essentially not against anti-Semitism, they are against Palestine solidarity.

The question is, how low will they be allowed to pull down British democracy, and how low will media outlets, including Haaretz, go in their collaboration with this movement of incitement?

Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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30 Responses

  1. Citizen on April 6, 2017, 1:55 pm

    Disgusting; and apparently Black’s The Transfer Agreement (1st Ed) wasn’t even mentioned?

  2. John O on April 6, 2017, 2:56 pm

    Livingstone’s “real” crime is to have alluded to one of Israel’s nastiest little secrets – the extent to which Zionists in Palestine before, and during, the Second World War were prepared to collude with the Nazis in order to further their objective of driving the British (and the Arabs) out of the country they had chosen to settle in. If Ken had said, “The Zionists sought help from the Nazis …” he would have been on much safer ground historically.

    • inbound39 on April 7, 2017, 7:21 am

      The Ankara Documents found in the German Embassy in Turkey show Sterngang the Jewish Terrorist group in Palestine during WW2 attempting to get Nazi support for a Jewish State in Palestine. They also wanted to hand pick the intelligencia from the captive Hungarian Jews and gain their freedom to come to the Jewish State in preparation. The other Hungarian Jews were left to perish. Livingstone is simply stating a truth and we all know how Zionists fear the actual truth. If a thousand labour members are asking for his expulsion then Labour needs to realise that a thousand members have been turned to support Israel and not the UK. It is a graver concern for Labour than Livingstone telling the truth.

      • CigarGod on April 10, 2017, 11:11 am

        I know it is appealing to discuss jewish/german working relationships as always working toward some evil end, but that wasn’t always the case.
        Unfortunately, it is taboo to talk about this subject except in very polar terms.

  3. Keith on April 6, 2017, 4:18 pm

    Suspending former London Mayor Ken Livingstone from the Labour Party for alleged anti-Semitic remarks is merely a pretext for getting rid of Ken Livingston. One simply cannot say that he is being removed for political reasons. Rather, this whole anti-Semitism business is a handy pretext for turning the victim into a victimizer. Jewish Zionists, therefore, act as a kind of sheriff to run the anti-Imperialists out of town. There is a rather blatant collusion between Zionism and modern imperialism. They are mutually supportive.

  4. Tom Suarez on April 6, 2017, 7:42 pm

    Thank you, Jonathan — excellent analysis and very much needed.
    Lesser known than the Haavara agreement is Lehi’s (unsuccessful) attempt to strike a deal with the Italian fascists — brief summary here:

    • JWalters on April 7, 2017, 1:35 am

      I agree – very important to document and knock down these clear cases of Israeli character assassination. As usual, the purpose is to torpedo discussion and facts. And also as usual, to intimidate others who would bring up the facts about Israel’s continuous history of crimes and atrocities.

      I hope we will see some targets of this character assassination tactic start suing their defamers for libel. Not for money damages, but to publicize the illegal and deceptive tactics Israel routinely uses to hide its true nature from the public.

    • Jonathan Ofir on April 7, 2017, 2:56 am

      Thanks Tom, very relevant. It was obviously impossible to extend too much in an article, I even had to cut short on my rebuttal of Bogdanor to keep it concise. This is a very big and long story, and it’s sad that a lot of it remains shut (as the Haganah files on their official Folvar Polkes who met with Eichmann several times are shut). Moreover, Zionists are often relentless in their attacks against those who seek to open up the discussion, as the Livingstone case shows, and as you have already experienced yourself.
      It is a critical debate. The fact that even matters from over 80 years ago are proving so contentious, shows how live this history really is. We have not yet really come to grips with it.

    • Elizabeth Block on April 7, 2017, 10:06 am

      Also in Tom Suarez’s book, State of Terror: the international boycott of Germany was broken by the Zionists in 1933. German Jews going to Palestine could recover their assets (which otherwise they would have forfeited to the state) by buying German goods and reselling them. The Nazis saw the Havara Transfer Agreement as the only way to defeat the boycott. But the Zionists didn’t use the money to ransom poorer Jews, but to build Zionist settlements. Two-thirds of the Jews who applied were turned down for “better” Jews from the US and UK who were at no risk. (Page 48)

  5. Maghlawatan on April 7, 2017, 5:06 am

    Great article. Zionism operates by shutting down debate and silencing people. This is a further example. They have been doing it since the get go.

    “It was a technique which the Zionists were to employ throughout their struggle. The technique of promoting damaging personal attacks on those who stood in their way rather than trying to counter their arguments.”
    “Such non conformists were subtly made aware that their jobs might be at risk, their books unpublishable, their preferment out of the question, their public reputations vulnerable if they did not renounce the heresy of anti Zionism ”

    Publish it not, Mayhew and Adams, 1975

    Zionism is such a miserable ideology

  6. Jonathan Ofir on April 7, 2017, 5:58 am

    Here’s Walter Wolfgang on why Ken Livingstone must be reinstated:

    • Rashers2 on April 7, 2017, 6:08 pm

      I said in response to Ossinev that Zionism (more correctly, perhaps, anti-Zionism) did bizarre things to people. Following almost any link to an article in the “Morning Star” is not something I’d have done even six or seven years ago. Walter Wolfgang’s piece pretty much renders others’ comments superfluous – straightforward, cogent, no “padding”; his arguments stand up on their own. Well said, Mr. Wolfgang!

    • JosephA on April 7, 2017, 10:05 pm

      Walter Wolfgang’s opinion on the unfair witch hunt against Ken Livingstone (and about anti-Zionism obviously not being erroneously conflated with anti-semitism) is so eloquently stated. Bravo, thank you for sharing!

  7. Ossinev on April 7, 2017, 7:20 am

    Excellent piece Jonathan.As you neatly put it the UK Labour Party in the eyes of those running the Zionist PR machine does not have an “Anti -Semitic problem” it has an Anti-Zionist” problem.

    IMHO the main culprit in all of this has been Jeremy Corbyn a supposed supporter of the Palestinians and therefore by definition an”Anti – Zionist”. Instead of standing up and speaking out strongly for a fellow supporter of the Palestinians and calling out the campaign against him for what it is he has effectively folded on the issue and shown himself to be a cowardly wimp.

    Ken Livingstone is an ideal target for these Zio jackals. He is a fairly mild mannered individual. and in TV interviews on the subject whilst sticking bravely to his guns he has not attacked back. Had it been George Galloway he would have savaged the Zionist PR brigade and all of those mealy mouthed Labour MP`s who have been scavenging on this smelly meal.

    • Rashers2 on April 7, 2017, 5:12 pm

      Zionism does bizarre things to people: politically, Ken Livingstone occupies a point of the political compass that’s, if not 180° then certainly 160°, away from mine; I find him, too, rather unlikeable. Personal feelings, however, don’t diminish my disappointment at his treatment by the MSM or by the Witchfinders-General among the Zio-apologists within his own party. I have gained respect for both Livingstone’s and George Galloway’s willingness to articulate the “unsayable” on Zionism/I-P.
      No, Ossinev, the main “culprit” is not Jeremy Corbyn. His craven attitude to Livingstone’s “Hitler-gate” and the whole “Labour is riddled with anti-Semitism” case of induced hysteria didn’t deck Corbyn with glory; neither, however, did it cause the issue, which arises from the machinations of the Israel lobby (for it exists in Britain, too) and the collusion with the lobby of the MSM. “Hitler-gate” parallels the convenient and now almost universally believed myth/lie about the Iranians’ desire to obliterate Israel: when Ahmadinejad (who was quoting Ayatollah Khomeni) said, “This occupation over Al Quds (Jerusalem) must vanish from the page of time,” became, “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.” That good, old Göbbels principle, again….
      Earlier, when the AJ docu-series about the phantom of rampant anti-Semitism in the Labour Party (and, en passant, the desire of the Israelis to unseat a senior Conservative minister) was aired, I was disgusted by the treatment the Zio-lobby meted out to Jackie Walker (a pro-Palestinian Labour M. P.); and at the spectacle of Labour’s lobby whipping itself into an onanistic frenzy of outrage at perceived (how genuine was that perception?) – and, subsequently, grossly distorted – anti-Semitic “tropes”, as the dreadful Joan Ryan (a Labour M. P. and distorter-in-chief) labelled them.

  8. Bumblebye on April 7, 2017, 10:30 am

    I followed bbc radio reports on this. What I found notable on both bbcR4 and later bbcR5 was the constant reference to what Ken had said, the various talking heads from zionist organisations brought in to expound – but notably absent was any voice from a historian who could/would either refute or support what had been said.
    An exception to the endless opposition was Naomi Idrissi-Wimbourne (sp?) who was interviewed on bbcR4 World at One. Was disappointed in Adrian Goldberg on R5, but I think he just felt too much anger (his late father was a survivor as a teen)

  9. MHughes976 on April 7, 2017, 3:37 pm

    There ssems to be some ambivalence here between a) saying that KL’s remarks were twisted from ‘Hitler took action clearly helpful to Zionism’ to ‘he did this with some sense of sympathy with or admiration for Z’ and b) saying that latter proposition might well have some truth in it to which KL was drawing attention, as evidenced for instance by Eichmann’s ‘I would have been a Z’. If b) is true there not really been a twist.
    The question of admiration the other way round is another matter again, but not clearly touched on by KL.
    I don’t see that there is that much hay to be made merely from Nazi admiration for Z if it struck them that here was another robust nationalism appealing, just as the Ns themselves did, to the idea of self-determination. We can’t help or choose who admires us and we can’t avoid the fact that nothing is shown to be false because some bad people believe it (which would be hard luck for Christianity) or because some of the ideas that support it are false.
    Z self justification is always based on the idea that robust nationalism is a fine thing everywhere provided it is not anti-Semitic and believes that the governance of the nation-based state should be democratic, two provisos that the Nazis did not begin to meet or begin to understand, meaning that any N admiration for Z is based only on illusion and brings no opprobrium at all on (of all people) the thriving Jewish people of lovely London. So I can’t see why either KL or his super-excited detractors have become so engaged in this quarrel.

    • Sibiriak on April 8, 2017, 2:38 am


      Excellent points. In fact, all of your recent posts on various topics have been stellar.

      • Jonathan Ofir on April 8, 2017, 10:46 am

        Thank you Sibiriak. Coming from you it is a real honor. In fact, earlier today, when a friend asked me what I thought about Larry Derfner (referring to his recent here), I simply copied your response on the thread. I had no further comment.

  10. Ossinev on April 8, 2017, 12:16 pm

    “No, Ossinev, the main “culprit” is not Jeremy Corbyn”

    By “culprit” I mean the one who is emerging from this manufactured charade with the least credibility. Forget the loathsome Joan Ryans , the John Manns , all the lily livered and/ or complicit Labour and Tory MPs. Corbyn had IMHO the duty and the responsibility to step up to the plate and defend Ken Livingstone and to state clearly that this was a typical Zionist smear campaign to highlight the supposed “Anti – Semitism” in the UK Labour Party and in the UK in general( which is complete and utter bollocks) He has turned out to be a Brutus.

    The only problem for Israel,Israel supporters and Israel Firsters in the UK is the growth in Anti – Zionism particularly with the impact of BDS. They are in a panic as to how to address it so they resort to the usual Zio strategy of conflation. As I said Corbyn had the opportunity to call this out for what it was = Anti-Zionism/Anti-Semitism conflation.

    He has failed abysmally and in the process has betrayed an honorable colleague.

    He started out as the anyone but candidate to be Labour Leader and like Trump ended up the unlikely winner. He clearly hasn`t got what it takes IMHO and the sooner he goes the better.

    • HarryLaw on April 11, 2017, 11:32 am

      I agree with you Ossinev, Corbyn has taken the cowards way out, this is an entirely political smear campaign as Professor Finkelstein said in the link in Johnathan’s article “The only plausible answer is, it’s political. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the factual situation; instead, a few suspect cases of antisemitism – some real, some contrived – are being exploited for an ulterior political motive. As one senior Labour MP said the other day, it’s transparently a smear campaign”.

  11. HarryLaw on April 9, 2017, 7:18 am

    Will he won’t he, take legal action to clear his name? Ken Livingstone has warned he will take Labour to court if it expels him over alleged anti-Semitism.

    The former Mayor of London told HuffPost UK that leading barrister Michael Mansfield QC and solicitor Imran Khan were preparing a judicial review, which could end up costing the party tens of thousands of pounds.
    Livingstone has been found guilty of ‘bringing the party into disrepute’ and has been suspended for a further 12 months. This has not stopped him constantly being referred to as an Antisemite. If he does nothing his accusers, including the MSM win, and the chill factor so sought after by his accusers will be magnified out of all proportion to any other person who dares question Zionism. He could easily crowd fund finances for a case.

  12. CigarGod on April 9, 2017, 10:18 am

    Damn, I love the way you write, Jonathan.
    You also could have been a stellar attorney and really kicked some butts.

    • Jonathan Ofir on April 10, 2017, 4:54 am

      Thank you CigarGod. I come from music and still feel most at home kicking ass with Mozart and Beethoven. Although I’ve found use and purpose in writing, I don’t see myself taking up law in near future – but who knows…

      • Sibiriak on April 10, 2017, 5:18 am

        You are amazingly prolific. How do you do it?

  13. L.Willms on April 9, 2017, 11:33 am

    Ken Livingstone is right. He should also say against the accusations of the BDS movement claiming that BDS is a repetition of the boycott of Jewish businesses called for by the Nazi government in 1933 Germany, that the real precedent in those times is the call to boycott Germany made by the “revisionist” wing of the Zionist movement to protest the racist moves by the Nazi government. That is actually the model for the boycott of the racist colonial regime of the State of Israel.

    And it should be noted that the World ZIonist Congress of August 1933 in Prague, Czechoslovakia, did reject such calls to boycott Germany, and opted for a cooperation with the Nazi government in order to get as much Jews out of Germany to Palestina. There was common ground of the Zionist movement and the Nazi regime: Get the Jews out of Europe. The Berlin office of the “Palästina-Amt” founded 1908 in Jaffa by Arthur Ruppin on behalf of the Zionist World Movement could function until at least 1938.

    One has also to understand the place of Antisemitism in Hitler’s strategy for the fascist movement.

    The central goal proclaimed in his book was “Germany must be a world power, or it will not be” (he nearly succeeded to make the second alternative a reality).

    For this, a continuation of the World War of 1914-18 would be needed. Hitler writes, that the war was ended by the workers and the workers in uniform revolting agains the war, and that this had to be prevented. The workers movement had to be smashed, completely pulverized, atomized so that workers would never again come together as workers. He further wrote that a simply police state would not suffice to keep the workers in subordination, but that they had to be neutralized by offering a surrogate ideology. And that is antisemitism — putting up the caricature of the “Jewish banker” hiding the real banker and industrial capitalist.

    But once having taken power, and having put the leaders and activists of the communist and social-democratic parties and of the trade-unions into the Concentration Camps or even killed them right away, the fake anticapitalism provided by antisemitism was no longer needed, instead workers had to become “followers” of their plant leaders, meaning the actual capitalist owners.

    Antisemitism was turned into a fantasy of a biological inferiority of the “Jewish race”.

  14. Ossinev on April 10, 2017, 8:25 am

    Just to add an illuminating and relevant perspective on all this. The current estimated Jewish population of the UK is around 260000 ie at .5% of 64 million and much the same as the estimated Buddhist population.

    I do hope and pray that no Labour politician will criticise Tibetan Buddhists for having worked with the Chinese.

    All hell might break loose (not).

  15. Ossinev on April 10, 2017, 9:32 am

    Meanwhile Labour Party MP`s left right and centre (sic) are queueing up and taking turns to stab Ken in the back, the latest being John McDonnell the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer:

    I can`t quite decide which is more revolting – the rantings of the likes of John Mann, Joan Ryan etc or the squirming apologetics of Corbyn and his cronies. Mann and Co being Zio bought and bent are at least being consistent. Corbyn and his cronies are revealing themselves to be cowards as well as incompetents. On this issue they are in the same bed as Saint Tony Blair.

  16. Maghlawatan on April 11, 2017, 2:49 am

    • Sir, I was very surprised by Sebastian Payne’s Instant Insight “Ken Livingstone has no place in the Labour party” (, April 6).I hold no brief for Mr Livingstone, his remarks were certainly clumsy, but it is a matter of historical fact that there were negotiations between the Zionist movement and the Nazis. In addition there has been substantial criticism of the Zionists prioritising the establishment of their state and opposing opportunities to rescue Jews from Nazi Germany.But the big issue at stake here is the intensifying efforts of the pro-Israeli lobby to allege anti-Semitism against any critic of Israel. In my view this is a grave misuse of the horrors of the long history of anti-Semitism in Europe which culminated in the holocaust. Israel is in constant breach of international law and is inflicting terrible cruelty on the Palestinian people with full collusion from the US, UK and EU. The misuse of the charge of anti-Semitism should not be allowed to silence debate on what is to be done.Clare ShortLondon SW4, UK

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