With a derisory slap-on-the-wrist further suspension, it won’t be long before the poster boy for British anti-Zionism is back in the Labour fold.
Despite the leniency of his sentence, Ken Livingstone was found guilty of all three charges of a breach of rules by the party’s disciplinary panel, the National Constitutional Committee. It took three days to decide his words were “grossly detrimental”, giving him time to double down, informing reporters outside his hearing that the Nazis also sold guns to Zionists… “So you had up until the start of the war real collaboration.”
He might as well have insisted Eva Braun kept kosher, Heinrich Himmler had a barmitzvah and Josef Goebbels was a huge klezmer fan.
Livingstone arguably indulges in the dark arts of disgraced Holocaust denier David Irving, wilfully misconstruing history to suit his agenda.
To suggest the bastard who murdered six million Jews supported a Jewish homeland is like saying the 9/11 terrorists supported the redevelopment of lower Manhattan. In both cases the only intention, from start to finish, was death and destruction. To peddle any other analysis is to lie.
Hitler didn’t support Zionists any more than he supported gypsies, gay rights or step-free wheelchair access. He was, however, a big fan of sterilisation, slave labour and slaughter for all these causes.
Livingstone’s idiosyncratic philosophy is old anti-Semitic wine in new bottles. It’s intellectual anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism. Any fool can deny Hitler’s crimes. It takes a real piece of work to use them against the Jews all over again.
Jeremy Corbyn can mouth off all he wants about “setting the gold standard for anti-racism”. His party can undertake as many Chakrabarti reports as it wants. But granting members – even the leader’s ideological allies – immunity from moral accountability has now turned the acceptable level of debate on Israel in the Labour Party toxic and broken Labour’s relationship with British Jews beyond repair.