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    « Who do you think is right? | Main | If you believe Ken on this, you'll believe anything »



    Before you leap in too deeply with charges of anti semitism, Frank Loewy of Westfield is also Jewish. Maybe Ken was not being anti semitic, just using inappropriate language.


    London is a joke city with a joke mayor. Paris had a joke mayor called Jacques Chirac.

    London is singularly unfortunate in its modern political leaders who crave publicity more than they crave effective, efficient government.

    Livingstone will never change, a self-publicist who has succeeded in publicising himself.

    Steve M

    Excellent piece Judy, thank you.

    I wonder whether there will be any reaction from Irving Sellar, Gerald Ronson or the Reuben brothers themselves.

    Should we watch this space?


    Of course, the Reuben brothers never came from Iran, and don't ever appear to have traded there.

    Their company processed aluminium in Iran in the 1980s (before moving operations to Russia in 1991). During this time, the Reubens apparently had extensive business dealings with Khomeini's government.


    Melanie Phillips makes the fascinating point that Ken may have done this a second time intentionally as he effectively used the Finegold incident as a platform to divert attention to him being persecuted by the Jewish community and its supporters for his views on Israel/Palestine.

    My own opinion is that Livingstone is just a rabid Arabist of leftist persuasion and probably has a significant personality order to be as obsessed about this conflict as he is (just shy of using the Palestinian flag as a fashion and home decor statement, Sue Blackwell-style). By the UN's own findings, Israel is quite low on the list of human rights offenders, way behind the countries of origin of Livingstone's favoured constituency.

    But with this latest incident, so much for those who came to Kenny's defence in the Finegold matter, insisting that Livingstone is "anti-racist" so he couldn't possibly be antisemetic.


    I have really mixed thoughts here.

    While European Jews have good reason to be on edge, I wonder if it is a mistake to turn every prejudiced statement by a politician into a public case of bigotry.

    There is the bigotry that exists between all people and then there is the bigotry which exploits hatred for gain. The latter is more important and the former is not going to disapear anytime soon. It exists wherever people have differences.

    No doubt, Mr. Livingston will attempt to even the score, pubishing a defense in the paper and the going on the offensive. So, is anything accomplished by exposing his prejudices? Perhaps and perhaps not.

    On the one hand, there is the accusation of being pushy into someone's quasi-privacy. I would think that such plays to his advantage here. In the US, by contrast, being pushy is not an automatic negative.

    My impression is that, in your part of the world, being pushy is a way to suggest you are pushy Jews. And that exposes you to ridicule - even though what you claim is true.

    On the other hand, Mr. Livingston has written some nasty stuff in the papers. And, making the connection between his anti-Israel views and his views about Jews serves a purpose.

    So, as I said, I am not sure what is best here.


    Perhaps you are a little remote from the action Neal. Livingstone is a repulsive creature and has grown much worse over the years. He has pandered to every terrorist and set out to shown disregard for the beliefs of the bulk of people to the point of hosting events for Islamic extremists like Yusuf Al-Quaradawi,



    I know exactly what he is about. The issue, to me, is merely a pragmatic one. As I said, I do not know the best way to respond.


    Ridicule and Scorn.............

    Do not play this man's game - if he wants to play Julius Streicher or Horatio Bottomley that should be clear to all.

    He is trying to provoke to remove himself from a hook upon which he impaled himself...............he wants a reaction


    The question is, is Ken antisemitic? Looking at his vocal output, there's a pattern here. He likes to make contentious comments, he likes attention, he's a populist. I find him irritating, but more of a clutz than a real antisemite. Might even be confused himself


    Livingstone is an auteur who verges on the autistic.

    He hasn't a clue, really.

    He thinks he cannot possibly be racist in his remarks because it is a theoretical impossibility that he could make a racist comment.

    Therefore, he can say to the Reuben brothers, Go back to Iran (sic), because, since he is Ken Livingstone, who cannot even theoretically be a racist, it could not possibly be a racist thing to say.

    The reason it keeps happening with Jews, is because Jews do not really conform to Livingstone's idea(l) of an ethnic minority.

    They are not needy or begging. They do not celebrate Ken Livingstone as their saviour, because they have done very well for themselves, without his help, thank you very much.

    They have striven to be British without endlessly complaining how hard they have had it.

    Jews know that they are better than the likes of political opportunists like Livingstone, whom, I suspect, many regard as a bit of a schnorrer.

    Jews have had to be an ethnic minority for 2000 years: there is nothing that Ken Livingstone can teach them.

    I think, deep down, he resents the fact.


    Personally I have nothing against the jews. I just wish they would quit being so pushy. Sometimes I get the impression they think they are entitled to push everyone aside because they are gods chosen people.

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