London, Apr 5 (AP) Jewish leaders in Britain today accused the opposition Labour Party of tolerating anti-Semitism after it failed to expel a senior politician who said Adolf Hitler had been a supporter of Zionism.
Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone has been suspended from holding party office until April 2018. At a meeting on yesterday, Labour officials extended a one-year suspension imposed in 2016 for another 12 months.
Livingstone, who has repeatedly asserted collaboration between Zionists and Nazis before World War II, said the party hearing had been “like sitting through a court in North Korea.”
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said Labour “has yet again failed to show that it is sufficiently serious about tackling the scourge of anti-Semitism.”
Allegations of Labour anti-Semitism have grown since pro-Palestinian socialist Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of Britain’s main opposition party in 2015.
The issue has wracked the party. Deputy leader Tom Watson said today that the failure to expel Livingstone “shames us all, and I’m deeply saddened by it.”
“My party is not living up to its commitment to have a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism,” Watson said. “I will continue the fight to ensure that it does, and I will press my colleagues to do so too.”
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said Livingstone’s suspension was “a slap on the wrist for a serial offender.” Labour lawmaker Wes Streeting said the decision was “a terrible betrayal of Jewish Labour supporters.” (AP)
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.