LONDON — Britain’s main opposition Labour Party, facing growing criticism over perceived anti-Semitism in its ranks, suspended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone on Thursday over his comments in defense of a lawmaker who made anti-Israel posts on social media.
Livingstone, who sits on Labour’s National Executive Council, said in a radio interview that he had never heard any anti-Semitic views expressed by Labour members during several decades in the party. He also said criticism of Israel wasn’t anti-Semitism, claiming Adolf Hitler had supported Zionism “before he went mad and ended up killing 6 million Jews.”
Livingstone was defending lawmaker Naz Shah, who was suspended Wednesday over anti-Israel sentiments she expressed before she was elected to Parliament last year. She has apologized over the comments, which include a 2014 Facebook post in which she shared a graphic that showed the outline of Israel superimposed on a map of the U.S. under the headline “Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States.”
Labour said in a statement that Livingstone had been suspended “pending an investigation, for bringing the party into disrepute.”
Surrounded by press as he attended meetings in London on thursday, Livingstone defended his remarks on the grounds that they were technically accurate, urging journalists to do the research and determine whether Hitler did, in fact, propose deporting all of Germany’s Jews to
Article source: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/uk-labour-party-london-mayor-ken-livingstone-anti-semitism-hitler-zionist/
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