London Mayor Candidate Apologizes for Jibes

By Haaretz

Published March 29, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Labour party’s candidate for the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has been forced to apologize for controversial remarks he made earlier this month in a meeting with central Jewish party activists.

The former two-term mayor who is attempting to return to office in the May 3 elections has a long history of tension with London’s Jewish community. The apology was agreed upon in a meeting Wednesday night between Labour Leader Ed Miliband and the Jewish Leadership Council with the precise wording being a subject of lengthy negotiations.

The latest round of recriminations was triggered by a closed meeting four weeks ago between Livingstone and a group of local Jewish leaders, including veteran Labour supporters, rabbis and pro-Israel lobbyists. The aim of the meeting was an attempt to establish common ground between the mayoral candidate and Jewish Labour supporters who have been finding it increasingly difficult to support him and to urge other Jewish Londoners to vote Labour in the upcoming elections.

“People were saying at the meeting that they are going out in their neighborhoods, canvassing for Labour, and getting doors slammed in their faces because of Ken,” said one of the meeting’s participants.

The list of grievances between Livingstone and the British capital’s Jews is long and varied. As mayor, he enraged Israel’s supporters in July 2005, only two weeks after the multiple suicide bombing attacks on London’s public transport, when he justified the Palestinians’ use of such a tactic saying, “Given that the Palestinians don’t have jet planes, don’t have tanks, they only have their bodies to use as weapons,” and that Israel’s actions “border on crimes against humanity.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.