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!
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • 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.