The common thread between Ken Livingstone on the IRA and on Jews and Israel

It looks as if Ken Livingstone faces a tougher time with the Labour party over his “Hitler was a Zionist” remarks than he did over consorting with Gerry Adams when the IRA campaign had ten years to run to the first  ceasefire.

What was the charge against him in 1983-4?  That he gave comfort to the IRA by supporting  their key demand of “Brits Out,” without demanding an IRA ceasefire.  The evenhandedness of his call for an end to violence stuck in British and unionist craws.  However the 1994  ceasefire when he wrote this piece  made him seem prophetic. The GFA in 1998 made the whole case basically redundant- if you ignore the failure of the Brits out demand.

In 1984 as today with his out of tune comments on anti-semitism, Labour was at a very low ebb.

What makes Livingstone do it? He will have his defenders in both cases. Either sheer perversity or a probe to test the strength of the radical left,  to whom Unionism and Israel are basically false consciousnesses?  It didn’t work over Northern Ireland and is unlikely to strengthen the hand of critics of Israel.

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  • Bill Slim

    That picture was taken in 1933, six years before the war ad clearly shows a family larking about. Are you seriousy claiming it as evidence that they were Nazis?

    Russell was in charge of the IRA when he died on that U Boat. The IRA put up a statue in his memory and the Provos continue to visit it in order to show their admiration for him to this very day.

    Reading down through the rest of your posts it is very clear that you are of the same anti semitic ilk as Livingstone. Thank God the far left day is coming to a rapid end.

  • Phil

    The Haavara agreement specifically facilitated the emigration of German Jews to Palestine. Hitler wasn’t a Zionist, obviously, but he saw supporting Zionism as an opportunity to rid his country of the people he hated.

  • Skibo

    hahaha how do you trust a British politician bearing gifts?

  • Paddy Reilly

    I’m prepared to believe the two Elizabeths were larking about: the Duke of Windsor’s record needs to be examined more closely.

    Because the Blueshirts had made the practice of raising their right hands in the air and wearing uniformly coloured shirts their own, and volunteered enthusiastically for the Fascist side in the Spanish Civil War, their opponents the IRA tended to take the opposite approach.

    The IRA in the 30s, 40s and 50s, was merely the remnants of a working movement, most of whom had already hived off into the Free State establishment. So they were a small bunch of extremists, specialising in splits and in-fighting. Seán Russell died in 1940: he cannot have played any part in the Endlösung.

    When Nazi Germany was the supreme power in Europe, there would have been those who believed that adopting the Fascist side’s ideology was the only viable approach. But this would be the same in any other organisation at this time, particularly the Conservative and Unionist Party.

    As regard your argumentum ad hominem, I should clarify:

    1) I do not believe in abbreviating the Human Rights (as defined in the ECHR) of any person because they are Jewish;

    2) I do not therefore believe that in any dispute, the Jewish side is the correct one.

    So I am as anti-Semitic as Einstein or Noam Chomsky.

    I refrain from entering into any argument about the legitimacy or viability of the state of Israel, as I regard the matter as boring and beyond my purview.

    What is being imposed here is the right to vilify and pillory as an “anti-Semite” any person in the public eye who dares to discuss Jewish or Israeli history, without being Jewish.

  • Skibo

    Ted can you quote the antisemitic comment? I have been looking for it but cannot find it.

  • Skibo

    Bill you really need to get out more. I am a Republican. I believe Israel should be the homeland for the Jews but I believe that the Palestinians are entitled to a homeland also. It pains me to think of what the Jewish nation went through at the hands of Europeans, as it was not just the Nazis, and then treat the Palestinians as sub-human.
    The Gaza strip is in simple terms a concentration camp the size of Fermanagh with a population the size of NI.
    The average age within the Gaza Strip is 18 so 50% are children!

  • Skibo

    Were the British pro communist in WW2?

  • Skibo

    I never realised you were on speaking terms with Michael Collins. God you must be old!
    The Easter Rising came about shortly after the centenary of the 1798 rebellion. Norman and English armies have been spilling blood in Ireland since 1170.
    I see the hatred is great in this one.

  • Reader

    Paddy Reilly: Don’t you worry, the Mail knew exactly what they were doing
    How could they possibly have guessed that Ken would make a crack about concentration camp guards? Is it one of his running gags or something?

  • Skibo

    I thought John Mann should get remanded for calling the party into disrepute, washing their dirty washing in public when it was obviously being recorded.

  • Skibo

    But why do it in public. The place for that is behind closed doors. A slanging match in public while Livingstone was carrying out a phone call!

  • Skibo

    What the same Winston who commented on the Unionist ability to obey the laws they agreed with and ignore those they didn’t?
    Churchill wan’t all bad. Took a bit too much to drink and took his electorate for granted and lost the election after the war.
    His actions did cause the deaths of a lot of Anzac and Irish soldiers in Gallipoli.

  • fxowen

    The Zionist terrorists of Irgun and Lehi that murdered British soldiers in Mandatory Palestine modelled themselves on the IRA. The Lehi terrorist and future Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Shamir, used the nom-de-guerre “Michael Collins”. Irgun founder Ze’ev Jabotinsky travelled to Dublin to learn terrorism from the masters. Irish pubs in New York collected funds for Irgun. By the 1970’s, the IRA switched sides and supported the PLO. But in the 1930s and 1940s, the IRA supplied funds and training for the Zionist terrorists who kicked the British out of Palestine.

  • LordSummerisle

    Clearly there is more going on in the background than first meets the eye. Curiously the media fail to interview grass roots Labour Party members in regards to this issue. I wonder if deep down this is a plot by right wing/Blairites to discredit the current Labour leadership ?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    To be quite honest Skibo I am glad John Mann did pull Livingstone up in public because it shows that the Labour Party still has a conscience which I had thought they had lost. Good to see again ! and would also suggest that it is time for Ken Livingstone to retire now.

  • Skibo

    Raising it in public is one thing, having a blazing row in front of cameras is another. Mann looked like he was going to blow a gasket while Livingstone looked so calm.

  • rationalplan

    First of Livingstone has form for anti Jewish remarks.

    To clarify The reporter was doorstepping him after a an event to get his views and all he asked him is how did the event go. Ken then accused of being like a WWII was criminal and the reporter told him that pretty offensive as he was Jewish and the Ken as always instead of saying sorry and moving on doubled down and then said in fact he was the same as concentration camp guard!

    Then there is time he told some Jewish property developers to go back to their own country.

    Or that Jews don’t vote Labour anymore because they are rich.

    How about when defending someones antisemtic remarks you don’t starting talking about how Hitler was really a Zionist in the early days and he was perfectly sane to want to get rid of Jews from Germany and Europe and he went a bit mad latter and decided to slaughter them all.

    Or the classic line later saying that “because a real antisemite doesn’t just hate the Jews in Israel, they hate their Jewish neighbour in Golders Green or in Stoke Newington. It’s a physical loathing.”.

    If it barks like a dog or runs like a dog, it is a dog.

  • LordSummerisle

    Why ? Red Ken has always been controversial and out of touch with most of the party. John Mann was simply using this as a publicity stunt.

  • ted hagan

    You are blinded by your bigotry and antisemiticism. I can clearly what human rights abuses Israel abuses have committed, I can also the atrocities committed by Hamas and how it uses its people as cannon fodder.

  • Scots Anorak

    I can see those things too. But what I’d really like to know is on what grounds you have called me an anti-Semite. I think your comment is outrageous abuse and should attract action by the moderators.

  • Paddy Reilly
  • Croiteir


  • Jollyraj

    How does that square with, it has to be said, slavely devotion to a dictator like Adams?

  • mickfealty

    Which part of man and ball don’t you get Ted?

  • Kev Hughes

    Core concept? 😀

  • ted hagan

    Well, when someone cannot accept that atrocities are committed on both sides in this conflict I can only come to one conclusion.

  • mickfealty

    Not on this site you don’t.

  • ted hagan

    How do you mean?

  • ted hagan

    Apologiy. I appreciate your efforts and sorry if I was offensive. Keep up the fine work.

  • John Collins

    Oh Jesus Barnshee, I thought, coming from the background you do, that you would defend the Israeli position all the way.

  • John Collins

    Would that be the same Gadaffi that entertained the very gracious, not to mention almost salivating, PM Tony Blair, in his elaborate tent.