As a Labour Party member, I would like to see a response by Ed Miliband today to the following news about Ken Livingstone:
Prominent Labour-supporting Jewish Londoners have written a devastating letter to Ed Miliband expressing their profound concerns about mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone.
The letter states: “Ken toward the end of the meeting stated that he did not expect the Jewish community to vote Labour as votes for the left are inversely proportional to wealth levels, and suggested that as the Jewish community is rich we simply wouldn’t vote for him.”
The letter explains to Mr Miliband that Jewish Labour supporters were finding it “harder and harder to consider voting for Ken”.
At the heart of the critique is the fear that Mr Livingstone’s language when discussing the Jewish community, Israel and Zionism is close to classic antisemitism.
There is also this:
The Jewish Labour figures behind the letter, which include Liberal rabbi Danny Rich and former Limmud chair Andrew Gilbert, express concern that Mr Livinstone has aligned himself with the politics of radical Islam. “The real and more pressing issue is that of the strong perception that Ken is seeking to align himself with the politics of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian regime, whilst at the same time turning a blind eye to Islamist antisemitism , mysogynism (sic) and homophobia.”
The authors of the letter added: “We are concerned that this is more about infantile, far-left politics, being seen to take a stance against whatever the anti-establishment or anti-imperialism cause of the moment is.”
There is no way to spin this.
Ken Livingstone’s rhetoric is that of the age-old antisemite. These are words you’d expect to come out of the mouth of Nick Griffin, not a senior Labour politician.
This is a prominent Labour party figure, peddling stereotypes about rich Jews. Not only that: here is a man who has backed antisemite after antisemite, made racist quips about Jews again and again, attempting to argue that opposition to racism is really rich Jews, guarding their wallets.
If Ken Livingstone says this to Jews, what do you think he tells people down at the pro-Hamas Finsbury Park Mosque?
The full letter is here.
Time for Labour to show that it is serious about opposing racism. Today of all days.