(JTA) — Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone called allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party “lies and smears” to bring down party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Nine Labour lawmakers quit the party last month over its failure to tackle the problem of hatred toward Jews among party supporters and leaders.
Livingstone was suspended by the Labour Party in 2016 and quit last year over comments about Hitler and Zionism. He told a meeting of Labour Against The Witchhunt last week, according to the Sunday Mail, that: “This is endemic. If you have a genuine socialist leader who is going to transform things for ordinary people and make the bloody corporations pay their fair share of tax – they will do whatever is necessary to stop you…”
“That means lies and smears in most of the West. In other parts of the world it can mean assassination,” the Sunday Mail reported Livingstone as saying.
Livingstone said that Corbyn’s office did not support his suspension from the party in 2016, after he said that Hitler supported Zionism. He also asserted that he was suspended because the press had spread “lie after lie after lie” about what he said.
One of the lies he said is being spread about him is that he said “It’s not anti-Semitic to hate the Jews of Israel,” he told the meeting. “You can’t have a proper functioning democracy in a world in which the media, whether it’s the press or internet, can just spread lie after lie after lie,” he said, according to the Mail.
Speaking in April 2016, Livingstone said: “When Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”