Ken Livingstone: Creation of Israel was ‘a great catastrophe’

In Arabic TV interview, Labour’s ex-London mayor blames Israel for IS attacks in Europe and mass expulsion of Jews from Arab world, again claims Hitler supported Zionism

May 5, 2016
Ken Livingstone denounces Israel in a May 4, 2016 interview (Memri screenshot)
Ken Livingstone denounces Israel in a May 4, 2016 interview (Memri screenshot)


Former London mayor Ken Livingstone on Wednesday called the creation of Israel “fundamentally wrong,” and “a great catastrophe.” The existence of the Jewish state in the Middle East, he said, could ultimately lead to nuclear war.

“The creation of the state of Israel was fundamentally wrong, because there had been a Palestinian community there for 2,000 years,” Livingstone told an Arabic language TV station based in London, in a clip posted and translated by the watchdog MEMRI group.

“The creation of the state of Israel was a great catastrophe,” he repeated. “We should have absorbed the post-World War II Jewish refugees in Britain and America. They could all have been resettled, whereas 70 years later, the situation is still very tense, and there is potential for many more wars, potential for nuclear war,” Livingstone told Al-Ghad Al-Arabi.

He also advocated for an international boycott on Israeli products, telling his interviewer that “I never buy anything” that comes from Israel. “I like dates, but I don’t buy dates that come from Israel,” he said.

The former mayor was last week suspended by the Labour party for saying that Hitler supported Zionism “before he went mad and ended up killing 6 million Jews.” He has refused to apologize for the comments and even claimed that previous remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the relationship between the grand mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler supported his argument.

He repeated his claims on Hitler and Zionism on Wednesday, saying that “When Hitler won the elections in 1932 and came to power, his policy was not directed toward killing the Jews. He wanted to deport all the Zionists to Israel [sic].” The State of Israel was created in 1948, three years after the end of the Holocaust.

Livingstone also attributed the mass expulsion of Jews across the Arab world to Israel’s founding.

Prior to the creation of the Jewish state, he said, “there were large Jewish communities that never suffered threats or attacks. They lived in peace alongside their Arab neighbors. But all of this was destroyed with the establishment of the State of Israel, and all the Israeli [sic] communities in the Arab world were deported to Israel.”

The veteran politician also blamed Israel’s ongoing conflict with the Palestinians for global terrorism, including the recent brutal Islamic State attacks in Paris and Brussels.

“I have always believed that the failure to resolve the [Palestinian] problem fuels the terrorist attacks,” he said. “What makes a 15- or 16-year-old boy go and fight with ISIS, or carry out the barbaric attacks that we saw in Paris or Brussels? They don’t do it because they enjoy killing, but because they believe that they are the victims of injustice. The West must deal with the injustice, or will continue to fuel terrorism.”

His latest comments came as Labour struggled to deal with multiple suspensions of members for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic remarks and posts on social media, a scandal that threatens to reduce Jewish support for the party. He was also speaking on the eve of Thursday’s local elections in the UK, in which Labour’s MP Sadiq Khan was seeking to win back the London mayoralty for the party. Britons went to the polls on Thursday to select local leaders across the country, including for London mayor. Khan, a Muslim, is facing off against Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, who is of partial Jewish ancestry.




11 Responses to “Ken Livingstone: Creation of Israel was ‘a great catastrophe’”

  1. Gordon says:

    Ever felt you’re banging your head against a wall!

    I was in conversation with a friend just the other day and the subject of Israel and Palestine arose (yes, there was/is such a country as Palestine) and I happened to remark that the root cause of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict stemmed back to November 2, 1917, when Arthur James Balfour, former Conservative prime minister who was now foreign secretary in David Lloyd George’s wartime coalition government, wrote to Lord Rothschild conveying with “much pleasure” a declaration of sympathy, approved by the cabinet, to be passed to the Zionist Federation, and that Palestine was to be the national home for the Jewish people.

    I went on to explained that Britain had no right to do so. My friend had never heard of the Balfour Declaration and argued the Holocaust…. Oh, here we go again!

    I don’t have the patience or time to educate people that are not willing to listen and moved on.

    However, we’ll always remain friends.

  2. Dublinmick says:

    That is the case almost everywhere. It shows the power of propaganda. When people grow up reading text books that are an affront to the human mind, watching the idiot tube, trying to talk to them is like encountering someone from an alternate universe.

    It is difficult to escape the matrix but one must be driven to do so. They at least must have the mental faculty to realize something is very wrong and the determination find the truth for themselves. Otherwise they are impossible to reach. It is the same here in America.

    I had an old college friend, we were out on the lake talking. He was a marine captain in Vietnam, lost part of his little finger in an artillery piece. I began a probe to see what his thoughts were on 911. He said I don’t believe that shyte!

    Sometimes you just have to let them go.

    • Men Scryfa says:

      “Sometimes you just have to let them go”

      Regretably it is the conclusion many of us come to as another exellent article here at the Tap stated, rational arguments based on facts are a waste of time with most people (certainly nowadays but it was probably always thus). People think with their emotions and generally believe or listen to what they want to believe or hear. That is why politicians are as they are as they fully know it is the case and so all exploit it.

      Probably a lot less than 10% of the population in developed nations (the proportion may be even lower elsewhere) are rational, open minded, patient and/or honest enough to actually sit back and listen to arguments and consider facts that they do not want to hear before making a judgment and dismissing what they are told. For this reason many times it is easier to make progress with a person who is less educated and intelligent as they have less baggage and pride to get passed.

    • Men Scryfa says:

      Problem with your pal who was a Vietnam Vet reminds me of what AssKissinger said about military men (no offence intended)

  3. UglyTruth says:

    The Times of Israel is misrepresenting Livingstone here, since Israel is not the same as the state of Israel. Israel originated with the patriarchs, but the state of Israel originated with Theodore Herzl.

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