British Jewish leaders expressed frustration this week that a former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has yet to be expelled from the opposition Labour Party over his antisemitic outbursts.
A two-year suspension of Livingstone was renewed “indefinitely” the party’s National Executive Committee on Thursday, leading to a disappointed reaction from the head of Britain’s Jewish representative body.
“Ken Livingstone’s readmission to the Labour Party would have been a disaster for the already strained relationship between the Jewish community and the Labour Party, so it is fortunate that this possibility has been taken off the table,” Board of Deputies of British Jews President Jonathan Arkush said in a statement. “However, we continue to believe that Ken Livingstone should have been expelled long ago.”
Arkush said that Livingstone’s comments — which included the false statement that the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler “supported Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews” — “have been very public, frequently repeated and consistently offensive.”