LONDON — Ken Livingstone has published his defence against accusations of anti-Semitism.
In a summary of his defence published on Tuesday morning, the former mayor of London references a Nazi policy that he says “had the effect of supporting” the Zionist movement.
Livingstone, a former Labour MP, will face a Labour disciplinary hearing this week after he was suspended last year for comments he made about Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.
Livingstone triggered widespread outrage in April when he told the BBC that Hitler had supported the establishment of a Jewish state in 1932 “before he went mad and murdered six million Jews.”
He was suspended by the party nearly twelve months ago but has since insisted on multiple occasions that his comments were historically accurate.
In his defence, Livingstone references the 1933 “Transfer Agreement” which he claims was designed to allow German Jews emigrating to Palestine to retain some of the value of their property in Germany by purchasing German goods.
“This agreement, between the Nazis and a section of Zionism, was not referred to in order to express hostility to Jewish people. The Transfer Agreement was a major political issue at the time as the Jewish movement to boycott German goods was a huge international campaign to turn public opinion against Nazi Germany.”
He adds: “In my remarks to Vanessa Feltz, I was just pointing out that the Nazi policy in relation to the Transfer Agreement had the effect of supporting Zionism.”
He went on to say: “I did not say or suggest that Hitler was a Zionist.
“I did not make the equation of Hitler and Zionism. I neither criticised the Transfer Agreement or the section of Zionism that participated in the Agreement. I did not draw any historical parallels with the situation today anywhere, including with the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
“The holocaust against the Jews is the greatest racial crime of the 20th century.”
You can read the summary of his defence here:
This is a developing story…
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BREAKING: Ken Livingstone’s defence against anti-semitism charges is out, including how ‘Nazi policy…had the effect of supporting Zionism’ pic.twitter.com/bScX4mkbQO
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) March 28, 2017
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