UK Jewish group: Livingstone displays “crushing ignorance of anti-Semitism”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
28/04/16, London: British Jewish pro-Israel, pro-peace movement Yachad has criticised Ken Livingstone’s response to the public outcry over Naz Shah MP’s anti-Semitic social media postings, and is calling for an open public conversation to clarify and redefine the boundaries between anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel in public life.
Hannah Weisfeld, Yachad’s director, said:
“Ken Livingstone’s absurd comments were not only highly offensive, they displayed a crushing ignorance of anti-Semitism in the 21st century. Of course you can oppose many policies of the Israeli government – many Jews and Jewish organisations do. That does not make you an anti-Semite. But in many instances the way in which people express themselves as ‘anti-Zionists’ or ‘oppose Israel’ is anti-Semitic. Being a left-wing supporter of Palestine is not a vaccination against anti-Semitism. It’s time to redefine the boundaries between anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel in public life.
“Naz Shah has issued a full and unreserved apology. It does not excuse her posts and the offence caused, but we should now look to build bridges and educate where there is clear ignorance. The irony of Livingstone’s comments is that they come after Naz Shah has admitted her mistakes and acknowledged the gravity of what she said.”
Notes for Editors
- Yachad was founded in 2011 to build support within British Jewry for a two-state solution and an end to the occupation, though education, debate and advocacy, and to galvanise the energy of British Jews in support of the steps needed to create peace and long-term security for Israel.