Ed’s Weblog

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Ken speaks out (again)

Posted by Ed on March 3, 2005

Ken Livingstone answers criticism by Henry Grunwald, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, in yesterday’s Guardian:

Throughout the 1970s, I worked happily with the Board of Deputies in campaigns against the National Front. Problems began when, as leader of the Greater London Council, I rejected the board’s request that I should fund only Jewish organisations that it approved of. The Board of Deputies was unhappy that I funded Jewish organisations campaigning for gay rights and others that disagreed with policies of the Israeli government.

Relations with the board took a dramatic turn for the worse when I opposed Israel’s illegal invasion of Lebanon, culminating in the massacres at the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila. The board also opposed my involvement in the successful campaign in 1982 to convince the Labour party to recognise the PLO as the legitimate voice of the Palestinian people.

The fundamental issue on which we differ, as Henry Grunwald knows, is not anti-semitism – which my administration has fought tooth and nail – but the policies of successive Israeli governments.

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One Response to “Ken speaks out (again)”

  1. The more I read about the man, the more I like him.

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