The Livingstone Formulation fails to rescue Livingstone

Hirsh, David. 2016. The Livingstone Formulation fails to rescue Livingstone. Engage, [Article]

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Ken Livingstone has been suspended from the Labour Party today. He has been a significant figure as leader of the Greater London Council, a Member of Parliament, and the Mayor of London, for decades.

He is famous for the Livingstone Formulation: the insistence that Jews raise the issue of antisemitism dishonestly in order to silence criticism of Israel; that they don’t even believe it themselves. Talk of antisemitism on the left is a conspiracy to mobilize Jewish victim power against the Palestinians.

Last month Livingstone said that in his 45 years in the Labour Party he had never once seen any antisemitism. On that occasion he was jumping to the defence of Labour in the wake of accusations against Gerry Downing, a Labour Party member who wanted to ‘re-open the Jewish Question’ and Vicki Kirby, a member who tweeted about the Jews that the Brits ‘invented Israel when saving them from Hitler, who now seems to be their teacher’. He was also trying to douse the scandal at Oxford University Labour Club after its Chair resigned, saying that members seemed to have ‘some kind of a problem with Jews’. These were the students who taunted Jewish members calling them ‘Zios’ with the song: ‘Bombs over Tel Aviv‘.

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28 April 2016Published

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03 May 2016 10:55

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11 Oct 2019 12:21


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