Why did Ken Livingstone even mention Hitler?

In an interview a few days ago on BBC London, Ken Livingstone was asked about Naz Shah’s Facebook posts in 2009 and whether these posts and comments are antisemitic.

In most articles you cannot find the question that was asked of Ken and I found myself wondering how mad Ken must have been to have started, unprompted, to talk about Hitler and his support of the Zionist cause. I am a fan of Ken’s and believe him to be a an intelligent and kind man who has fought for many causes in his political career that I support. Hearing him interviewed on LBC the day after the furore broke, he was asked, incredulously by David Mellor, how he had thought it wise to mention Hitler.  Ken responded “I was answering a direct question”. So what was the question? Anyone? Here is the transcript:

Feltz: She [Shah] talked about relocating Israel to America. She talked about what Hitler did being legal. And she talked about the Jews rallying. And she used the words Jews, not Israelis or Israel. You didn’t find that to be antisemitic?

Livingstone: No. It’s completely over the top [but] it’s not antisemitic. Let’s remember, when Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism. [He then] went mad and ending up killing 6 million Jews. But the simple fact in all of this is that Naz made these comments at a time when there was another brutal Israeli attack on the Palestinians. And there is one stark fact that virtually no one in the British media ever reports: in almost all these conflicts the death toll is usually between 60 and 100 Palestinians killed for every Israeli. Now any other country doing that would be accused of war crimes, but it’s like we have a double standard about the policies of the Israeli government.

So there you have it. Ken did not gratuitously bring up Hitler.

May the truth win out!

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