SWC To London Mayor: Apologize Now For Antisemitic And Anti-Israel Comments
At a time when violent antisemitic attacks on British Jews increased 42% last year reaching greater levels than in France, where just days before Holocaust Memorial Day Jewish gravestones were desecrated with swastikas, while at the same time there was a spate of violent attacks against Jews in North London, where Jewish students feel increasingly intimidated on university campuses for openly expressing their support for Israel, and when young people in the UK increasingly display a lack of understanding of the Nazi Holocaust, the slanderous comments against a Jewish reporter and the State of Israel by London's controversial mayor have fueled an already dangerous environment.
Mayor Ken Livingstone's most recent statements accusing the Israeli government of "ethnic cleansing" and his description of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a "war criminal who should be in prison" have added to the anger over comments made last month when he compared a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard. Livingstone has refused consistent calls from Prime Minister Tony Blair, British officials, Holocaust survivors, and London's Jewish community to apologize.
Therefore, we are asking our supporters in Britain and around the world to join the Simon Wiesenthal Center's protest directly to London Mayor Ken Livingstone to urge him to immediately apologize for his comments trivializing the Holocaust and demonizing Zionism and Israel.
Livingstone has had a long history of conflict with British Jews. Last year, he hosted Sheik Yusuf al Qaradawi, a Muslim Brotherhood Imam who has endorsed suicide bombings against civilians in Israel and attacks on foreign civilians in Iraq. In 2000, he made a speech claiming that global capitalism was responsible for more deaths that the Nazis. And as far back as 1983, in his capacity as a newspaper editor, he published a cartoon of then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin dressed in an SS uniform with a caption reading, "The Final Solution."
Additionally, the Center is urging mayors of all cities to refuse to officially welcome Livingstone to their cities until he apologizes for his reckless and incendiary behavior.
By signing this petition, you will be sending a letter directly to Mayor Livingstone urging him to apologize for his anitsemitic and anti-Israel comments.
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This e-mail was sponsored by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international
organization with 400,000 members, promoting tolerance and combating antisemitism worldwide.
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