Ken Livingstone was pilloried on the BBC's Daily Politics and elsewhere for correctly pointing out that Hitler's original policy was to move Jews out of Germany. Now we know that one of the images posted by the MP he was defending was reacting against a suggestion that the same thing should happen to Palestinians, where does that leave his critics?

Ken Livingstone was pilloried on the BBC’s Daily Politics and elsewhere for correctly pointing out that Hitler’s original policy was to move Jews out of Germany. Now we know that one of the images posted by the MP he was defending was reacting against a suggestion that the same thing should happen to Palestinians, where does that leave his critics?

Who, exactly, is reacting to sub-Nazi comments about relocating entire populations in the row over alleged “anti-Semitism” that led to the suspension of Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone from the Labour Party?

If you think it was their accusers, it seems you have been misled grievously.

Vox Political can reveal today the origin of that image – the picture of Israel superimposed into the American Midwest that caused so much fuss last week, and This Writer can categorically state:

It is not anti-Semitic.

It was a reaction against proposals to forcibly relocate Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank, Gaza, or anywhere else claimed by the Israeli state, moving them into Jordan or even Saudi Arabia.

It was created for an article on a website called Redress Online, dated August 4, 2014. The site describes itself as “an independent, privately-funded, non-profit-making website dedicated to exposing injustice, disinformation and bigotry, and to providing thought-provoking interpretations of current affairs… Our scope is global. Owing to the gross injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people by Israel and its allies, much of the material currently posted on our website concerns the Middle East. However, our aim is to fulfil our mission as described above wherever it is warranted anywhere in the world.”

The article itself states: “Israelis and other Zionists often call for a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, namely, their “transfer” to Jordan or even Saudi Arabia.

“In the light of the total lack of humanity shown by Israelis in Gaza in particular and towards the Palestinians in general, we believe that a logical counter-proposal would be to transfer the Jews-only state to the belly of its best friend, the United States.”

Not what you thought it was at all: This image was posted in response to demands that Palestinians should be forcibly moved to Jordan or Saudia Arabia, in much the same way Hitler wanted to remove Jews from Germany in the 1930s.

Not what you thought it was at all: This image was posted in response to demands that Palestinians should be forcibly moved to Jordan or Saudia Arabia, in much the same way Hitler wanted to remove Jews from Germany in the 1930s.

There is a wealth of material online to support the claim that there have been called for Palestinians to be forcibly removed from their homes. The article reports on the killing of up to 130 Palestinian civilians in Rafah on August 1, 2014 “just to make sure that one Israeli soldier … didn’t fall into Hamas’s hands alive,” so the reference to a “total lack of humanity” is entirely understandable.

The image itself is satirical. In the context of the above, it is clear that it is not, and never was, a serious suggestion. It’s a simple tit-for-tat: “If you think moving Palestinians to Jordan or Saudi Arabia is a good idea, what’s wrong with moving Israelis to the USA?” Before anyone starts screaming about the reference to a “Jews-only state”, it is a simple clarification, not an attack on anybody.

So it really is a “tongue in cheek cartoon”, as described by Norman Finkelstein when I contacted him about his publication of the image (as described in a previous Vox Political article). He continued: “The US is a crazy place when it comes to Israel, but it hasn’t yet become humorless.”

He was scathing about the witch-hunt currently taking place in the UK: “You should ask your fellow citizens why they are allowing the Israel-lobby and Labor hacks to crucify a Muslim Labor MP for posting a light-hearted cartoon?

“Here in the US, the first Jewish presidential candidate in history has been sweeping the Muslim-Arab vote.

“Meanwhile, in the UK you are allowing the Israel-mongers and Blair hacks to sow new divisions and create new hate between Muslims and Jews.”

The revelation about the image’s origin certainly casts new light on Ken Livingstone’s comments in his now-infamous Vanessa Feltz interview. In response to her strident demands to know why he was saying Naz Shah was not anti-Semitic, in the light of the evidence – an image now proved to be the opposite of what she assumed and a quotation from that well-known anti-Semite Martin Luther King – Livingstone responded that Adolf Hitler’s policy on Jews in Germany in 1932 was to transport them to British Mandate Palestine.

It seems clear he was saying there’s a world of difference between passing around a tongue-in-cheek image and actually going through with the action it suggested but, now that we know why that image was created, there is an infinitely more disturbing conclusion to draw:

The people who were advocating the forced removal of Palestinians were following in the footsteps of Hitler and the Nazis.

That is undeniable, isn’t it?

The next question is even more horrifying – especially considering the death toll in the Palestinian territories: How far along that path are they prepared to go?

Afterthought: This Writer was alerted on Twitter to an article about me on a site calling itself Simply Jews. It seems to be mostly a character assassination of Norman Finkelstein and the author of the Redress Online piece, one Gilad Atzmon, who is mentioned as having reblogged my article.

This is interesting. If Simply Jews knows of Atzmon, then it seems likely the site would have known of the Redress Online piece, but not one word about it is mentioned. Why not?

In any case, the comments about his character, Norman Finkelstein’s, mine, or even any that may be circulating about Redress Online editor Nureddin Sabir would be incidental to this discussion as they are subjective opinions.

Vox Political articles are often opinions – but always based on the facts available. That is where This Blog and Simply Jews part company, it seems.

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