Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone has said the “creation” of Israel was a “great catastrophe,” leading to a situation with the “potential for nuclear war.”
Livingstone became the most prominent Labour figure to be suspended last week after defending a colleague who had backed calls for Israel to be relocated to the United States.
The former mayor also created a political firestorm by suggesting that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was a Zionist before he “went mad.”
Meanwhile, a new interview has emerged in which Livingstone framed the creation of the occupied territories as “fundamentally wrong,” British media reported.
“The creation of the state of Israel was fundamentally wrong, because there had been a Palestinian community there for 2,000 years,” he recently told Arabic TV station al-Ghad al-Arabi.
In the interview, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Livingstone suggested some tensions in the Middle East could have been avoided if Jewish people were resettled in Britain and America after the Second World War.
“They could all have been resettled, whereas 70 years later, the situation is still very tense, and there is potential for many more wars, potential for nuclear war,” he said.
He also claimed that Hitler originally “wanted to deport all the Zionists to Israel.”
The Labour Party has suspended as many as 50 members over allegations of “anti-Semitism” and racism in the past two months.
Livingstone said last week that there was a “well-orchestrated campaign” against the party by the “Israel lobby.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has faced deep criticism that he has failed to take a firm stance against anti-Semitism within the party.
Last month, Corbyn ordered an inquiry into the issue and said he would propose a new code of conduct banning any forms of racism in the party.