In his interview on LBC on Saturday 30 May 2016, former London mayor Ken Levingston claimed that his alleged anti-Semitic comments that Hitler was in fact a Zionist and that Hitler had never intended to exterminate the Jews until one day he “went mad” were backed by similar comments by Israeli primes minister (and historian) Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ken Levingston repeated his claim about Benjamin Netanyahu at least 12 times during the radio interview. This was his unchallenged line of defence to the charge that he was anti-Semite.
So did Ken Levingston tell the truth about Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech or did he bent it in an attempt to rewrite history all over again?
Was Ken Levingston being honest with LBC’s listeners in relation to Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech or did he deliberately mislead them to avoid a charge that he was anti-Semite?
Judge for yourself.
Here is a link to the full transcript of the speech by Benjamin Netanyahu, which was referred to in Ken Levingston’s radio interview on LBC. http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Speeches/Pages/speechcongress201015.aspx.
To put things in context, Benjamin Netanyahu gave that speech to the 37th Zionist Congress on 20 October 2015. The section of the speech referred to by Ken Levingston was aimed to emphasis the active part played by the Mufti (Mayor) of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, in the formation of Hitler’s final solution.
Haj Amin al-Husseini is considered by many as the forefather of the Palestinian nation so the point Benjamin Netanyahu was making was that Palestinian terrorism is not only motivated by nationalism but largely by deep routed anti-semitism.
The transcript of the paragraph of Benjamin Netanyahu speech referred to by Ken Levingston in aid of defending the charge that he was an anti-Semite is produced in full below:
|“And this attack and other attacks on the Jewish community in 1920, 1921, 1929, were instigated by a call of the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was later sought for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials because he had a central role in fomenting the final solution. He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, “If you expel them, they’ll all come here.” “So what should I do with them?” he asked. He said, “Burn them.” And he was sought in, during the Nuremberg trials for prosecution. He escaped it and later died of cancer, after the war, died of cancer in Cairo.”|
Reading Netanyahu’s words, it is clear that Ken Livingstone purposefully misstated what he had said. Hitler wanted to get rid of all the Jews. He did not care where they went. The Mufti convinced him that expelling them from Germany was not a good solution as they would come to Palestine instead. According to Mr Netanyahu it was the Mufti (clearly not insanity) which caused Hitler’s change of plans.
Did Benjamin Netanyahu say in his speech that Hitler was a Zionist as Ken Livingstone implied?
Clearly not. Netanyahu did not even mention the word Zionism in the relevant paragraph.
Did Benjamin Netanyahu say in his speech that it was insanity that drove Hitler to exterminate the Jews rather than a cold blooded plan? Definitely not.
There is clearly nothing in Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to even suggest that Hitler’s desire to expel the Jews from Europe was motivated by Zionism and it is clear from the speech that the Mufti influence the Hitler’s final solution. Not a word about insanity.
The only part that in Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech that Ken Levingston might have correctly quoted is Netanyahu’s suggestion that Hitler had not formed the final solution until 1929 after he met with the Mufti.
It is clear from reading Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech and from listening to Ken Livingstone’s interview that Ken Livingstone did not tell the truth when he claimed repeatedly that his comments were backed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This was his only line of defence. “The Truth”, he said, which we can see he falsely claimed was backed by an acting Israeli Prime Minister.