by: Alan Simons - Last updated: 2005-02-17
Last week the controversial Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, compared Oliver Finegold, a journalist on London's Evening Standard newspaper, to a concentration camp guard.
The Mayor's words have been regarded by media, politicians and many organisations as deeply insensitive, especially considering Mr Finegold had just informed Mr Livingstone that he was Jewish. The Mayor, has to this moment, refused to retract his comment or apologise to Oliver Finegold.
The Mayor, known for his outspoken personal views, also criticised the Daily Mail, the Evening Standard's sister publication, as a promoter of "unremitting bigotry, hatred and prejudice" against ethnic minority groups. In his former days, the Mayor had worked as a critic for the newspaper.
Mr Livingstone has been quoted as saying: "If I could, in anything I say, relieve any pain anyone feels, I would not hesitate to do it. But it would require me to be a liar."
Last year, SomethingJewish, invited Mr. Livingstone to respond to a series of questions on where he stood on general as well as specific issues relating to London's Jewish community.
You can find out what the Mayor said at: www.somethingjewish.co.uk/articles/980_ken_livingstone.htm
After now reading his response to the questions put to him, we wonder how Mr. Livingstone would react to the quote by the English satiric author Samuel Butler: "Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie."
Alan Simons is founder of joodseinfo.net a free news and non political information service of www.joodseinfo.net. Based in The Netherlands, it is the first international Dutch web site reporting on news and cultural events of particular interest to Jewish and non Jewish communities world-wide. joodseinfo.net is a new not-for-profit educational project.