I am now starting to get quite angry, and as my friends will testify, that is not my natural state of mind.
I am beginning to see attempts to exonerate Ken Livingstone from the accusations of anti-semitism that have resulted in both his suspension from the Labour Party, and widespread criticism of the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Livingstone’s comments about Adolf Hitler and his attitudes towards Zionism were sophistic at best and pure fallacy at worst. Stating that because some agreement may have been reached between the Nazi administration and a Zionist organisation to allow limited Jewish emigration to the British Mandate of Palestine proves that the Nazis (and therefore Adolf Hitler) were Zionists, is as twisted as claiming that because the British government negotiated with Sinn Fein and other Irish nationalists to create the Good Friday agreement, they must believe in Irish unification.
Now some are trying to put forward evidence that Mr Livingstone’s opinions are based on fact, including the specious argument that Hitler ‘created’ the State of Israel. These profoundly hateful statements have to be refuted thoroughly.
If I claimed that I, a British Jew, owe my life to Adolf Hitler, to whom I am eternally grateful, you may well think me completely mad. But using Mr Livingstone’s twisted logic, you could make the case that I was being truthful. After all, if Hitler had not murdered 85% of my mother’s family in the concentration camps, if his slave labour workhouses, faced with the advance of Russian troops, had not force-marched their weak and starving inmates, including my mother and aunt, hundreds of miles across Germany to dump them in the disease-infested hell of Bergen-Belsen, only for the British to liberate them on the point of death, nurse them back to health and permit them to settle in this country, so that my mother could eventually meet my father, marry him and then give birth to me, if Adolf Hitler had not been responsible for all that, I WOULD NEVER HAVE EXISTED. So yes, Mr Livingstone’s supporters, by all means twist the facts to prove black is white, but it plainly doesn’t make it true.
I have also seen comments which try to belittle those attacking the likes of Mr Corbyn and Mr Livingstone, claiming them to be politically motivated to cause maximum damage to the Labour Party in advance of next week’s elections. Perhaps those comments contain a modicum of truth, but you should remember that there is nothing wrong with accusing someone whose views you dislike of punching you in the face AS LONG AS THEY DID ACTUALLY PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE. Politically motivated though they may be, if the accusations are true, go ahead and point the finger.
So to use a not inappropriate phrase, j’accuse.