This has had me livid for about an hour how. It's worth knowing that the journalist, Oliver Finegold, works for the Evening Standard. The Evening Standard is owned by Associated Newspapers, which also owns, amongst other publications, The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday.
Maybe Ken should have been more forthcoming in his apology to the Jewish Community (whatever that means - I certainly don't count myself as part of the Lapsed Catholic Irish Immigrant Community, and neither do any of my family, and it's not like any of us would fall to the floor in tears if anyone mentioned the Black and Tans, despite them beating and killing untold Irish back in the day... I digress...*), but he's been very clear all along that his refusal to apologise to this man is from disgust at Associated Newspapers' long and despicable history of demonising immigrants, homosexuals, ethnic minorities, and anyone else who presented an easy target for reactionary hatred at the time (right now, it's Muslims, between regular bouts of gay-bashing). Pre-World War II, the Mail had even praised and sympathised with Hitler. The idea that this journalist, working for a right-wing paper, was somehow a)acting as a representative of every Jew in the World and b) very fragile and therefore deeply upset by Ken's comment is offensive and frightening in its strange, twisted uber-PC logic.
Ken Livingstone is the chair of Unite Against Fascism, and has a 3-decade history of fighting racism, fascism and inequality. That four unelected penpushers can suspend him from doing the job millions of Londoners voted for him to do is quite beyond the pale.
If there's a march, I'll be there.
*I'm not trying to compare the Holocaust to the Irish Troubles here. But neither am I impressed or convinced by people trying to gain political capital or emotional kudos from something they weren't there to experience, no matter how awful. This whole thing has been very carefully played by Oliver Finegold and The Evening Standard, who, let's face it, are scruple-free tabloid scum and would have no qualms about harassing, victimising or demonising Muslims or homosexuals if they thought there was a story in it. It's just lucky for Finegold that anti-Semitism isn't acceptable anymore.