The comments of the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, reflect equal parts arrogance and ignorance.
Livingstone’s arrogance shows in the way he blithely justifies Palestinian suicide bombers who murder men, women and children.
While the victims of London’s bombings are still being identified and buried, he invites an Islamist preacher who condones suicide terrorism – this, when there are plenty of Muslim leaders who condemn such atrocities.
Getting it all wrong
But Livingstone’s arrogance is matched only by his ignorance.
In fact, each and every historical event to which he referred in his press conference was distorted beyond recognition.
In 1967, when being threatened by surrounding Arab countries, Israel exhausted every diplomatic channel to avoid the looming onslaught. Only when it was left with no choice, did Israel attack preemptively.
With respect to Lebanon, Israel would not have encroached on one inch of its territory if not for the ongoing Palestinian terrorist attacks from the north.
Perhaps, Livingstone would have preferred that the PLO go on killing Israeli civilians uninterrupted by any IDF reaction.
Pandering to radical Islam
Livingstone’s superficial treatment of history really does not merit further counter-arguments or elaboration.
However, it should be noted that London has a mayor who is not outraged by suicide bombers, per se. The mayor of London, much like Chamberlain, believes that one can appease the perpetrators of suicide terror; it is only a matter of solving some historical grudge.
While expressing “understanding” for Palestinian terror, Livingstone ignores the fact that, since the beginning of the 1991 Madrid process, the Palestinians have had an internationally sanctioned framework to promote peace while achieving concrete, political gains.
Yet people like the mayor of London prefer not to see the aggressive incitement, hatred and extremism directed at the West, its culture and society – only to wake up one morning and discover a September 11th or a July 7th.
If I were a resident of London, I would be very much concerned, not just about the recent Underground attack, but that my mayor chooses to appease those who constitute a threat, and in doing do, he shows one more ugly attribute: irresponsibility.
Eytan Bentsur is former director-general of the Foreign Ministry