London Mayor candidate Ken Livingstone is certainly not a friend of Israel and wouldn’t describe himself as such either. But even he opposed the Academic boycott of Israel, as he reminds everyone in this week’s Jewish Chronicle. Defending himself against claims that he’s a bad candidate for Jews, he says:
We can view my record through press cuttings or we can judge it through what I did as mayor: developing a housing policy to address the issues of the Charedi community; publication of the Jewish London Guide; the Chanucah menorah lighting on Trafalgar Square; marking Holocaust Memorial Day; delivering Simcha in the Square, since abolished by Boris Johnson; working to make the North London Eruv possible; changing the day of London’s “Rise” anti-racist festival so that Jewish people could play their part; opposing the academic boycott of Israel; regular Jewish community events and meetings.
Whether or not you choose to accept his broader point is obviously a personal choice, but we’re more interested to note that even some of Israel’s loudest and most hostile and consistent opponents – like Ken Livingstone – aren’t prepared to accept the a discriminatory and immoral act that is the academic boycott of Israel.