I was very surprised by Sebastian Payne’s Instant Insight “Ken Livingstone has no place in the Labour party” (FT.com, April 6). I hold no brief for Mr Livingstone, his remarks were certainly clumsy, but it is a matter of historical fact that there were negotiations between the Zionist movement and the Nazis. In addition there has been substantial criticism of the Zionists prioritising the establishment of their state and opposing opportunities to rescue Jews from Nazi Germany.

But the big issue at stake here is the intensifying efforts of the pro-Israeli lobby to allege anti-Semitism against any critic of Israel. In my view this is a grave misuse of the horrors of the long history of anti-Semitism in Europe which culminated in the holocaust. Israel is in constant breach of international law and is inflicting terrible cruelty on the Palestinian people with full collusion from the US, UK and EU. The misuse of the charge of anti-Semitism should not be allowed to silence debate on what is to be done.

Clare Short

London SW4, UK


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