London, March 1 (AP): London Mayor Ken Livingstone, suspended from his job for comparing a Jewish reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard, said on Tuesday that criticism of his comment contained the "unstated allegation" of anti-Semitism, a charge he vehemently denied.
Asked whether he regretted the comment, Livingstone replied that the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the country’s leading Jewish group, had filed the complaint that led to his suspension because of its long-standing displeasure with his criticism of Israel.
"If the issue hadn’t been this, it would have been something else," he said. "For far too long, the allegation of anti-Semitism has been used against anybody critical" of Israel’s policies on the Palestinians.
A spokesman for the Board of Deputies did not immediately return a call seeking comment.