From a witness
Last Thursday, 7 December, the London Jewish Forum was launched at City Hall. There, the Mayor of london, Ken Livingstone surprised the audience by apologising for the offence he caused with his "nazi camp guard" jibe at the Evening Standard journalist, Oliver Feingold.
Disarmingly, he quoted a rabbi who had said of him, "Ken's no anti-Semite, he's just very rude". He said that he did not dispute this estimation.
This was Ken in what he himself once described as "cynical soft sell' mode. Or, 'the loveable rogue' ploy, as someone in the audience put it.
There was more. The once Red Ken and future Lord Redken-Gobshite, compared the differences on Israel which he has with many Jewish people to his disagreements with Tony Blair on foreign policy. That, he said pointedly, did not stop him working with Blair on things such as housing.
The real surprise was at the end of his speech, when he said that he supports a two-state solution to the Israel -Palestine conflict. An equitable, viable, two-state solution.
With Livingstone the important question is not, "what does he think", or, "what does he say", but, always, "what's he up to now"?
Even so, this looks like some sort of progress. Good.
(For a full report see the Harry's Place blog.)