British Member of Parliament claims 'liberated Jews perpetuate atrocities', compares Mid-East conflict to Holocaust
Liberal Democrat MP David Ward has been said to have 'breached common decency' for his remarks about "the Jews", conflating the Middle East Conflict with the Holocaust
British Member of Parliament David Ward has issued a statement to the 'Asian Image' magazine, juxtaposing the Middle East Conflict with the Holocaust.
As Holocaust Memorial Day is to be observed on Sunday, the Liberal Democrat MP, upon signing the Holocaust Educational Trust's Book of Commitment in the House of Commons, stated:
“Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.”
Ward's statements come at a particularly sensitive time, and many will argue that the comments indeed are in breach of the European Union Monitoring Centre's definition on anti-Semitism, of which it is stated that, "Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)" is a particular example of anti-Semitism.
Ward's comments may be said to fall foul of the definition, as they actively seek to contrast the Middle East conflict, which is indeed an ongoing conflict between various parties, with the oppression and mass slaughter of the Jews under Nazi Germany.
David Ward is the Member of Parliament for Bradford East, the constituency that neighbours George Galloway's Bradford West. Campaigners have told The Commentator that Ward's comments are 'disgusting, deplorable and factually inaccurate, bordering on anti-Semitism and breaching all levels of common decency in the run up to Holocaust Memorial Day".
David Ward MP has contacted The Commentator to make a statement, explaining that he believes, "The Holocaust was one of the worst examples in history man's inhumanity to man. When faced with examples of atrocious behaviour, we must learn from them. It appears that the suffering by the Jews has not transformed their views on how others should be treated."
Ward also went on to say that he does not believe juxtaposing the Middle East conflict with the Holocaust is conflating the two, and that he is due to attend a Holocaust Memorial event in Bradford later today.
The Liberal Democrat party has had its problems with Israel-bashing previously, with Lords member Baroness Jenny Tonge claiming that, "Israel is not going to be there forever”.
Ward has also been found to have referred to Israel, the democracy in the Middle East that has 11 Arabs in its own Parliament (the Knesset), as an "apartheid regime".
Ward's comments were made in the run up to the London Olympics, where he urged protests at events involving Israeli athletes, calling into question whether or not the MP believes that Jews or Israelis who are not officials in government, are legitimate targets for protest or boycotts.
This again could fall foul of the EUMC Working Definition on anti-Semitism, in so far as asserting some form of Jewish collectivity.
UPDATE: The Liberal Democrat party has denounced Ward's statements. Telling the Guido Fawkes blog: “This is a matter we take extremely seriously. The Liberal Democrats deeply regret and condemn the statement issued by David Ward and his use of language which is unacceptable.”
UPDATE 2: David Ward has removed the offending statement from his website:
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