What made David Ward MP so hateful?
Affiliations with revisionists and terrorist sympathisers seems to have claimed yet another Member of Parliament
Last week, The Commentator broke the story about David Ward MP and his deplorable remarks regarding the Holocaust and the Middle East conflict.
Ward’s non-apology over the weekend was noted with disdain from many, not least his own party, and so we must ask ourselves, what drives a man to have such a biased and negative view of Israel?
Through Google, I found some pages on Ward’s website which show that he visited the West Bank last year, and has gone, I believe, three times to the Palestinian territories since 2010. No big deal there. In fact, it’s a good thing that a man with views on the subject has already visited the region. But then the questions must be asked: who paid, and what happened on the trip?
From what I can glean from his short ‘West Bank diary’, the trip was filled mostly with visits to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) whose sole role is to propogate the idea that the Palestinians are being oppressed at the hands of the Israelis. Nowhere did Ward mention the tonnes of aid that Israel trucks into Gaza, or the fact that the Israeli army actively stops Israeli settlers abusing Palestinians and their property, as I witnessed last year in the flourishing Rawabi development in the West Bank.
Nowhere, by the way, did I see a denouncement of terrorism, an acknowledgement that Hamas brutalises Palestinians in Gaza, or any questioning of the status quo that currently dictates how British taxpayers’ money is spent paying the salaries of Palestinian terrorists in prison.
The Parliamentary Register of Members' Interests shows that ‘The Sir Joseph Hotung Programme’, based out of the School of Oriental and African Studies (need I say more?) pays for travel, accommodation and subsistence for members of the group on delegations to Gaza, the West Bank, Israel and Egypt, and works in tandem with the Council for Arab British Understanding (CAABU). Read more about CAABU here.
Now, all this is organised by the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, a group that is chaired by Richard Burden MP, and counts as one of its members, Hamas-supporting Jeremy Corbyn, who has described Hezbollah and Hamas as "friends". Of course, none other than Baroness "Israel won't be around forever" Jenny Tonge, and Gerald Kaufman are also members.
So now we know he has accepted donations in kind (trips, accommodation etc) from an All Party Parliamentary Group that has Hamas and Hezbollah supporters at its core. So what about on the trips themselves?
Ward wrote in his "West Bank Diary, Day One" that he visited, "the Jordan Valley with Al-Haq (a Palestinian human rights organisation).”
In case you’re unfamiliar with Al-Haq, here’s a little background. This is an organization that has recently been slammed by NGO Monitor for being a “leader in anti-Israel demonization campaigns… and in the boycott (BDS) activities”.
Al-Haq characterizes terrorist attacks on civilian populations as legitimate “resistance.”
Its General Director, Shawan Jabarin has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan on several occasions due to his alleged ties to the terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group responsible for multiple hijackings, armed attacks and suicide bombings. Somehow, Ward forgot to mention this in his ‘West Bank Diary’.
On July 7th, 2008, the Israeli Supreme Court noted that Jabarin is “among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization” and in a June 2007 decision, called Jabarin a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” a human rights defender by day and a terrorist by night.
In the 1980s, Jabarin was found guilty of arranging PFLP training outside Israel, and was sentenced by Israeli courts to twenty-four months imprisonment, of which he served nine. In 1994, he again was arrested for continued involvement with the PFLP.
So if you were to ask me, as many have this weekend, “What makes a man like David Ward so hateful towards the Jewish state?” perhaps the answers lie with those who he keeps as company, and in the lack of balance on the trips he takes. Either way, his affiliations as laid out here should make for further uncomfortable reading for his party, as he clearly deviates away from the mainstream, and towards the radical, quasi-revisionist and outwardly offensive.
Raheem Kassam is the Executive Editor for The Commentator. He tweets at @RaheemJKassam
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