LIberal Democrat British MP compares Israel to Nazi Germany
In a statement issued on Friday in advance of Sunday's Holocaust Memorial Day, Liberal Democratic British MP David Ward accused Israel of 'not having learned the lessons of 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.”
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
This again could fall foul of the EUMC Working Definition on
anti-Semitism, in so far as asserting some form of Jewish collectivity.
Ward also quoted Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel
in support of his claims.
He then went on to defend himself by using the words of Holocaust
survivor, Professor Elie Wiesel: “I swore never to be silent whenever
human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take
sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence
encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
That brought an angry reaction from Wiesel.
"Although he quotes me correctly, I am outraged that he
uses my words at the same time he utters shameless slanders on the State
Facing disciplinary action from his parliamentary faction, Ward removed the statement from his website
late on Friday, and on Sunday, he FINALLY issued a half-hearted apology
He initially strongly defended the
article and hit out at criticisms by the party - which summoned him to
the Whip's Office for a meeting on Monday morning.
But in a new post this afternoon he said he 'never for a moment intended to
criticise or offend the Jewish people as a whole, either as a race or
as a people of faith, and apologise sincerely for the unintended offence
which my words caused.'
'I recognise of course the deep sensitivities of these issues at all
times, and particularly on occasions of commemoration such as this
weekend,' he added.
Mr Ward said that in raising the treatment of the Palestinians he had
simply been 'trying to make clear that everybody needs to learn the
lessons of the Holocaust.'
'I will continue to make criticisms of actions in Palestine in the
strongest possible terms for as long as Israel continues to oppress the
Palestinian people,' he added.
But Melanie Phillips writes that the shock and outrage over Ward's comments misses the point
Ward’s offence, it would appear, was to have repeatedly blamed ‘the Jews’
for failing to learn the lessons of the Holocaust and inflicting atrocities
upon the Palestinians. Apparently – as even the Sky interviewer seemed at one
point to imply-- if he had blamed ‘the Israelis’ there wouldn’t have been a
This is not just to fail to grasp the real obscenity of
Ward’s comments, but to reveal that many of those expressing revulsion at his
comments actually suffer from the same prejudice.
For the really terrible thing here is not the grotesque
misuse of the Holocaust, nor the vicious suggestion that ‘the Jews’ are guilty
of behaviour that is somehow analogous to the Nazi genocide inflicted upon
them, nor even the sickening insult that they have to ‘learn the lessons’ of their
No, the true venom of these remarks is the way they reverse
the position of today’s Jewish victims – the Israeli survivors of the Holocaust
and their children and grandchildren -- and their current would-be exterminators
– the descendants of Hitler’s Nazi collaborators in Palestine during the Holocaust.
The really appalling thing about Ward’s remarks is his hijacking
of the Holocaust to reverse the position of Arab aggressors and their Jewish victims.
But he also goes further than accusing
Israel of such crimes in the West Bank and Gaza. He accuses it of
‘inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State
He thus appears to be accusing Israel of committing
atrocities against its own Arab citizens. But this is just plain hallucinatory.
There is nothing that could possibly be considered to be such.
have full civil rights in Israel; they serve as MPs, judges, even serve in the
army; every day Arab Israelis peacefully go about their everyday lives.
The really chilling thing is this. Leave aside Ward’s
particular offensiveness and idiocies. The insane belief that Israel is trying
to wipe out the Palestinians or at the very least that it behaves savagely
towards them, subjects them to ‘apartheid’ and ensures through its behaviour that
there is no peace in the Middle East is now common currency in British progressive
While most would not use the Holocaust analogy and are careful to damn
Israelis rather than ‘the Jews’, the entirely false belief that the Israelis
have supplanted the indigenous people of Palestine and towards whom they are now
behaving in an unconscionable way is now the default position amongst liberals
and the left, and has also made serious inroads amongst the more isolationist
and ignorant British conservatives.
The belief that, in Israel, the victims of one of the
greatest crimes against humanity are themselves now guilty of crimes against
humanity is the collective libel that has become the default position amongst
the British intelligentsia. And as Ward suggested in his remarks on Sky, only those
Jews who themselves endorse this libel by denouncing Israel are to be
considered free of this taint. British Jews who support Israel and try to
counter these Big Lies are quite simply treated as pariahs by baying mobs whose
obsession with Israel has brought about nothing less than a mass derangement in
British public debate.
The full, monstrous obscenity of both Ward’s remarks
and the widespread British attitude to which he has given voice is no less than
this: accusing the people who were the victims of genocide entirely falsely of
committing crimes against humanity -- simply because they are trying to defend themselves
from being wiped out again by those for whom the Holocaust is unfinished business.
Self-defence against extermination is now considered a crime against humanity.
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Labels: British anti-Semitism, UK Liberal Democrats