The Liberal Democrats are considering whether to withdraw the whip from David Ward, MP for Bradford East, after he seemed to compare the murder of six million Jews to the treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in the run up to Holocaust Memorial Day. He made the comparison on his website yesterday:
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.
He later issued a statement in which he attempted to "clarify" this:
The Holocaust was one of the worst examples in history of 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.
Both of these statements are so offensive I hope he does lose the whip. But had Ward expressed himself more delicately and confined his remarks to the State of Israel rather than "the Jews", I doubt his career would be in any danger. The truth is that many people on the liberal Left believe there's something morally abhorrent about Israel and often draw parallels between Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and the Nazis' treatment of the Jews. (To read more, click here.)