British MP David Ward doubled down on comments perceived to be anti-Israel that
he made during the signing of a Holocaust memorial book in parliament in London
just over a week ago.
At the time, Ward drew the ire of England’s Jewish
community when he stated that while he was “honoring those who died during the
Holocaust,” he was also “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
Following a public outcry, Ward was formally censured by Alistair
Carmichael, chief whip of the Liberal Democrat party for his
However, in an updated post on his website in which he
apologized for “the unintended offense which [his] words caused,” he also
justified his earlier criticism.
“My criticisms of actions since 1948 in
the Palestinian territories in the name of the State of Israel remain as strong
as ever,” he wrote.
“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.”
In response to his comments, the Board
of Deputies of British Jews stated that his “behavior serves to demonstrate his
defiance of the leadership of the Liberal Democrat party and of its
The Board of Deputies urged the Liberal Democrats to “take
further action” over Ward’s comments, “which continue to cause the Jewish
community a great deal of offense.”
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