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British MP doubles down on Israel atrocities remark
By SAM SOKOL
02/05/2013
Ward: “My criticisms of actions since 1948 in the Palestinian territories in the name of the State of Israel remain as strong as ever.”
 
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 Gaza.”

Following a public outcry, Ward was formally censured by Alistair Carmichael, chief whip of the Liberal Democrat party for his comments.

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 censure.”

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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