(photo credit: LADYGEEKTV/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has welcomed back former MP David Ward into the party, saying it is "appropriate" for him to serve as a local counselor following his suspension for antisemitic remarks.
Farron told the Commons Home Affairs Committee's antisemitism inquiry that the former representative of Bradford East, who was suspended in 2013 after he called into question the continued existence of the State of Israel, had "served his time."
In the offending tweet, Ward wrote “Am I wrong or are am I right? At long last the #Zionists are losing the battle - how long can the #apartheid State of #Israel last?”
Ward has a long history of inflammatory comments, and they seem to be solely directed against Jews and/or Israel.
He has compared victims of the Holocaust to Nazis - which he claimed was unintentional, said he would participate in a terror attack on Israel - which he retracted, has called to ban circumcision, and supported Labour MP Naz Shah when she shared a Facebook post saying Israel should be "moved" to the US - for which she later apologized for and admitted was antisemitic, but Ward himself did not.
His most recent spat came during a council meeting in July, where he claimed that Palestinians would not kill a Jewish child, and that the Holocaust was being used to deflect criticism of Israel. Two weeks prior to Ward's claim, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed 13-year old Hallel Yaffa Ariel to death in her bed.