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Lib Dem British MP Castigates Israel

 
 
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 01:08 pm
A Lib Dem MP Gives Voice to Britain's National Sickness
by Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail, January 27, 2013

People have been expressing severe shock and revulsion at the ugly remarks by Lib Dem MP David Ward (editor's note: Ward is a Member of Parliament from the Liberal Democrat party) about Israel and the Holocaust.

As The Commentator reported, to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day Ward said the following:

'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 dug himself further into the hole with this interview with Sky News. As far as he is concerned, it appears he believes he has said nothing wrong.

The Liberal Democrat party has denounced his statements as 'unacceptable' and is reportedly considering stripping him of the Lib Dem whip. Such an action would nevertheless be merely cosmetic. For these 'unacceptable' attitudes are widespread in the Liberal Democrat party -- as illustrated by both the report on the furore and readers' comments here on Liberal Democrat Voice.

Moreover, much of the shock and outrage has missed 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 problem.

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 own suffering.

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.

For the fact is that Israel is not trying to exterminate the Palestinians – indeed how could this possibly be the case, since the Palestinian population has more than quadrupled since the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Nor are the Israelis oppressing the Palestinians, who have benefited from some of the highest rises in GDP and lowest child mortality ratios in the Middle East.

Nor are the Israelis behaving inhumanely; it is the Palestinians who are committing crimes against humanity by targeting Israeli innocents for mass murder without remission, both from Gaza and from the West Bank. It is the Palestinians, in the West Bank as well as Gaza, who are brainwashed from the cradle to hate Jews and to believe that murdering Israelis is their highest glory. Which they have been doing in Israel and before that in Palestine for more than a century – despite the fact that, as the international community laid down in binding treaty in 1920, the Jews alone had the inalienable and historic right to settle throughout Palestine, including not just present-day Israel but also the West Bank and Gaza.

Moreover, while the Jews accepted proposals for a Palestinian state first made in the 1930s and then in 1947, and while the Israelis offered them more than 95 per cent of the possible land for a state in 2000 and 2008, the Palestinians responded merely by murdering more Jews.

Despite all this, Israel behaves towards its genocidal Palestinian attackers with a humanity that is seen in no other conflict on the planet. Despite the rocket attacks and constant smuggling of ever more fearsome weapons to be aimed at its civilians, it allows humanitarian supplies into Gaza; despite the constant plotting in the West Bank to kill more Israelis, it allows Palestinians to work in Israel, and treats Palestinians from both the West Bank and Gaza alongside Israelis in Israeli hospitals. Yes of course there is Palestinian hardship caused by the checkpoints and security barrier. But the only reason these exist is to prevent Palestinians killing yet more Israelis. If the Palestinians and their Arab and Iranian backers stopped trying to wipe Israel off the map, there would be peace tomorrow.

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 of Israel.'

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. Arab Israelis 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 circles. 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.

David Ward may have been particularly clumsy – but he has merely given voice to Britain's national sickness and shame.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 16 • Views: 16,976 • Replies: 456

 
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 01:28 pm
We wouldent want truth and fact to be in conflict with Isralie propaganda.
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 01:53 pm
Melanie Philips is notorious in Britain as an shrill, Islamophobic, extreme rightwing and rabidly pro-Israel columnist for a low-quality rightwing newspaper (The Daily Mail). In US terms she is a "wingnut". In other sections of the British media, responses to David Ward's speech have been different. Many Jews have supported what he said, including Noam Chomsky, who agreed there was "nothing remotely antisemitic in his remarks, which are in fact familiar in Israeli discussions".

This letter appeared in The Guardian:

Quote:
David Ward's offence is accusing "the Jews" of inflicting atrocities on Palestinians, within a few years of their own liberation from the death camps.

This is much ado about nothing. Ward's error in referring to "the Jews" rather than "Jewish people" is entirely understandable. The sole purpose of the synthetic outrage Ward's remarks have generated is designed to stifle criticism of Israel and suppress free speech. Israel's occupation is carried out in the name of a state which calls itself Jewish and claims, according to the 2004 Jerusalem Program of the World Zionist Organisation, to represent "the Jewish people" as a whole. Ward's critics cannot have their cake and eat it. They cannot claim Israel represents not merely its own Jewish citizens but Jews worldwide and at the same time accuse people who associate "the Jews" with Israel's atrocities of antisemitism. The Board of Deputies of British Jews has repeatedly proclaimed the support of British Jews for Israel's attacks on the Palestinians and Lebanese. It has even organised demonstrations in support of those attacks. Perhaps the board is also antisemitic? Certainly they can't complain when people take them at their word.

Ward is accused of antisemitism for making comparisons between the Nazi period and what is happening to the Palestinians. Of course Israel has not set up death camps for Arabs. But when Gerald Kaufman spoke in the Commons about his grandmother who had been killed in her bed by a Nazi soldier, he stated that "my grandmother did not die in order to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza". Is Gerald Kaufman also antisemitic?

Tony Greenstein

Brighton, East Sussex




maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 02:01 pm
@Advocate,
Talk about Clueless!

The reason the David Ward comment is obscene (and I agree that it is obscene) is that it compares behavior he disagrees with with the barbaric act of the Nazi's. Using the Holocaust for political ends is obscene in any frame.

So the author had my ear until she writes...

Quote:

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.


All of a sudden there was no difference between the author of the editorial, and the subject.

These people, on both sides, are idiots.

contrex
 
  4  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 02:10 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
The reason the David Ward comment is obscene (and I agree that it is obscene) is that it compares behavior he disagrees with with the barbaric act of the Nazi's. Using the Holocaust for political ends is obscene in any frame.


He is comparing barbaric and inhuman behaviour (by Israel) with barbaric and inhuman behaviour (by Nazi Germany). I agree that using the Holocaust for political ends is deplorable, for example when it is used by Israeli politicians to give themselves a free pass against any criticism.

georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 02:18 pm
I believe MP David Ward's words, quoted here, were a reasonable and pointed criticism, portraying one of the many cruel ironies of human history. In particular this;
Quote:
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.'


Here he is entirely accurate. Moreover he does not refer to all Jews everywhere, as the critic alleged, but rather only to the unfortunate Jewish Zionists who fled a devestated Europe, where they were among the chief victims of hatred and an awful attempt at extermination, to found a new sanctuary state for themselves, but on the backs of another, and equally innocent, people.

Baldimo
 
  0  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 05:01 pm
I guess Israel had it coming. I mean within 24 hrs of stating their independence they were attacked by Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 05:09 pm
Quote:
Nor are the Israelis oppressing the Palestinians, who have benefited from some of the highest rises in GDP and lowest child mortality ratios in the Middle East.


Horseshit.

Cycloptichorn
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 05:45 pm
@Baldimo,
Yeah, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon; and volunteers from Saudi Arabia and Yemen as well, came to the defense of the beleaguered Palestinians, who by that time had been fighting a war of liberation against the Zionist invaders who had begun to perpetrate ethnic cleansing operations, their so called Plan Dalet, in the Palestinian towns and villages that came under the Zionists' control.
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 06:18 pm
@InfraBlue,
On November 29, 1947, the UN voted to approve the Partition Plan for Palestine for ending the British Mandate and creating an Arab state and a Jewish state. In the immediate aftermath of the United Nations' approval of the Partition plan, the Jewish community expressed joy, while the Arab community expressed discontent.[5][6] On the day after the vote, a spate of Arab attacks left at least eight Jews dead, one in Tel Aviv by sniper fire, and seven in ambushes on civilian buses that were claimed to be retaliations for a LHI raid ten days earlier.[7] Shooting, stoning, and rioting continued apace in the following days. Fighting began almost as soon as the plan was approved, beginning with the Arab Jerusalem Riots of 1947. Soon after, violence broke out and became more and more prevalent. Murders, reprisals, and counter-reprisals came fast on each other's heels, resulting in dozens of victims killed on both sides in the process. The sanguinary impasse persisted as no force intervened to put a stop to the escalating cycles of violence.
From January onward, operations became increasingly militarized, with the intervention of a number of regiments of the Arab Liberation Army (consisting of volunteers from Arab countries) inside Palestine, each active in a variety of distinct sectors around the different coastal towns. They consolidated their presence in Galilee and Samaria.[8] Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni came from Egypt with several hundred men of the Army of the Holy War. Having recruited a few thousand volunteers, al-Husayni organised the blockade of the 100,000 Jewish residents of Jerusalem.[9] To counter this, the Yishuv authorities tried to supply the Jews of the city with food by using convoys of up to 100 armoured vehicles, but the operation became more and more impractical as the number of casualties in the relief convoys surged. By March, Al-Hussayni's tactic, sometimes called "The War of the Roads",[10] had paid off. Almost all of Haganah's armoured vehicles had been destroyed, the blockade was in full operation, and the Haganah had lost more than 100 troops.[11] According to Benny Morris the situation for those who dwelt in the Jewish settlements in the highly-isolated Negev and North of Galilee was equally critical.[12] According to Ilan Pappé in early March the Yishuv's security leadership did not seem to regard the overall situation as particularly troubling, but instead was busy finalising a master plan.[13]
This situation caused the USA to withdraw their support for the Partition plan,[14] thus encouraging the Arab League to believe that the Palestinians, reinforced by the Arab Liberation Army, could put an end to partition. The British, meanwhile, decided on the 7 February 1948, to support the annexation of the Arab part of Palestine by Transjordan.[15]
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 07:05 pm
@Baldimo,
Imagine the reaction of the Palestinians when a group of immigrant Jews whom they had long accepted with (greater than European) tolerance suddenly increased in a mass exodus from a war-ravaged Europe, and then announced their intent to carve out a state for themselves from the land and Palestinian people who had lived there for over a millenium. Moreover these immigrant Jews were assisted to varying degrees by the very European states that practiced and/or tolerated in a horrible attempt to exterminate them.

Then the United Nations, dominated by European powers, agreed to get the British, who had occupied the place since they forcibly took it from the Ottomans in WWI, off the hook in a developing conflict (of their own making since they separately and duplicitly promised Palestine both to the Arabs and Zionists). by "creating a Jewish state" in Palestine. How would feel if you were a Palestinian Moslem or Christian and had a home there? It turns out they didn't like it at all.

The Palestinians and the nearby Arab states that supported the Palestinians weren't represented at all in the United Nations at the time of the Declaration (Syria, Lebanon, Tunis and Algeria were ruled by the French, and Britain still controlled Egypt. The notion that the UN action somehow legitimized this takeover doesn't pass the common sense test.

The takeover was abetted by the British Labor government which was short of money and eager to extract itself from the conflict, which it had created out of its own self-interest, quickly and at any cost to others.

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 10:48 pm
@georgeob1,
I agree that Israel has acted barbarically toward the Palestinians.

I still think that quotes such as this are both obscene and stupid. You can make the point without using the Holocaust.


izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2013 04:41 am
@contrex,
contrex wrote:

Melanie Philips is notorious in Britain as an shrill, Islamophobic, extreme rightwing and rabidly pro-Israel columnist for a low-quality rightwing newspaper (The Daily Mail).


It also needs to be pointed out that in the 1930s The Daily Mail was an enthusiastic supporter of Hitler and Oswald Mosley's British Union Of Fascists.

It's still peddling the same message, but now its target is Moslems.
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2013 09:44 am
@izzythepush,
It's interesting how, toward the latter part of the 20th century, much of the far right switched its stance from anti-Semitism to Arabophobia and Islamophobia and ardent support of Zionism.

I guess they need someone to hate.
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2013 09:47 am
@Baldimo,
You forgot to credit Wikipedia where you got your copy and paste.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2013 12:19 pm
@InfraBlue,
It's true, something else I should point out is this is a very old story over here, at least four weeks. Advocate must spend a lot of time trawling through old newsreports looking for something to promote Israel.
izzythepush
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2013 12:43 pm
@izzythepush,
Here's something a bit more up to date.

Quote:
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr has announced a review into his ministry's handling of the case of an Australian man who reportedly hanged himself in an Israeli jail in 2010.


Quote:
Bill van Esveld, a Jerusalem-based researcher for Human Rights Watch, said the case raised serious questions about prisoners' rights in Israel.

"If the facts are what we're told they might be, we could be facing an issue of disappearance of a prisoner," he told the Associated Press. "Or there could be an issue of incommunicado detention - taking someone into jail and not letting anyone else see them."

"At the very least, there could be severe due process violations - not allowing someone to see their family, their lawyer, presenting them before a court."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21439826
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2013 01:16 pm
Advocate you still have a question outstanding in another thread on this subject. Here it is again...just in case you forgot it:

We both agree that Jews and Arabs have lived in that area for centuries.

And the Jews and Arabs got along relatively peacefully, in relative harmony for all those centuries... until the middle of the 1940's.

Then...all hell broke loose...and now the Jews and Arabs can't seem to agree on anything these days.

What happened in the mid-1940's that could possibly account for this enormous difference in cooperation and relative commonality between the two?

C'mon, Advocate...give it an answer.

The answer matters...it is at the heart of what is being discussed here.
Advocate
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2013 02:33 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I'm sure that you are aware that that there has been a strong surge in the persecution and murder of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East. This is despite the latter living for, perhaps, thousands of years in the ME in relative peace.

Could you tell me what changed to cause this ramp-up of murder and persecution? Maybe that will answer your other questions.
Advocate
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2013 02:42 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

It's true, something else I should point out is this is a very old story over here, at least four weeks. Advocate must spend a lot of time trawling through old newsreports looking for something to promote Israel.



I noticed that no one has successfully assailed the accuracy of the pieces that I have posted.
 

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