UK Liberal Democrats in a funk over free speech (again)

Stuart Littlewood January 27, 2013 5
UK Liberal Democrats in a funk over free speech (again)

Ward told the BBC: "I don't feel bad about it in any way. They consider my comments regrettable; I consider their reprimand regrettable." He said any further disciplinary action would be "a sad reflection on the values we all hold so dearly, particularly on free speech".

 

by Stuart Littlewood

A Liberal Democrat MP in the UK, David Ward, is in hot water for his "use of language" in condemning Israelis for atrocities against the Palestinians while the horrors of their own suffering at the hands of the Nazis were still fresh in their memory.

He wrote on his website a few days before Holocaust Memorial Day:

"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."

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust and Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews lost no time in protesting.

According to a BBC report http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21194991  Pollock said Ward "deliberately abused the memory of the Holocaust" and his remarks were "sickening" and had no place in British politics.

Benjamin was outraged and shocked by Ward's "offensive" comments. He complained: "For an MP to have made such comments on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day is even more distasteful…"

But is there ever an ‘acceptable’ moment for mentioning Israel's atrocious conduct? And what about that other holocaust, Israel's Operation Cast Lead against Gaza's civilians (Muslim and Christian) launched over Christmas-time and New Year 2008/9? It was not on the same scale admittedly but was evil and unforgivable nonetheless.

And before anyone dismisses the death-roll as relatively insignificant, let's remember that statistics from Israel's B'Tselem show that between 2000 and the start of Israel’s ‘Cast Lead’ assault the Israelis’ vast standing army, equipped with the most advanced American-funded weaponry, killed 4,790 Palestinian civilians in their homeland. Of these, 952 were children.

Yes, 952 young Palestinian lives horribly snuffed out and their parents desolated… In response the Palestinians, with their primitive weapons, killed 490 Israeli civilians, including 84 children.  That's a slaughter rate of 11 to 1 by the Israelis. Their score has been further improved by the Cast Lead and more recent Pillar of Cloud operations, and the many air strikes in-between.

LibDem leaders have ‘form’ when it comes to stabbing good people in the back for criticising the racist state. The well-known human rights campaigner Baroness Jenny Tonge has felt the knives of Kennedy, Campbell and Clegg for speaking her mind. Now she’s safely out of their clutches and sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords.

Again, on this occasion, instead of defending their MP from unjust accusations the Liberal Democrats announced that they "deeply regret and condemn the statement issued by David Ward and his use of language which is unacceptable". He has been summoned to a meeting with the party whips next week. This means a dressing-down at least, possibly disciplinary action and even the end of his political career.

And for what? Speaking the truth?

No disrespect

Ward told the BBC: "I don't feel bad about it in any way. They consider my comments regrettable; I consider their reprimand regrettable." He said any further disciplinary action would be "a sad reflection on the values we all hold so dearly, particularly on free speech".

Yes indeed. On the LibDem website under the tab 'What We Stand For' there's an item which says: "Protecting freedom of speech – We are protecting freedom of speech through our Defamation Bill and by ending the restrictive situation where it is an offence to ‘insult’ someone."

Furthermore the party's Constitution says: "We will at all times defend the right to speak, write, worship, associate and vote freely… Our responsibility for justice and liberty cannot be confined by national boundaries; we are committed to fight poverty, oppression, hunger, ignorance, disease and aggression wherever they occur and to promote the free movement of ideas, people, goods and services. Setting aside national sovereignty when necessary, we will work with other countries towards an equitable and peaceful international order and a durable system of common security."

It also declares that Liberal Democrats “are supporters of international law… welcome the extension of international law to hold individuals to account for crimes against humanity. If governments engage in large-scale violations of human rights, or are unable or unwilling to protect their populations from catastrophes, then this responsibility must be fulfilled by the international community…"

Fancy words. But put them to the test and they fly out the window. The LibDems' track record is one of gutlessness and hypocrisy. They have the oldest Friends of Israel setup in the British parliament and now are in coalition with the Conservative Party, 80 percent of whose MPs are said be signed-up Friends of Israel. What an appalling bunch of people, this admiration society who promote the ambitions of some of the worst criminals on the planet.

No-one in this affair has shown disrespect for the Holocaust and its memorial, and certainly not David Ward who has said and done all the right things, even to the extent of signing a Book of Commitment. OK, you might argue with his timing. But the only people to have “abused the memory of the Holocaust", as Karen Pollock put it, are the Israeli regime itself (which dispossessed and drove into exile some 700,000 Palestinians in 1947/8 and has had its boot on the necks of those remaining for the 64 years ever since) and its supporters – including some who lurk in the Liberal Democrat party. The abiding message of the Holocaust, that such cruelty must never be allowed to happen again, seems to have eluded them.

As has the fact, apparently, that Israel outlaws commemoration of the Palestinians’ corresponding ‘Nakba’, the catastrophe of the 1948 mass expulsion, ethnic cleansing and massacres.

To give David some words of support for standing up to the bullies, you can write to him at david@davidward.org.uk .

Also see:

5 Comments »

  1. Jake January 27, 2013 at 1:27 am - Reply

    Is this so-called 'Holocaust' the one that has laws to protect it from scrutiny?

  2. Hardy January 27, 2013 at 1:37 am - Reply

    I think this is all staged to draw attention to this Judeo supremacist ceremony that they have foisted onto the dumb goy.

     

    Is this 'death camp' at Auschwitz the one where not a single bit of physical evidence of mass murder has ever been unearthed in over sixty-five years? You would never be able to dig mass graves at Auschwitz as it lies in the Oswiecim valley, between the two biggest rivers in Poland, the Vistula and the Sola, the water table is far too high. Do you think this is why no evidence of these huge mass graves have ever been found?

  3. Meories January 27, 2013 at 2:48 am - Reply

    Nothing is more ridiculous than the hyterical reaction from Israel's deluded supporters when a few home truths are dragged into the light of day. Pathetic.

  4. Miss Costello January 27, 2013 at 7:22 am - Reply

    Well said, Stu.  It SHOULD be hard to believe anyone would be pilloried for quite simply saying what most of the civilized, intelligent world know to be FACT- however unpalatable that may be to those  happy to support the inhuman treatment of the Palestinians by israel for over SIX decades. THAT is what is shameful. Not a man having the courage to speak the truth. 'The Emperor's New Clothes' comes to mind. Black is white, day is night, wrong is right. Not any more.
    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Martin Luther KIng.
    David Ward, I and many others salute you!

  5. Anthony Joseph Geha Yuja January 27, 2013 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    I just read Stuart Littlewood’s eloquent article in support of Mr. Ward's  comments on the Holocaust and Kudos to both and to the honourable Great Britain they represent for speaking truth to Israel and its UK supporters who continue to exploit ad nauseam the nazi Holocaust whilst ignoring  the on going slow genocide perpetrated by the Jewish state against Palestinians for the last 65 years with total impunity so far because of US support and UN veto protection!
     
    Mr Ward is in very good company in doing so including an increasing number of distinguished and brave Israelis and Jews, who have not lost their humanity or morality like Prof. Norman Finkelstein,Prof. Ilan Pape , Prof. Richard Falk, Amira Hass, Gideon Levy etc…and who repeatedly condemn Israel’s crimes and massacres against practically defenseless Palestinian civilians including women and children as witnessed recently in Gaza but practically made invisible in the mainstream media. They have all been viciously attacked and slandered for speaking the truth in their genuine search for a just and peaceful solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict which would at last put an end to Israel’s brutal occupation, land theft and criminal siege of Gaza etc…
     
    Civil society and decent people everywhere, whilst constantly silenced/ignored, can not but be outraged by what Israel has been callously inflicting on Palestinians since 1948 : repeated massacres, a racist land thieving apartheid regime,  and in summary a slow evil genocide against non Jews regretfully made possible by the silence and complicity of the mainstream media including the BBC and by the hypocrisy and moral corruption of UK politicians .
     
     

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