David Ward MP, David Duke And His Supporters

Power and privilege affect people’s judgements. Proximity to it changes people, clouds their common sense.

Witness the sense of entitlement that Westminster MPs had, they genuinely could not understand the issue of their excessive expenses claims. These MPs lacked any insight into their own conduct and how others saw them.

So it is with David Ward MP.

A few weeks ago, Ward made sweeping generalisations about “the Jews”, compounded offence with an insincere apology and only then begrudgingly when threatened by the LibDem chief whip.

Now Ward continues on his path of dog whistles, paranoia and is devoid of any self examination.

After his crass behaviour, an unapologetic interview at the Guardian was meant to clear the air and help him, but Ward made things worse:

“There is a huge operation out there, a machine almost, which is designed to protect the state of Israel from criticism. And that comes into play very, very quickly and focuses intensely on anyone who’s seen to criticise the state of Israel.”

Later on, Ward had the temerity to email the Jewish News and asked the most facile of questions.

Snap 2013-02-09 at 21.19.06

There are being a number of intelligent responses to David Ward’s idiocy, but I can’t help thinking that nothing will sink in, nevertheless, Rabbi Neil Janes makes the effort:

“Instead of leaping to the conclusion that you are being silenced by a powerful lobby or that you were ‘just’ speaking truth to evil, I advise you to begin to demonstrate your understanding and empathy for all peoples – by the way, it is not just Jews and Palestinians who live in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. If you had done that and then voiced your concerns in a measured way, not on Holocaust Memorial Day, you may have found the reaction would have been different.

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George Galloway on David Ward’s Racism

When I read that George Galloway criticised the MP, David Ward, for using the expression “the Jews” I was pleasantly surprised, although I wondered where was the sting in the tail?

Now gorgeous George has bought out an official statement.

I reproduce it in full, lest it succumb to revisionism and the desire to tidy up some of the more questionable parts:

TUESDAY, 29 JANUARY 2013

Why David Ward was wrong

It’s good that David Ward has decided to support the Palestinians, even at this late stage in his career. He has clearly realised the strength of feeling among many of his constituents. But his timing and choice of words have inadvertently strengthened their persecutors. No British politician has been more closely identified with the Palestinian cause – and for longer – than me. So when I say that the supporters of Israel spend hundreds of hours every week trawling for just such mis-timings and mis-statements it should be heeded.

His statement – now withdrawn and apologized for to save his political position – has provided an unexpected bonus for Israel, from Bradford of all places. The Holocaust is the greatest crime of the 20th Century. Tens of millions perished in it. I repeat tens of millions. Approximately six million of those were Jews, annihilated for no other reason than that they were Jews. It was slaughter on an industrial scale, men woman and children marched into death camps to be gassed, starved, worked to death. Holocaust Memorial Day cannot possibly be the day to make the comments Ward made, even if, in Professor Norman Finkelstein’s words, ‘the Zionists have developed effective means of translating the murders of millions of Jews into the case for Israel’.

But Ward’s words were even worse than his timing. As a teenager I knew of the importance of avoiding the false synonym of Jew equals Zionist and Zionist equals Jew. Many Jews around the world hate Israel and its crimes and are amongst the Palestinians most effective supporters. The greatest Jew, Dr Albert Einstein, famously refused to become Israel’s first president, saying he could not preside over a state for one people whose happiness was to be built upon the misery of another people.

Professor Noam Chomsky, Professor Finkelstein, Professor Ilan Pappe are but a few of the host of towering intellectuals whose support for the Palestinians is vital. Their courage is unmatchable. And they are all Jews.

Thus Ward’s condemnation of ‘the Jews’ is a gross error on every level. Many Jews are not Zionists – religious and secular – and most Zionists are not Jews, indeed many like the crazed Christian fundamentalists of the US bible belt don’t even like Jews. Ward should have said that a state claiming to be ‘the state of the Jews’ is a blasphemy against the Book and a political monstrosity, heaping endless misery on the Palestinian people whose land they stole, expelling them to wander the earth.

If he had done so then, notwithstanding the bitter animus between Respect (and most of the country) towards the Liberal Democrats who keep the Tories in power, we would have supported him. He did not and so we cannot. ” [My Emphasis.]

Galloway, as an employee of Holocaust denial supporting Press TV, has to keep his feet in several camps and I am sure many people will analyse his words in the coming days, but one thing stood out to me:

Ward should have said that a state claiming to be ‘the state of the Jews’ is a blasphemy against the Book

Which is a strange turn of phrase even for Galloway, I suppose Respect Party’s claim to be political is somewhat undercut by this theological piece of demagoguery.

Whatever Galloway’s real views on the matter, I hope he finds the courage to take his employer, Press TV, to task over the ludicrous lies of the Rothschild running the world and the hosting of David Duke’s friends.

Whilst Galloway is, rightly, criticising David Ward he could look closer to home at Press TV’s veteran antisemite, Gordon Duff’s preposterous article trying to blame Israelis for the shooting at Sandy Hook school.

Well, George, why not tackle the very real antisemites at Press TV? That would be brave.