UK Liberal Democrats must re-connect with their principles
Will David Ward’s scalp join the others hanging in the Zionists’ tepee?
Alistair Carmichael’s letter to Karen Pollock CEO of Holocaust Education al Trust
Open letter to Alistair Carmichael MP, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip…
Your letter to Karen Pollock of the Holocaust Educational Trust about David Ward’s remarks is now in the public domain. When I read it I hoped it was a hoax. But let us assume it’s genuine.
This is a shameful piece of work. And I say so as someone whose links with the Liberal Democrats go back to the old Liberal Party under the leadership of Jo Grimond, one of your predecessors in the parliamentary constituency of Orkney & Shetland and a man of great principle.
Years ago we knew the words of the Constitution, and the Preamble to it, off by heart and tried to live by them. Remember the pledge to defend the right to speak, write, worship, associate and vote freely? And the commitment to fight oppression, ignorance and aggression wherever they occur?
Remember our responsibility to promote the free movement of ideas, people, goods and services?
Remember our declared support for international law and the holding of individuals and governments to account for crimes against humanity?
Remember Lord Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life, especially the one about integrity: “Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties”?
If you still hold these things dear, what objection could you have to David Ward’s remarks about “the Jews… inflicting atrocities on Palestinians”? Perhaps he should have differentiated between the Jews of the Jewish state, the Jews in the West who support their criminal enterprise at the Palestinians’ expense, and the Jews inside and outside Israel who bravely oppose the brutal occupation. As for the professional moaners who attack the likes of David Ward, do they represent majority or minority Jewish opinion in Britain?
But by the same token are you not guilty of the same failure to differentiate? You assured Ms Pollock that Mr Ward “does not represent the views of the Liberal Democrat Party in this matter in any way”. Are you referring to your close colleagues at Westminster or the party at large?
You also told her you wished to “dissociate the Liberal Democrats without reservation or ambiguity from these [Mr Ward’s] remarks”. Do all Liberal Democrats wish to be dissociated? I doubt it.
And wouldn’t it have been fairer to have your meeting with Mr Ward before dashing off an assertion to a third party that his remarks were “offensive”?
As the much-respected Israeli Jew Jeff Halper of ICAHD yesterday re-emphasised http://www.altro.co.il/newsletters/show/2774?key=ae8e744a8dd2c075fcf89fe9221fa5c9 , “the two-state solution is dead, buried under settlements and infrastructure too massive and interlinked with Israel to detach, especially given the lack of will among international governments, led by the US and Germany, to exert the pressures on Israel needed to force such massive concessions. But the international community will not move beyond the two-state solution unless prodded – virtually forced – by us, the international civil society. We have the wind to our back. Over the years we have collectively transformed the Palestine issue into one of the world’s great causes, at the level of the anti-apartheid struggle.”
Those in the Party who condemn David Ward need to re-connect with the Party’s basic principles, align it to this “great cause” and go see for themselves the situation in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank (though not of course by guided tour with Friends of Israel). I understand you made the trip yourself in 2007, describing it as “eye-opening”.
So put away your scalping-knife, please, Mr Carmichael. With Holocaust Memorial Day behind us perhaps feathers can be smoothed and the issues addressed more calmly. The challenge to Israel’s unspeakable behavior is not going away, nor should it until the regime’s attitude changes fundamentally and the occupation ends. In the meantime those who support, defend and perpetuate it must accept some of the blame.
The remarks by David Ward on his website which caused such a fuss were these…
“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.”
David Ward Lib Dem MP Defends Israel Remarks
© Stuart Littlewood
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