An MP in England used the week leading up to Holocaust Memorial Day to attack Israel. Bradford MP David Ward compared the Jewish state to the Nazi regime in remarks on his website.
“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 wrote.
The comments have since been deleted, but Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, responded to the comments, saying, “I am deeply saddened that at this sombre time, when we remember those who were murdered by the Nazis, Mr Ward has deliberately abused the memory of the Holocaust causing deep pain and offense,” according to the Jewish Chronicle.
In Brighton, the pro-Israel group Sussex Friends of Israel attempted to hold another MP known for anti-Israel views, Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas, accountable for her positions in a meeting Wednesday.
Lucas recently accused Israel of “blocking humanitarian aid” and “humiliating” the people of Gaza during a pro-Israel lobby day in Parliament. She is also known to have a strong relationship with Baroness Jenny Tonge–well known for voicing anti-Semitic views– as well as for her indifference to ongoing protests against EcoStream, an Israeli company with a shop in Brighton.
“The problem we have with Caroline Lucas is that she’s taken a side over and above her own constituency needs,” Simon Cobbs, a founding member of the Sussex Friends of Israel, which organized the meeting, explained to The Algemeiner.
Lucas rejected claims made by many in the Jewish community that protests outside the EcoStream store would lead to the closure of the shop.
But more importantly Cobbs feels that Lucas is implicitly backing the demonstrations. “Caroline Lucas, by not doing anything is complicit because she has the ability to move these demonstrators along,” Cobbs said,
During the meeting Lucas also attacked Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
“I’ve been to Gaza, I see what Israeli authorities do and what is going on there. There are humiliating military checkpoints. The people of Gaza are not able to get access to their books or repair their homes,” she said, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
Speaking of the meeting Cobbs noted that there were a large number of pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionists in attendance, many of whom were responsible for getting two Israeli cultural events canceled in recent months. “It’s a worrying and disturbing trend,” Cobb says, adding, “it seems to be getting bigger day by day.”
And Cobb added, ” Why is it always Israel? Why is Israel always the bad fellow? There’s a store here in Brighton that’s banned Israeli goods, but not Syria’s, which has killed 68,000 thousand of its own people.”
“This community,” Cobbs continued, referring to Brighton, “has had its head in the sand for way to long and all of a sudden its been shaken and we need to react to it.”