Liberal Zionist dilemma

The liberal Zionist dilemma

Lawrence Davidson highlights the contradiction between universal civil and political rights and support for Zionist state. He says that, faced with the choice, most “liberal” Zionists would ditch the veil of liberalism. More »

David Cameron and the Israeli flag

Freedom to live ordinary lives…

Stuart Littlewood argues that while Israel continues to ride roughshod over international law and the will of the international community, Britain’s Conservative-led government continues to regurgitate the same tired old messages. More »

Zionism corrupting US democracy

Open letter to President Obama: Your legacy

Alan Hart spells out, in an open letter to US President Barack Obama, what it would take for Obama not to go down in history as a Zionist stooge and a joke. More »

Broken promises and broken dreams

Gaza: raw power and the murdering of justice

As the Gaza conflict rages, Stuart Littlewood asks whatever happened to the US-Quartet Agreement, signed by Israel, “to give the Palestinian people freedom to move, to trade, to live ordinary lives”? More »

Israeli losers

The Gaza conflict: losers and consequences

Uri Avnery looks at who has come out worse from the month-long Gaza conflict, and assesses the consequences for Israel domestically and internationally, and for Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. More »

Israeli degrading of international law

Israel and the erosion of international law

Lawrence Davidson looks at how criminal Israeli behaviour, and US protection of that behaviour at international forums, have degraded international humanitarian law, which is now selectively applied to target weak states. More »

Liar Binyamin Netanyahu

Israeli deceptions and Western collusion

Jonathan Cook explores the strategic objectives behind Israeli PM Netanyahu’s deception – parroted ad nauseum by Western media and politicians – from the alleged capture of an officer to the “self-defence” narrative. More »

Sharing

The case for a new global paradigm

Graham Peebles argues the case for global change which places sharing, sustainability and cooperation – not competition, greed and abundance – at its heart, and cultivates tolerance, individuality, trust and social unity. More »

Tunnel vision

Israel’s ever-changing goals, and its tunnel vision

Uri Avnery traces the ever changing goals of the Israeli aggression against Gaza, argues against demonizing “the enemy” and pleas for understanding – essential for waging war and making peace. More »

PSC parliament protest

The hypocrisy of Israel’s stooges in Britain

Stuart Littlewood views the hypocritical reaction of the Board of Deputies of British Jews who are quick to condemn Palestine solidarity activities and resistance in Gaza but are silent on Israel’s crimes. More »

Daily Archives: January 28, 2013

Truth-telling British MP in Zionists’ crosshairs

Will David Ward’s scalp soon hang in the Zionists’ tepee?

Time for UK Liberal Democrats to reconnect with their principles

By Stuart Littlewood

Alistair Carmichael is the Liberal Democrats’ Chief Whip. His letter to Karen Pollock of the Holocaust Educational Trust about Member of Parliament David Ward’s remarks just before Holocaust Memorial Day is now in the public domain.

When I read it I hoped it was a hoax. It is shameful. 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 Carmichael’s predecessors in his parliamentary constituency of Orkney and Shetland and a man of great principle.

Remember, Mr Carmichael, 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?

What David Ward said on his website, which caused such an uproar, was simply this:

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.

Years ago we knew the words of the constitution, and the preamble to it, off by heart and tried to live by them. Remember, Mr Carmichael, 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? It said: “Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.”

Put away that scalping knife

If Mr Carmichael still holds these things dear, what objection could he have to David Ward’s remarks? Perhaps, when speaking of Jews, Ward 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 are always poised to attack the likes of David Ward, do they represent majority or minority Jewish opinion in Britain? We need to know so that we can differentiate.

By the same token isn’t Mr Carmichael guilty of the same failing? He assured Ms Pollock that Mr Ward “does not represent the views of the Liberal Democrat Party in this matter in any way”. Oh? Was he talking about his close colleagues at Westminster or the party at large?

He also told her he 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 wiser to meet with Mr Ward before dashing off the condemnation that his remarks were “offensive”? What’s offensive, it seems to me, is the hounding of Mr Ward. And the people most entitled to be offended by this unseemly bickering are the terrorized, dispossessed, exiled and imprisoned Palestinians.

A much-respected Israeli Jew, Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICHD), yesterday re-emphasized that

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.

The Liberal Democrats would do well to reconnect with the party’s basic principles, align it with 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). Mr Carmichael says elsewhere that he made the trip himself 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 behaviour 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.