Qatar map

The poisonous State of Qatar

Nureddin Sabir examines Qatar’s policy of reliance on the USA and support for Islamism, and its media strategy, as represented by Aljazeera, which talks democracy to Westerners but espouses Islamism to Arabs. More »

International Criminal Court1

Palestine at the International Criminal Court

Lawrence Davidson assesses the potential and problems of the Palestinian request to the International Criminal Court to begin a preliminary investigation of Israel’s actions during the 2014 invasion of the Gaza Strip. More »

China loves Israel

Israel’s new Asian allies

With Israel turning to Asia to compensate for its loss of Western support, Jonathan Cook wonders how long it will be before it starts replying on a Chinese veto at the UN. More »

Islamic State terrorists

How to defeat violent Islamic fundamentalism

Alan Hart says Western foreign policy and repressive Arab and Muslim regimes are at the core of violent Islamic fundamentalism, and that Western leaders could change both, but they will not. More »

Hasbara alert

The myth of rising anti-Semitism in Europe

Uri Avnery debunks the flurry of Israeli and other Zionist propaganda which claims that European anti-Semitism is rising, blaming instead local historical baggage and Israeli behaviour for recent attacks on Jews. More »

Christian Zionism

Church of England’s hidden Zionist agenda 

Stuart Littlewood says the Church of England is home to a mission preaching the Zionist gospel, and that is why truthseekers such as Rev Stephen Sizer are hounded out of their jobs. More »

International Criminal Court

Why we need the International Criminal Court

Lawrence Davidson explains why the implications of the International Criminal Court’s preliminary investigation of Israeli war crimes during the 2014 invasion of the Gaza Strip go far beyond the Middle East. More »

Ethiopia media repression

Gagging the media in Ethiopia 

Graham Peebles describes the Ethiopian regime’s suffocation of the media, and says donor countries such as UK and USA have a moral responsibility to hold the regime accountable for its repressive actions. More »

Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson, Israel’s casino king

Uri Avnery examines how the ultra-right-wing American Jewish Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson dominates Israel through Binyamin Netanyahu and the yellow press, and the US Congress through the Republican Party. More »

Guernica

The nightmare we called the “Arab Spring”

Nureddin Sabir says the “Arab Spring” had been misunderstood from the start and, at least in Syria and Libya, what were said to be pro-democracy revolutions were in fact Islamist insurrections. 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.