David Ward MP, a LibDemologist of whom I had never heard until yesterday, has referred to Auschwitz in the same sentence as "the Jews" whom he holds responsible for what is happening to "the Palestinians" - and I don't think he was referring to the Palestinians murdered by Syrian troops in a refugee camp recently. The Normster takes this odious Jew-hating to task far better than I can, so please read him. His chief point (and mine) is that any parallel with Auschwitz, where at least a million people were murdered because they were Jews, is false, because those who were killed at Auschwitz had not taken up arms against Germany. There was no political conflict going on, as there is today in Israel/Palestine. It was attempted genocide. Norm's other point, which is perhaps harder to defend, is that it is only Israel which is accused in this way, namely compared to the Nazis, and any action taken by its military is compared to the Holocaust. I'm not sure that's true, or that it is helpful to the argument even if it is. Norm speculates that Ward may simply be a political fool (and why else would he be a LibDem, say I) or that he may know perfectly well what he is doing, and knows that there is a constituency out there for Jew-hating. There always is. That doesn't make it right, and arguably doesn't win you any votes either. But the stupid left is certainly out there in Ward's support, one creature I follow tweeting ominously this morning "the lobby is strong". What can he mean?
Norm has not suggested, as far as I know, that Ward should have the whip withdrawn, or that he should be deselected, forced to resign as an MP, whatever. My experience was that anyone facing deselection as a Labour MP might save themselves by indulging in a little light Jew-hating. Jew-hatred was certainly used by Reading Labour Party senior figures in some of their publicity material when I was in that situation some years ago. To the disgust of many, not including the self-hating Jew Martin Salter, who put his name to the hate speech I can still remember. About the LibDems, I wouldn't know.
No. Ward has spoken out. Let him continue to do so. Let his constituents decide if they want to re-elect him in 2015 or so. If the LibDem whips (seems like an oxymoron) have any sense they will let him hang himself with his own rope. Freedom of expression is more important than anyone's delicate sensibilities. Even if that freedom is used for Jew-hating hate speech.