He made a statement on his website that he had signed something called a Book of Commitment in the House of Commons which was "honouring those who died during the Holocaust." No problems so far.
He then followed up this statement by saying:
"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."So for those of you paying attention at home, he used an occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day in order to make not only a political message, not only an anti-Israel political message, but an anti-Jewish political message. This is just as opposed to shutting his trap and talking about Israel some other time. It goes without saying that his reference to "the Jews" puts him right up there with Mel Gibson.
Now, how do you think Huffington Post UK covered it? Well, the first thing to go was the reference to "the Jews:"
The Huffington Post's damage control team is running full out. No, Ward did not merely "criticise Israel." He accused them of atrocities and (later) apartheid against the Palestinians, while comparing them to the Nazis. Oh, excuse me. He wasn't saying Israel does that. He was saying the Jews do that, and the place where they do that just so happens to be Israel. It's like saying "the blacks" rape and murder women, and they just happen to do so in Sudan.
So yes, Huffington Post, explain to me again how that is "criticising Israel." One wonders just how far someone would have to go for the Huffington Post to call anti-Semitism what it is. Oh wait, we already know. You just have to put up a poster in the New York subway.
With that in mind, let's get into the article itself. I would like you to notice the contrast between critics of Ward and his defenders:
"While the Jewish Chronicle said Ward had "compared modern Israel to the Nazi regime", blogger Mark Valladares at the Liberal Democrat Voice welcomed "his attempt to demonstrate some respect towards both sides in this seemingly never-ending dispute."
"Although Valladares concedes Ward "has failed to express himself well", later tweeting "his reference to 'the Jews' is foolish at the least, and insensitive", he adds: "As usual, in any matter related to the Israel/ Palestine debate, elements of the pro-Israel lobby have chosen to interpret these remarks as being a direct comparison of the holocaust with modern events in Gaza and the West Bank.
"If you're minded to do so, you probably will. On the other hand, if you lean towards a pro-Palestinian position, you might welcome any recognition by a politician that the Israeli government is behaving in an unacceptable manner.
"For me, David’s words act as a reminder that some pretty dreadful wrongs have been committed against both sides (and there are those who seek to equate them in terms of scale), and suggest that past events should influence future behaviour."So the Jewish Chronicle gets one piece of a sentence, and no link, while Valladares gets three and a half paragraphs with a link. I guess it is fairly obvious who the Huffignton Post editors want you to listen to, with a happy coincidence that what he says just happens to be the same talking points that Huffington Post readers repeat day in and day out like a mantra.
Now because they know that their readership loves a good story in which they can vent about Jews, the Huffington Post UK decided to pull double duty on the story and give it another column. On this one the headline is even more biased:
(Both of the articles have that picture of Ward looking friendly and/or creepy, by the way. The Huffington Post knows who to humanize.)
Right, so Pamela Geller's subway ads are Islamophobic and anti-Islam. No discussion. But Ward's anti-Semitic comments morph into anti-Israel, and if they are "outrageous," it's only because someone said they were. The Huffington Post doesn't editorialize. Except when they do.
The readership naturally only read the headline and want into full on "evil Jews noble anti-Zionist" mode. Here's a preview of what's to come:
Welcome to the most anti-Semitic website on the mainstream Internet...no matter which side of the Atlantic you are on.