Controversial MP David Ward has once again raised the ire of Israel’s supporters over a tweet following the death of Ariel Sharon.
The Lib Dem MP for Bradford East took to Twitter two days after the former premier’s death, saying: “Sharon’s death makes you think. The brutal, genocidal treatment of Jews must never be forgotten but…. the Palestinians were not responsible.”
Twitter users were left slightly confused as to what he meant, with gay rights activist Benjamin Cohen saying: “I’m not sure who has implied they were.”
A joint statement from the Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies said: “We are disappointed to see David Ward tweeting about sensitive issues in such a way. It raises questions about his motives and his real intentions.”
Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn Maajid Nawaz added: “The creation of Israel was not approved by the UN in order to hold the Palestinians responsible for Hitler’s crimes. Any innuendo hinting that it was is disingenuous and an unhelpful distraction from the real issues.”
Ward first provoked communal anger in January ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day when he wrote he was “saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust could, within a few years of liberation, be inflicting atrocities on the Palestinians in the new state of Israel – and continue to do so.”
He later sparked further outrage by questioning how long Israel can last, which led to the party temporarily suspending the whip.