The Lib Dem MP for Bradford East, David Ward, is fast moving into a league of his own as far as digging himself even deeper into a hole is concerned.
Here, here and here is a short recap of the saga’s earlier stages. Then came this Tweet and a car crash of an interview in The Guardian in which Ward said:
“There is a huge operation out there, a machine almost, which is designed to protect the state of Israel from criticism. And that comes into play very, very quickly and focuses intensely on anyone who’s seen to criticise the state of Israel. And so I end up looking at what happened to me, whether I should use this word, whether I should use that word – and that is winning, for them. Because what I want to talk about is the fundamental question of how can they do this, and how can they be allowed to do this.”
Next, when asked by the Jewish News why his original offending statement had not yet been removed from his website, Ward suggested to the paper that it “ask the Board of Deputies” if he should “replace the words ‘the Jews’ with ‘the Jewish community’ “.
It now seems that the Lib Dem Chief Whip will be having yet another little chat with Mr Ward.
Since the beginning of the entire affair, the BBC in its various reports has – for some inexplicable reason – insisted upon reporting that Ward’s original statement was directed towards “the Jews in Israel”. Its report and Tweet on the story’s recent development are no better.
Obviously, the BBC just does not ‘get it’ – despite the subject having been addressed by numerous commentators in recent weeks. This is at least the fourth occasion upon which the BBC has tried to distort Ward’s original statement by claiming that he was referring to “the Jews in Israel”.
As we are well aware, Ward’s original phrasing was:
“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.”
According to the EUMC working definition of antisemitism, one of its manifestations is:
“Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.”
An additional manifestation of antisemitism is:
“Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
Apparently, not only does the BBC fail to understand that Ward’s statement falls into both those categories, but it also does not comprehend that its own attempts to carry out a ‘make-over’ on Ward’s remarks by claiming that his remarks pertained to ” the Jews in Israel” are actually no less offensive.
David Ward may be plumbing new depths in the field of hole-digging, but the BBC is rapidly catching up with him.