Anti-Israel Tweets Could Cost Lib Dem His Whip, Says Jewish Minister

British MP is treading a 'thin line' with offensive posts attacking Jews and Zionists, according to Crime Prevention Minister Lynne Featherstone.

Minister Lynne Featherstone
Minister Lynne FeatherstoneCredit: U.K. Home Office / flckr

Controversial MP David Ward could lose his position as Liberal Democrat whip because of his anti-Israel and anti-Jewish tweets, the party's most senior Jewish minister said, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

Ward, the MP from Bradford East, tweeted last summer during Israel's war in Gaza, "The big question is – if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? – probably yes." He later apologized, saying, "I utterly condemn the violence on both sides in Israel and Gaza."

Ward is treading a "thin line" with his offensive attacks on social media, Crime Prevention Minister Lynne Featherstone said. Ward lost the party whip in 2013 as a result of disciplinary action after he posted comments critical of Jews and Zionists.

Ahead of Holocaust Day in 2013, he accused "the Jews" of afflicting "atrocities on the Palestinians," according to the Jewish Chronicle.

"He might lose it again if he's not careful. There's a thin line between free speech and hate speech and incitement," Featherstone told the Jewish Chronicle.

"Obviously the party takes these matters very seriously. It won't be tolerated. When that line is overstepped then I expect party officials to step in."

Last month, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg condemned an anti-Netanyahu tweet that Ward made regarding the Israeli prime minister's participation in the Paris march following the Charlie Hebdu massacre. He said that Ward "clearly doesn't speak for the party on this at all and I cannot be more unambiguous in condemning what I think is a highly insensitive way of behaving.

Still, no disciplinary action has been taken against Ward for any of his social media postings since the summer.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid Is the Most Israeli of All

An El Al jet sits on the tarmac at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Thursday, in 2003.

El Al to Stop Flying to Toronto, Warsaw and Brussels

An anti-abortion protester holds a cross in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Roe v. Wade: The Supreme Court Leaves a Barely United States

A young Zeschke during down time, while serving with the Wehrmacht in Scandinavia.

How a Spanish Beach Town Became a Haven for Nazis

Ayelet Shaked.

What's Ayelet Shaked's Next Move?

A Palestinian flag is taken down from a building by Israeli authorities after being put up by an advocacy group that promotes coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis, in Ramat Gan, Israel earlier this month

Israel-Palestine Confederation: A Response to Eric Yoffie