British lawmaker David Ward has raised Jewish ire again with a tweet following the death of Ariel Sharon.
“Sharon’s death makes you think. The brutal, genocidal treatment of Jews must never be forgotten but … the Palestinians were not responsible,” Ward tweeted on January 13, two days after Sharon’s death.
One tweet in response to Ward, by British Jewish gay rights activist Benjamin Cohen, read, “I’m not sure who has implied the Palestinians were, other than you of course.”
“We are disappointed to see David Ward tweeting about sensitive issues in such a way,” read a joint statement from the Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies of British Jews, the London Jewish News reported. “It raises questions about his motives and his real intentions.”
Ward also tweeted on January 13: “Signed #Holocaust Memorial Book of Commitment in advance of the Holocaust Memorial Day - we must stand up for oppressed wherever they be.”
Previously, Ward had angered the Jewish community in January 2013, on International Holocaust Memorial Day, when he said 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.”
The controversy was renewed when reports emerged that Ward asked his staff if replacing “the Jews” with “the Jewish community” would mollify his critics, leading to another round of complaints and sanctions including a requirement that he attend language classes.
In July, Ward was suspended from the party for three months after tweeting: “Am I wrong or are am I right? At long last the #Zionists are losing the battle - how long can the #apartheid State of #Israel last?”