There was an interesting exchange of comments below the line of Aida Edemariam‘s Feb. 6 Guardian piece, David Ward: ‘The solid ground I walk on is that I’m not a racist‘.
As a reminder, here are Ward’s comments in the context of Holocaust Memorial Day which began the row:
“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.”
Here, a commenter using the moniker ‘bonbonniera’ responds to ‘chrisgnolan’, picking up on the broad theme advanced by Ward of Jews’ alleged guilt in carrying out atrocities following their liberation after the Holocaust.
‘Bonbonnier’ then adds:
‘Bonbonniera’ then responds to a question by a commenter using the moniker ‘Rantalot’, about the rights of non-Jews in “Palestine”, writing, thus:
Some exchanges below the line at ‘CiF’ are quite instructive. Here, ‘bonbonniera’ gets to the heart of why Ward’s comments were so offensive: While the Holocaust, contrary to what some claim, does not represent the justification for a Jewish state (a right derived by Jews’ historical connection to the land, and legally codified by the the Mandate for Palestine), it takes an incredibly hard heart not to sympathize with the political aspirations of Jews following the Holocaust.
Further, Ward’s faux history ignores the fact that it was Arabs who committed extreme acts of violence against Jews in pre-state Israel, and Arabs who sought the annihilation of all Jews from the river to the sea in 1948 (a war which resulted in a large exodus of Palestinian Arabs), Arab leaders who ethnically cleansed Jews from Arab countries in the years following ’48, and Arabs who still refuse to recognize the right of Jews to live in a sovereign state.
The racism which needs to be acknowledged – and which MP Ward truly needs to address – is that of Arabs against a tiny Jewish minority. Ward, and his defenders at CiF, have learned nothing about the true lessons of the Holocaust, and certainly nothing about the history of the 65 year Arab war against the Jewish state.
- BBC tones down British MP’s comments on Jews and the Holocaust (bbcwatch.org)
- BBC does yet another makeover on Ward remarks (bbcwatch.org)
- How one British paper decided to depict living Jews on Holocaust Memorial Day (cifwatch.com)
- Turn David Ward’s vile charge on its head (cifwatch.com)
- CiF’s Jonathan Romain, and ‘Guardian Left’ rationalizations for antisemitism (cifwatch.com)