Bill Carmichael: MP’s Israel missile rant crosses a line

David Ward MP
David Ward MP
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GIVEN the appalling reputation of Parliament, it is hard to imagine what the current crop of MPs could do to drag it down any lower – but somehow David Ward has managed it.

By openly inciting terrorist attacks against innocent civilians, the dishonourable member for Bradford East has surely crossed a line no civilised politician should dare to countenance.

And he knew it too, quickly issuing a non-apology in which he claimed his comment that he would fire a missile into Israel had been “misinterpreted” and insisting that, despite clear evidence to the contrary, he wasn’t in fact condoning violence.

Oh right, the missiles he wants to fire at Israeli homes must be of a special harmless, non-lethal type that is currently unknown to modern science.

Ward’s party, the Liberal Democrats, immediately claimed this amounted to a “categorical apology”, even though Ward insisted he stood by his remarks. They must think we are all as stupid as the average Lib Dem voter.

Isn’t it about time that Nick Clegg broke the habit of a lifetime and showed a bit of leadership?

Ward has previous for this type of bigotry having previously been suspended by his party for making racist remarks about Israel and “the Jews”, whom he blames for all the world’s problems.

But effectively giving support to the genocidal neo-Nazi terror group Hamas – which has spurned all attempts at a ceasefire and continues to attack civilian targets – takes the collective madness that has infected the Left when it comes to Israel to a whole new level.

What is happening in Gaza is a terrible tragedy and the death of any civilian is unacceptable, but let us be clear – there is no moral equivalence here.

Trying to protect civilians, which is what Israel is doing, is entirely different from trying to kill them, which is what Hamas tries to achieve.

And never forget that all the violence would stop instantly the moment Hamas stopped firing its missiles.

It is also worth noting that double standards are applied whenever Israel is involved.

I don’t remember David Ward and his ilk squawking when Syrian jets and artillery were pounding the Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus with the loss of not hundreds, but tens of thousands of Palestinian lives.

Ward is an insignificant figure – a former polytechnic lecturer fighting to retain a wafer-thin majority in a heavily Muslim constituency – but the poison he drips into British political life does have its consequences.

Across Europe a toxic alliance of neo- Nazis, the far Left and Islamist extremists are on the rise. In Paris, hundreds of protesters chant “Death to the Jews” before attacking a synagogue and Jewish-owned shops. In Berlin, the mob screams “Jews to the gas chambers” and people wearing the yarmulke have been attacked in the street. On Twitter, the hashtag #hitlerwasright proves very popular.

We’ve been here before, of course, and we know this won’t end happily. It is just one of the reasons we desperately need to distance ourselves from the European Union.

In another comment on Twitter, Ward said: “The West must make up its mind – which side is it on?” He is absolutely right of course. Are we on the side of parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, equality and human rights as represented by Israel, or the terror and racism of Hamas? It should be a straightforward choice.

Public image

I’VE been travelling with the family in the south of England this week and when people discover we live in Yorkshire they invariably ask if we watched the Tour de France.

This is usually followed by a comment along the lines of “I didn’t realise that Yorkshire was so pretty!”

The Tour was a triumph and a credit to the people who organised it. And with any luck the impact will be long lasting and will permanently change people’s image of the county, particularly in the South where the “grim up north” caricature was most persistent.

Come and see for yourselves, I tell my new southern friends.

As you saw on the TV, it is beautiful, always sunny and warm and it never, ever rains.