David Ward has reposted his comments on his website and issued a defiant statement, in which he unbelievably compares his fight not to be silenced to that of a Holocaust survivor:
“For my entire political career I have fought prejudice. I have just returned from Bradford’s Holocaust Memorial event where people across cultures and faiths joined together to say “We bear witness to the horrors of the Holocaust and will never forget its lessons.
In the words of the Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, as quoted in the booklet ‘Holocaust Memorial Day – Learning Lessons from the past to create a safer, better future’: “I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
The original problem was never his criticism of Israel per se, rather his use of “the Jews”. Guido hopes LibDem HQ note Ward is standing by that. Every time he opens his mouth he makes this worse.
UPDATE: And as if by magic, David Ward is still digging. He has spoken to the BBC:
“I’ve spoken to the chief whip, and he’s got his views. I don’t feel bad about it in any way. They consider my comments regrettable; I consider their reprimand regrettable.”
Apparently any further disciplinary would be “a sad reflection on the values we all hold so dearly, particularly on free speech”. Adding that he has had an “overwhelmingly positive” response from the public, with 80 unsolicited supportive emails, and just two from detractors.”
“While it was essential to remember the Holocaust as one of the most horrific examples of man’s inhumanity to man”, should we not also remember when there are examples of atrocities being committed in the present?”