A LIBERAL Democrat MP facing party disciplinary action over a statement about Israel's treatment of Palestinians ahead of tomorrow's Holocaust Memorial Day has defended his actions.
David Ward sparked a backlash after putting a statement on his website honouring those who died during the Holocaust but accusing Jews in Israel of "inflicting atrocities on Palestinians ... on a daily basis".
The Bradford East MP said: "I feel strongly about this issue. I keep re-reading what I said because I have heard so many comments about how outrageous this is.
"Everybody talks about this awful, awful time we must never forget and always say we must learn lessons.
"Surely that means we must look at every example of man's inhumanity to fellow man?"
On his website, Mr Ward describes Auschwitz as "the site of the largest mass murder in history".
But he adds: "I am saddened that 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 state of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis."
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: "These comments are sickening and unacceptable and have no place in British politics."
A LibDem spokesman said: "The Liberal Democrats deeply regret and condemn the statement issued by David Ward and his use of language which is unacceptable."