LONDON (JTA) – A Jewish member of Britain’s parliament accused Israel of exploiting Holocaust guilt to justify its actions in the Gaza Strip.
"The current Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians," Sir Gerald Kaufman, a veteran MP of the governing Labour Party and a long-time critic of Israel, said Thursday in parliament.
Referring to his personal background, as the son of Jewish refugees from Poland, he said: "My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed. My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza."
Kaufman compared the Hamas militants in Gaza to Jewish resistance fighters during the Second World War, saying: "The spokeswoman for the Israeli army, Major Leibovich, was asked about the Israeli killing of, at that time, 800 Palestinians. The total is now 1,000. She replied instantly that ’500 of them were militants’. That was the reply of a Nazi. I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants."
Israel launched major operations in Gaza on Dec. 27 after Hamas ended a fragile cease-fire with a massive intensification of rocket attacks into southern Israel.