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British lawmaker apologizes for equating Palestinian suffering with Shoah

(JTA) — A British lawmaker apologized for remarks comparing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust.

Yasmin Qureshi of the Labor Party made her apology in a statement on Friday for remarks she made two days earlier to the Parliament.

“The debate was about the plight of the Palestinian people and in no way did I mean to equate events in Gaza with the Holocaust. I apologize for any offense caused,” she said. “I am also personally hurt if people thought I meant this.

“As someone who has visited the crematoria and gas chambers of Auschwitz, I know the Holocaust was the most brutal act of genocide of the 20th century and no one should seek to underestimate its impact.”

Qureshi had said on Feb. 5, “Israel was founded because of what happened to the millions and millions of Jews who suffered genocide. Their properties, homes and land, everything, were taken away, and they were deprived of rights. Of course, many millions perished.

“It is quite strange that some of the people who are running the state of Israel seem to be quite complacent and happy to allow the same to happen in Gaza.”

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, condemned the remarks.

“We expect our politicians to speak responsibly and sensitively about the past and about events today,” she said, the Jewish Chronicle reported. “These lazy and deliberate distortions have no place in British politics.”

Labor Friends of Israel had called on Qureshi to apologize following the remarks.

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