(JTA) — A British lawmaker has apologized for insulting a fellow Jewish lawmaker and Labor Party member during a debate in the House of Commons.
During a debate Wednesday on plans to change the law of universal jurisdiction, Gerald Kaufman turned to a lawmaker sitting next to him and said, "Here we are, the Jews again," as pro-Israel lawmaker Louise Ellman rose to refute a claim by the Labor Party’s Ann Clwyd that the lawmakers were trying to change the law — making it more difficult to issue an arrest warrant against a suspected international war criminal — to appease the Israeli government.
An arrest warrant was issued in December 2009 for former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni after she was scheduled to visit the country to speak before a Jewish organization. Livni did not make the trip.
The comments by Kaufman, who is Jewish but known for strong anti-Israel views, were picked up by a neighboring lawmaker’s microphone.
"I regret if any remarks I made in the chamber caused offense. If they did, I apologize," Kaufman said in a statement released by the Labor Party.
Ellman reportedly has made a formal complaint to the party’s leadership.