Jewish lawmaker in Britain says anti-Semitic colleague could lose position


(JTA) — A Jewish lawmaker in Britain said that a controversial member of her party could lose his government position over offensive tweets about Jews and Israel.

David Ward of the Liberal Democrat party, who represents the Bradford East area, is walking a “thin line” with his attacks on Jews and Israel on social media, Crime Prevention Minister Lynne Featherstone told the London-based Jewish Chronicle. Featherstone is a senior member of the Liberal Democrat party.

Ward, who serves as party whip, lost his position for a short time in 2013 after tweets that made negative generalizations about “the Jews” and referred to Israel as an apartheid state.

“He might lose it again if he’s not careful. There’s a thin line between free speech and hate speech and incitement,” Featherstone told the Jewish Chronicle. “Obviously the party takes these matters very seriously. It won’t be tolerated. When that line is overstepped, then I expect party officials to step in.”

Ward’s most recent tweets causing offense referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s participation in the Paris unity march after terror attacks in the city on a kosher supermarket and a satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo.

“Netanyahu in Paris march – makes me feel sick. Je suis Palestinian,” Ward tweeted, parodying a popular slogan after the attacks, “Je suis Charlie.”

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