UK MP Tweets Advice to Hamas Following Israeli Soldier Kidnapping
Liberal Democrat MP David Ward has caused more controversy after tweeting advice to Hamas on how to deal with Lt Hadar Goldin, the Israeli soldier they captured yesterday.
Ward, whose party is part of Britain’s coalition government, tweeted yesterday evening: "# Hamas - you have a prisoner of war - the world is watching you - behave better than #Israel".
His tweet is likely to stoke anger for numerous reasons. First, it is debatable whether Lt Goldin is genuinely a prisoner of war as he was captured during a truce, meaning it would be more accurate to consider him a kidnap victim.
Observers will also be angered by the fact that his tweet insinuates Israel would treat a prisoner of war worse than Hamas, and that he considers a terrorist organisation could behave better than UN-member liberal democracy.
This is the latest in a long line of controversial comments by Ward on the subject of Israel. Last week, he caused uproar after saying he would fire rockets at Israel if he were in Gaza: "The big question is - if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? - probably yes".
He had earlier tweeted his apparent support for Hamas' actions against Israel: "Sick of mantra "#Israel has the right to defend itself" - #Palestinians av same right! #Gaza rockets because of failure dealing with Israel".
In January last year, he was forced apologise after writing on Holocaust Memorial Day: "I am saddened that the 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 new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza."
He had the party whip withdrawn after those comments, but, despite threats from the party leadership, has so far not had it withdrawn over his most recent Tweets.