LONDON, United Kingdom — Britain’s Labour Party has scrambled together a statement claiming that Yasmin Qureshi MP’s offensive statements about the Holocaust were “taken out of context.”
Breitbart News reported earlier today that Labour Member of Parliament for Bolton North, Yasmin Qureshi, had compared the situation in Gaza today with that of the Holocaust, implying that Israel was perpetuating similar crimes upon the Palestinians as the Nazis did to the Jewish people during the Second World War.
Qureshi’s comments were roundly rebuked, with her own party activists, and even the head of Britain’s Holocaust Educational Trust, an organization which usually steers clear of political debates, censuring Qureshi.
Qureshi told a Westminster Hall debate:
What has struck me in all this is that the state of 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.
The Labour Party has hastily defended Qureshi, claiming that her comments were taken “out of context.” No mention has been made as to what else the context could have been.
A Labour spokesperson said: “These remarks were taken completely out of context. Yasmin Qureshi was not equating events in Gaza with the Holocaust. As an MP who has visited Auschwitz and has campaigned all her life against racism and anti-Semitism she would not do so.”
But Qureshi’s life-long campaigning is more akin to that of an anti-Israel activist. She has spoken at events hosted by the one-state (Palestine) solution organization, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and in 2012 claimed that Israel was “pounding Gaza” and that Hamas rockets were “few” and “home made.” This remark came as Israeli civilians were being targeted and killed at the hands of new Iranian-supplied rockets.
I wrote earlier that Qureshi should know better, especially having visited Auschwitz, and it seems that she is now using said visit as a distraction from her offensive comments.
Holocaust Educational Trust Chief Executive Karen Pollock said: “Whilst current events in the Middle East understandably stir emotions, it is astonishing to think that anyone could visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, learn about the industrial nature of the Nazi’s murderous regime, even walk through a gas chamber–and then make these offensive and inappropriate comparisons.”
“We expect our politicians to speak responsibly and sensitively about the past and about events today,” she stated. “These lazy and deliberate distortions have no place in British politics.”
UPDATE 17:09 GMT: Qureshi has now issued an apology for her offensive statements:
“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 apologise for any offence caused.”