Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi apologises for Gaza-Holocaust comparison

Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi

Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi

A Labour MP has apologised after she appeared to compare the situation in Gaza to the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.

In a Parliamentary debate last week on the humanitarian situation facing Palestinians, Yasmin Qureshi drew parallels with the Shoah.

The Bolton South East MP suggested it was "quite strange" that the Israeli government was "complacent and happy" to allow Palestinians to be treated like "Jews who suffered genocide".

Her remarks were condemned by the Holocaust Educational Trust, Labour Friends of Israel and Labour supporters.

Ms Qureshi issued a statement apologising over the weekend. She said: “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. 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.”

In the debate Ms Qureshi had highlighted that Israel "was founded because of what happened to the millions and millions of Jews who suffered genocide".

She added: "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."

HET chief executive Karen Pollock had said the remarks were "offensive" and an "inappropriate comparison".

Last updated: 10:14am, February 10 2014