Lib Dem peer criticised after calling Israel’s actions in Gaza a 'genocide'

Baroness Hussein-Ece also blamed the Jewish state for the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital blast


Pressure is growing on the Lib Dems to suspend a peer who described Israel’s actions in Gaza as a “genocide”. 

Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece also blamed Israel for the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital blast and shared posts which claimed no one in Gaza had committed a “single act of violence”. 

The genocide Facebook post read: “Have you seen a single person in Gaza with a gun or weapon of ANY kind?... Have you seen any [Palestinian Flag] commit a single act of violence. 

“It is not a war when one side has guns, bombs, soldiers, and billions of dollars in US aid; and the other has nothing. It is a GENOCIDE."

The Al-Ahli Arab Hospital X/Twitter comment, posted on 17 October, said: “Bombing a hospital is a war crime. No excuses #GazaUnderAttack”. However, British intelligence shows the hospital was "likely" hit by a missile fired from within Palestinian territory.

The peer, who served as Lib Dem spokesperson for Women and Equalities between 2015 and 2016, also posted pictures of a pro-Palestinian march in London and described the actions as a “massacre of Palestinian people”.  

On 1 November, the peer shared a quote on X/Twitter which said: “Israel’s settler-colonial goal is liberally to ERASE Palestine and millions of Palestinians”.

Another X/Twitter post said: “I thought Remembrance Day was to proclaim ‘Never Again?’ Calling for peace & a ceasefire, an end to the killings is exactly appropriate”.

Chair of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel, Gavin Stollar, said: "Using the phrase 'never again' in the context of the current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is as ill-considered and inappropriate as it is offensive. This is not a phrase to be bandied about in this way."

He added: "Baroness Hussein-Ece should reflect on her language. I'm pleased that she has tweeted that her comments were offensive, unequivocally, and that she has apologised for that. And I'm pleased she has opted to engage in antisemitism educational training."

Lord Pickles, the UK’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust issues, told LBC: "This is in clear breach of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of Antisemitism. 

“It’s one of the examples given to compare Israel to the Nazi’s. It wasn’t the Israelis who came out in the early light of the 7th October like a ‘nazi death squad’ to murder people on the basis of their race, it was Hamas.

“If she was a Conservative peer, she would be immediately suspended for these allegations to be investigated. And if she is guilty, she would be expelled.”

A spokesperson for the Campaign Against Antisemitism, said:Some of Baroness Hussein-Ece's comments on social media are over the line. Describing Israel's self-defence in Gaza as a betrayal of the principle of 'Never Again' is dangerously close to a comparison of Israel to the Nazis, which is a breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

“In addition, her incessant faulting of Israel for the bombing of a hospital that quickly emerged to have been the fault not of Israel at all but of a terrorist group's errant rocket, is disgraceful.

“This is tantamount to the sort of propaganda that fuels antisemitism in the UK. A peer of the realm should know better. We shall be writing to the Liberal Democrats."

In response, Baroness Hussein-Ece said: "A few of my tweets about Israel / Gaza were offensive and have upset people and I'm sorry.

“I am deeply worried about the humanitarian situation in Palestine and Israel and those who have lost loved ones.

“This is not about me. I have undertaken to take part in the holocaust awareness training along with other Lib Dems Peers to ensure continuing advocacy for peace in the Middle East in a way that is sensitive and effective for all our communities.”

A Lib Dem spokesman said the party was looking into the comments.

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