Gerald Kaufman, an MP with Britain’s Labor Party and a vociferous critic of Israel, passed away Sunday at 86 due to an undisclosed illness.
“Sir Gerald dedicated his life to serving those who he believed would benefit most from a Labour government and Labour values in action,” Kaufman’s family said in a statement.
In 2002, Kaufman blasted Israel as a “pariah state” for its Operation Defensive Shield designed to stop suicide bombings. In a 2002 House of Commons speech, Kaufman declared it was “time to remind [then Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon that the Star of David belongs to all Jews and not to his repulsive government. His actions are staining the Star of David with blood.”
Kaufman also referred to Sharon in the speech as “a war criminal” and “a fool.”
A 2015 remark by Kaufman suggesting that Conservatives were biased due to receiving “Jewish money” was condemned by Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who described the comments as “completely unacceptable and deeply regrettable.”
In a 2009 speech to parliament, Kaufman accused the Israeli government of “ruthlessly and cynically” exploiting “the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians.”
According to Times of Israel, Kaufman also drew a parallel between Hamas terrorists and Jews rebelling against the Nazis during the Holocaust era.
“The spokeswoman for the Israeli army, Major Leibovich, was asked about the Israeli killing of, at that time, 800 Palestinians,” Kaufman The total is now 1,000. She replied instantly that ‘500 of them were militants.’ That was the reply of a Nazi. I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.”
Kaufman’s passing was still mourned by Corbyn, who said the Labor veteran “loved life and politics. I will deeply miss him, both for his political commitment and constant friendship.”