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British Jewish lawmaker apologizes for ‘Jews again’ remark

JTA

March 31, 2011 | 10:16 am

A British lawmaker has apologized for insulting a fellow Jewish lawmaker and Labor Party member during a debate in the House of Commons.

During a debate Wednesday on plans to change the law of universal jurisdiction, Gerald Kaufman turned to a lawmaker sitting next to him and said, “Here we are, the Jews again,” as pro-Israel lawmaker Louise Ellman rose to refute a claim by the Labor Party’s Ann Clwyd that the lawmakers were trying to change the law—making it more difficult to issue an arrest warrant against a suspected international war criminal—to appease the Israeli government.

An arrest warrant was issued in December 2009 for former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni after she was scheduled to visit the country to speak before a Jewish organization. Livni did not make the trip.

The comments by Kaufman, who is Jewish but known for strong anti-Israel views, were picked up by a neighboring lawmaker’s microphone.

“I regret if any remarks I made in the chamber caused offense. If they did, I apologize,” Kaufman said in a statement released by the Labor Party.

Ellman reportedly has made a formal complaint to the party’s leadership.

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