Mr. Denis MacShane (Rotherham) (Lab): Does my right hon. Friend agree that any massacre, big or small, by whomever, of Jews during world war two was a crime against humanity? To whitewash such a massacre and to try to make it relative is intolerable, unacceptable politics, and those who associate with those politicians shame this House and our nation.
David Miliband: My right hon. Friend has done fantastic work with colleagues across every party on anti-Semitism and the need to combat it. There is no room for hair-splitting when it comes to the massacre of 300 or 400 people in a Polish village in 1941, and I would have thought that every single Member of this House would be able to condemn that atrocity without any hesitation.
So that's the new politics is it? For a senior Labour Cabinet Minister to imply that Conservative MPs secretly rather agree with massacring 400 Jews? What a disgrace. What he and his lapdog MacShane are trying to do is nothing short of political vandalism. They see the Kaminski issue as the one thing they have got to beat the Tory Party with and they will go to any lengths to do so. MacShane actually emailed this exchange round to every journalist he knows this morning. Hopefully most of them will have the good sense to see what he is up to and won't fall for it.
In FCO questions in the Commons virtually every answer from Miliband and Bryant carried some kind of reference to Kaminski. And of course Kaminski himself has also condemned the massacre. This is what he told me in the interview I did with him...
MK: What I was saying from the beginning was that it was a terrible crime and I am ashamed that the Polish people were involved in this crime.
ID: If you're ashamed of that, why can't you agree that there should be an apology?
MK: Because my point is, I don't want to put this single crime - however shameful - on the same level as the Nazi policy towards the Jews. You see the difference? We had our underground state, we were occupied by Germans, and what those bandits did at Jedwabne was totally against Polish law, Polish customs and Polish culture. What the Nazis did was according to the state policies of the Nazi government. Do you understand the difference? Because there is a difference. Let's say that you can feel ashamed of British hooligans, but no one will require an apology from the whole British nation for the actions of a few hooligans.
ID: I'm not sure that's true - I feel ashamed about British football hooligans when they go abroad and I do apologise for my country.
MK: But the difference is that it's not about judging the crime. It was a position shared by many politicians in Poland: we condemned the crime but we didn't want to be put on the same side as the Nazis.
ID: Even though what you're saying has a certain logic to it, logic doesn't really matter in these sorts of subjects! I think you need to understand the other point of view.
MK: From the very beginning, when I was confronted with this accusation, I said that I fully understand the feelings of the Jewish people, and that I understand that after such allegations, they can ask me the questions and scrutinise me, because anti-Semitism is really bad. But what makes me angry is that the people who are using this anti-Semitic argument are in the political debate not to fight anti-Semitism, but just as a tool to fight opponents. They are actually undermining the global fight against anti-Semitism, because if you are making false allegations, people will think, oh, this is just politics as usual, whereas actually, this is something really important for me and everyone on this planet. I will repeat: I was in Israel, and I was actually attacked by the Polish anti-Semites. I was an enemy of the far right in Poland. I made a statement about anti-Semitism in Poland as a member of the European Parliament, and I have been attacked for this statement by the Polish far right. But it's a political game, unfortunately practiced by some journalists, which I regret.
I thought David Miliband was better than this, but it appears I was wrong. To think, he once had ambitions of leading the Labour Party.
UPDATE: Have replaced Infer with Imply!!!