Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 14 November 2010

It’s Time for Nick Clegg to Scrape this Foul Tonge – Spinning Jenny the Lib Dem Peer Slurs Israel Yet Again

Jenny Tonge – who sits in the House of Lords on the Lib Dem benches as Baroness Tonge, having been given a life peerage in 2005 after several years as an MP – is a veteran detester and demoniser of the world’s only Jewish State, and as a result has earned the epithet “Jihad Jenny”. In 2004 the then Lib Dem leader, Charles Kennedy, sacked her as a party spokesperson after she had refused to apologise for saying of Palestinian suicide bombers: "If I had to live in that situation – and I say that advisedly – I might just consider becoming one myself."

In 2006 Tonge made headlines when she announced: "The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they've probably got a grip on our party." Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell – himself no great friend of Israel – called her remarks "unacceptable" and possessing "clear antisemitic connotations”.

An all-party group of members of the House of Lords led by former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey noted that her comments "evoked a classic anti-Jewish conspiracy theory”. She retorted that Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer's article "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" that appeared in the 23 March 2006 issue of The London Review of Books – whose “as-a-Jew” editor Mary-Kay Wilmers is on record, incidentally, as describing herself as "unambiguously hostile to Israel” – bore out her contention that the "'Israel lobby' had a disproportionate voice in Anglo-American foreign policy".

In 2008 Tonge, along with Lord Ahmed, leftwing Labour MP Clare Short, and several MEPs, sailed to Gaza to break Israel’s siege; Tonge compared the situation there to South African apartheid. The following year, shortly after Operation Cast Lead, she was part of a small British parliamentary delegation which, in the hope that the Blair government, followed by Bush’s, would be pressured into opening talks with Hamas, met the terrorist organisation’s leader, Khaled Meshaal, in Damascus.

In February this year she caused a furore when she said that an independent inquiry should be established by the IDF and the Israeli Medical Association into allegations that the IDF was harvesting organs from earthquake victims in Haiti. As one Lib Dem parliamentary candidate observed: “It’s abhorrent that anyone should suggest that something as perverse and sick as this should be investigated”, while the chairman of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel remarked: “On this basis, there could be calls for an investigation to discover the ‘truth’ in the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

 Party leader Nick Clegg, not distinguished for any great sympathy for Israel, described her remarks as "wrong, distasteful and provocative" and added that he recognised “the deep and understandable distress they have caused to the Jewish community”. He therefore removed her as the party’s spokesperson on health matters in the Lords.

The Israel-obsessed baroness (pictured here during an interview with Ahmadinejad's propaganda satellite channel, Press TV) has been up to her spiteful, slanderous tricks again. In yesterday’s debate in the upper house on the Strategic Defence Review, her ladyship made the following outrageous and untenable claim (hat tip: Jonathan Hoffman, over at the blogs):

"Prevention of conflict also means that we must start being honest about international law and UN resolutions. It is a disgrace to us all that problems such as Kashmir and Palestine are still alienating Muslims all over the world. The treatment of Palestinians by Israel is held up as an example of how the West treats Muslims and is at the root cause of terrorism worldwide. Even Tony Blair has now admitted this publicly. [Jonathan Hoffman: No he has not.] Why do we let it continue? Is it Holocaust guilt? We should be guilty  – of course we should. Is it the power of the pro-Israel lobby here and in the USA? I do not know. Or is it the need, maybe, to have an aircraft carrier called Israel in the Middle East from which to launch attacks on countries such as Iran? The cynic might think that that is why HMS Ark Royal and the Harriers can be dispensed with – we already have a static Ark Royal in a strategic position, armed to the teeth and ready to fight, provided that we do not offend Israel. I feel sorry for the people of Israel sometimes. Their Government's policies have made that country the cause of a lot of the world's problems, yet now they are seen in the middle as the remedy and the base for the West to fight back."
Ironically, on the same day that Spinning Jenny’s venom-coated tongue was indulging in its latest round of lashing the Jewish State, the Jewish Chronicle (12 November 2010) printed on its front page extracts from a speech to the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (to many people's amazement, given the party's track record, such a body does exist!) by Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Clegg, who apparently concedes that the party’s past pronouncements in favour of the Palestinians should have been “accompanied equally loudly and equally clearly, by an awareness of the security challenges faced by Israel and of the right of Israel to defend itself against the threats that it continually faces”.

Given her past and present form, Jenny Tonge, if not actually an antisemite, is doing her utmost to seem like one. Her remarks are ludicrous and malevolent.  I’ve already mentioned, on a recent blogpost regarding the remarks of Lib Dem peer Lord Phillips of Sudbury, how Lib Dem peer Lord Carlile is convinced that Tonge’s previous outbursts against Israel cost the Lib Dems vital votes in certain constituencies at the General Election. Indeed, the Lib Dems have a number of high-profile Israel bashers within their ranks.

If Nick Clegg is serious about mending his party’s fractured relationship with Anglo-Jewry – nay, if he is serious about a committal to truth and fairness – he should do what is long overdue, and remove the party whip from the incorrigible Jenny Tonge. Now!


  1. After all that PR spin of his last week she must be giving Cleggy quite a headache.

  2. This is a timely reminder from the HonestReprting website:
    The Palestine Telegraph - Flirting with Holocaust Denial & Anti-Semitism
    The Palestine Chronicle isn't the only dubious English-language propaganda site claiming to be a credible media outlet. The Palestine Telegraph's Board of Patrons includes former British MP and anti-Israel extremist George Galloway, and Lauren Booth.
    To recall, Booth referred to Gaza as a "concentration camp" while photographed shopping in a well-stocked Gaza supermarket. This earned her our 2008 Dishonest Reporter Award. Booth has recently announced her conversion to Islam following a visit to Iran, whose Press TV propaganda organ she draws a salary from (as does George Galloway).
    A former Palestine Telegraph patron was British politician Jenny Tonge who infamously stated in 2006: "The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the Western World, its financial grips. I think they've probably got a certain grip on our party."
    Tonge was previously removed from her parliamentary position in 2004 after saying that if she had been a Palestinian, she might have supported a political program of murdering Jewish civilians, by herself becoming a suicide bomber: "I think if I had to live in that situation, and I say this advisedly, I might just consider becoming one myself."
    But it was too much for Tonge after the Palestine Telegraph published a video of former KKK grand wizard David Duke, which prompted her to resign as a patron. The Palestine Telegraph continued to promote racists and anti-Semites in August 2010 when it published an extended interview with Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben before removing it and issuing a half-hearted "statement of clarification" in the face of protests.
    The Palestine Telegraph has also published an article by the anti-Semitic Gilad Atzmon in which he defends Helen Thomas's call for Israeli Jews to "go home to Poland, Germany, America and elsewhere." The Palestine Telegraph has also repeatedly published the most blatant Jewish conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic cartoons, while its editor Sameh Habeeb, has previously denied allegations of anti-Semitism relating to comments he made to a Leeds student newspaper about who runs the media.
    In conclusion, the evidence above is more than enough to discredit The Palestine Telegraph and those behind it.
    Both The Palestine Chronicle and Palestine Telegraph are dominated by radicals and extremists who even flirt with anti-Semitism. They are certainly not credible media outlets.

  3. Daphne,

    Thanks for covering Tonge's latest outburst, she's unbelievabe, what a racist.

    I covered her activities before,

    Good luck,

  4. Modernity Blog, thanks - and congratulations on the evenhanded condemnation of all racism you seem to show on your blog.