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, 8 May 2011

Yet Again, Baroness Tonge Demonises Israel and Hypes Hamas; The Chief Rabbi Responds in Able Fashion

There was a short debate about the Middle East peace process in the House of Lords on 4 May, prompted by a question from notoriously anti-Israel Lib Dem life peer Baroness Tonge (pictured).
Inter alia, the woman widely accused in the past of antisemitism, and whom some dub "Jihad Jenny" observed:
"The wall or security barrier has been built between Israel and the West Bank. Fair enough, I would say. I witnessed during the second intifada the sheer terror of Israeli citizens as they experienced the suicide bombers-the al-Aqsa martyrs as they were then-encouraged and supported by Fatah. Let us remember that Fatah is now Israel's chosen partner for negotiations. The barrier was quite understandable, but what was outrageous was that the course of that barrier grabbed a huge amount of land and water in the West Bank from Palestinian farmers and families."
The rest of her speech was true to form:
"I want to make an appeal that we all remember the Palestinians and the injustice that has been meted out to them since 1948. It is an injustice which lies at the very heart of Arab Muslim angst against the West and which has allowed one country, Israel, supported by the  USA and European Union, consistently to break international law since 1948, when it was decided that the Palestinians would pay the price of the Holocaust even if they had had nothing to do with it....
Palestinians have difficulty accessing healthcare and education, and humiliation continues daily at the check-points. The settlements go on expanding despite exhortations from the international community and repeated criticism from this Government. Farmers are attacked, crops are ruined and children are brutalised and imprisoned. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than at al-Walaja near Bethlehem. The town and its people are being strangled....
In Gaza, little has changed. Food is scarce if you are poor, as most Gazans are. Together with the terror of constant overflying and sonic bombing, and the poor education that the children are getting, the international community, by its inaction, is allowing a whole generation of children to grow up malnourished, undereducated and deeply traumatised by the actions of their neighbour, Israel....
We must not forget, in this overview of the situation, the plight of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians living in Israel, who are subjected to an apartheid-like regime of control and lack of freedom, let alone the 7,000 to 8,000 prisoners languishing in Israeli gaols....
Israel's fear of Hamas is based on the old Hamas charter, which is a relic, and on the fact that neither Israel's leaders nor ours have ever bothered to talk to Hamas leaders. On numerous occasions I and other parliamentarians have been assured by Hamas leaders, in particular Khaled Meshaal, that they will accept a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, and will maintain a truce. However, things are getting more difficult. The rockets fired recently were from dissident groups in Gaza, which get more numerous and better supported as Hamas is seen not to be able to make progress in its negotiations with Israel.
Finally, Israel has been indulged for too long in the interests of American foreign policy as well as its own. The rights of Palestinians under international law have been ignored, and much suffering and injustice have been endured. International law was not mentioned in the 2003 road map, which was meant to provide a framework for negotiations. The International Court of Justice ruling on the separation barrier was ignored, and President Obama, after he took office, ignored completely international law in his speech in Cairo on Israel and Palestine. Why?
International law is for everyone. It is for Israel, Palestine, Bahrain, Syria, the European Union-and even the United States of America. If we continue to apply it selectively, there will be no future for Israel, and the world order will ultimately collapse. I implore the Minister to tell the House that we will bring pressure to bear on Israel to co-operate with Egypt and the Palestinian negotiators in Cairo. We must not miss the great opportunity of the Arab spring-however difficult it is, and however many road blocks are put in the way-to bring justice also, at last, to the Palestinians."
During the debate, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain, Lord Sacks, reminded fellow occupants of the red benches of some truths that should be self-evident, but unfortunately aren't:
"We, who pray for peace, understand by that word, a state in which I recognise your right to exist, and you recognise mine. That is what peace minimally means.
How then can we be speaking about peace when Hamas remains committed as a matter of principle to the elimination of the state of Israel, when it engages in missile attacks against innocent civilians, and uses its own innocent civilians as human shields; when it propagates some of the most vicious antisemitic myths ever to have inflamed the hatred and anaesthetised the conscience of human beings, and two days ago praised Osama bin Laden as a holy warrior; and when it refuses to agree to the fundamental principles laid down by the Quartet, not least of which is the recognition of Israel’s right to exist?
Until Hamas undergoes fundamental change, there may be a process but there will not be peace. Peace is more than a resting place on the road to war. I cannot make peace with one who denies my right to exist.
My Lords, no one unfamiliar with the history of the Jewish people through its four thousand years of history can fully appreciate how deeply Jews within Israel and outside long for peace, long for the ability to live as other people live, without fear, without hate, without being treated as a pariah, without being blamed for the troubles of the world, without being denied the right to exist. That is why I urge the government to be resolute in its insistence that the path to peace in the Middle East must begin with the unequivocal recognition of the state of Israel’s right to be. "
Read more here:


  1. What a bunch of vile nazis! They did not take up one of the Chief Rabbi's points and the Tonge virus tried to interrupt the ONE speaker who supported Israel. What an appalling bunch of anti-semites on all three sides of the House!! I followed the link and read the rest of the comments. Despicable!

  2. And notice how Jenny Tonge pinched Eban's phrase about wasted opportunities, turning it on its head!