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Anorak | Anti-Semitism Watch: LibDem Jenny Tonge makes her move to join Labour?

Anti-Semitism Watch: LibDem Jenny Tonge makes her move to join Labour?

by | 28th, October 2016

Baroness Jenny Tonge has been suspended by the Liberal Democrats. Yes, we know, some news there that Tonge and the LibDems still exist. And when you hear the story you might suppose that Tonge has been auditioning for membership to the un-anti-Semetic Labour Party.

Today, a LibDem spokesperson tells media: “The party has suspended the membership of Jenny Tonge. We take her comments very seriously and have acted accordingly.”

Suspended. Not kicked out. Put on hold. That’s how big a deal anti-Semitism is nowadays among the elite. It is not their problem.  Of course, nothing is fact. As the Guardian  states: “Jenny Tonge quits Lib Dems after suspension for alleged antisemitic comments.”

Tonge noted on Facebook:

“In the course of the evening one member of the audience made a ‘rant’ against Israel quoting some very confused history which I confess I did not hear or understand! I then called the next member of the audience and moved on. The contribution was ignored by the audience after a few claps of relief! Apparently this is my sin! I am at last free of being told what I must and must not say on the issue of Palestine, lest it offends the Israel lobby here, who like to control us, as they do in the USA.

“They are trying to destroy the Labour Party with spurious accusations of antisemitism and now they have set their sights on the Lib Dems. I have never been antisemitic, and never will be. I am anti-injustice and that is why I criticise the Israeli government’s flagrant disregard for international law and human rights in the Occupied territories of Palestine and Gaza.”

The story goes that earlier this week Baroness Tonge hosted an event in the House of Lords run by the Palestine Return Council. The events was part of a campaign for Britain to apologise for the 1917 Balfour Declaration that led to the creation of a Jewish home in Palestine.

The Jewish Chronicle notes: “Attendees applauded when another member of the audience claimed that “if anybody is antisemitic, it’s the Israelis themselves.”

The paper adds:

Last week Baroness Tonge published a letter online which she said she had sent to The Guardian. In the letter, she discussed the Home Affairs Committee’s report on antisemitism, saying: “It is difficult to believe that a 75% increase in antisemitism it reports, have [sic] been committed by people who simply hate Jewish people for no reason.”

The Times reported on the event:

An audience member was applauded after suggesting that Hitler only decided to kill all the Jews after he was provoked by anti-German protests led by a rabbi in Manhattan. The speaker… said that in the 1930s Rabbi Stephen Wise, whom he described as a heretic, “made the boycott on Germany, the economic boycott… which antagonised Hitler, over the edge, to then want to systematically kill Jews wherever he could find them”.

The speaker went on:

“As opposed to . . . make Germany free of Jews, a Jew-free land. He became a madman after this boycott. Judea declares war on Germany. In Manhattan they had 100,000 people marching in the economic boycott in 1935, it was the same heretic rabbi who caused that.”

The speaker also said that Rabbi Wise told the New York Times in 1905 that there were “six million bleeding and suffering reasons to justify Zionism”. He urged the audience to note the number. This famous quotation is regularly used by Holocaust deniers to suggest that the figure of six million Jews later killed by the Nazis was a myth.

Another audience member opined:

“Chaim Weizmann [a founder of Israel] did a confidence trick back in 1917/1918. He made the British establishment think that world Jewry had power that it just didn’t have. The trouble is, 100 years on, I am not talking about world Jewry, I am talking about that segment which we called the Zionist movement, has that power and it has that over our own parliament.”

David Collier notes on his blog: “This is the transference of classic antisemitic tropes, from the hand of the Jew to the hands of the Zionist.”

The Times adds: “Lady Tonge made no attempt to challenge the provocative comments.”

David Aaronovitch observes:

“Ten years ago the baroness did the old one about Jewish financial power in the form of “the pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. She got a reprimand from her party leader for it. Six years ago it was the ancient blood libel (Jews kill gentiles for their blood or body parts, see also under Shylock), when she demanded an inquiry into absurd allegations that an Israeli aid mission to Haiti was harvesting organs from Haitians. She lost a front bench job for that.”

And no, she was not booted out of the LibDems. He conbtinues:

Before she resigned, Baroness Tonge was suspended, not expelled, from her utterly complacent party. Because actually many people don’t care that much about antisemitism any more. They say they do, but they don’t. They cluck but secretly they think antisemitism isn’t really a problem, that Jews are generally rich and can look after themselves and that — one way or another — they probably have it coming.

In the Guardian we read:

Lady Tonge, the Liberal Democrat peer, is calling for Israel to set up an inquiry to disprove allegations that its medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims for use in transplants…

Attacking Israel’s policies is one thing; insinuating that the army of the Jewish state is stealing organs or – as the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet published last year, that the IDF was killing Arabs for their organs – is to repeat what antisemites were saying about the Jews in the darkest periods of history. A blood libel, in short.

One hundred and seventy years ago, the Damascus blood libel shocked the world. On 5 February 1840, Father Thomas, the superior of the Capuchin house in Damascus, and his Muslim servant disappeared. The local Jews were immediately accused of murdering the two for the intention of using their blood for making Passover Matzot. Several Jews were arrested and tortured, and some of them died, not before producing “confessions”.

The Guardian says:

The peer has a long track record of making trenchant criticisms of Israel. In 2004, when she was an MP, she was sacked from the frontbench by then party leader Charles Kennedy after she suggested that she would become a suicide bomber if she was Palestinian. At the time, Israel had endured repeated suicide bombings carried out by Palestinians during the second intifada. She was made a peer the following year.

In September, the Sunday Times noted:

A PROMINENT peer is considering defection to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party after “a lifetime” in the Liberal Democrats. Baroness Tonge said she was “thinking about” joining Labour and “a lot of people” in her party were pondering the move as they found Corbyn “a breath of fresh air”.

Smell that?

 



Posted: 28th, October 2016 | In: Politicians, Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink