Baroness Tonge still doesn’t get it!

Baroness Jenny Tonge (bbc.co.uk)

Baroness Jenny Tonge (bbc.co.uk)

Last night Liberal Democrat Baroness Jenny Tonge complained about her treatment at the hands of the pro-Israel lobby and Labour’s Lord Nazir Ahmed complained that after a recent visit to Gaza certain websites called him Lord Nazi Ahmadinejad.

No one can condone such dreadful comparisons but seeing as Israelis are often compared to the Nazis by more than a few pro-Palestinian supporters maybe he will start to speak out against this.

The meeting at the House of Lords was to raise the profile of humanrightsfund which is “dedicated to supporting Palestinians in accessing international justice”.

Humanrightsfund concentrates solely on the law and has patrons, an advisory board, directors, staff and partners but many of those named are the usual suspects in the field of pro-Palestinian activism.

Mr. Michel Abdel Massih QC of Tooks Chambers, a Palestinian, told us that Israel’s breaches of international law are clearcut.

But anyone who knows the law appreciates just how unclearcut it is otherwise there wouldn’t be so many lawyers doing so well out of it.

He also spoke about trying to stop a change in the law of universal jurisdiction and said that stopping the change was “nothing to do with me being a Palestinian”.

Currently, anyone can ask for an arrest warrant to be issued by a local magistrate on scant evidence of war crimes and visiting Israeli politicians and military personnel are the main aim. The law could be changed soon so that an arrest warrant has to be approved by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

There was the usual mention by other participants of Israeli apartheid before Baroness Tonge opened her heart:

“I have found as a Parliamentarian I can work my butt off going around the country trying to spread the word. In Parliament if I stick to Palestine and what is going on in Palestine it’s ok. But if you want to question why Israel is doing it or what Israel is up to you really, really, really do run a great risk. And I’m a prime example. I’ve been thrown off the front benches and have lost count of the amount of times I have been reprimanded and the Board of Deputies of British Jews have complained about me because I have questioned what Israel is up to and what the lobby is up to. That’s all. And this is the problem all Parliamentarians have. If you want a political career, you stay clear of Israel.”

But the Baroness might recall that her sacking in 2004 was not for questioning Israel but for saying that she would become a suicide bomber if she were a Palestinian.

And similarly with her more recent sacking when she ridiculously claimed that Israeli troops sent to Haiti after the earthquake were trafficking organs.

And still at that defence debate last friday she accused Israel of being the “cause of terrorism” and said the West’s treatment of Muslims was due to “Holocaust guilt” and the power of the pro-Israel lobby.

As Israel and its supporters have always argued, criticism of Israel’s policies is fine. Unfortunately the comments of many in the pro-Palestinian lobby are well outside the parameters of reasoned debate.

Baroness Tonge is still in denial about how warranted her sackings were.

16 responses to “Baroness Tonge still doesn’t get it!

  1. Richard
    I am running out of words to express my gratitude for the info I get from you.
    so today it is just Thank You!!!

  2. She’s voluntarily stuck in a kind of vortex of stupidity.

    She says something outrageous about Israel.

    She (rightly) gets condemned.

    She concludes this is not because what she said was outrageous, but because of some sort of Jewish plot.

    So she says something outrageous about Israel.

    She (rightly) gets condemned.

    And so on. The only person who is never to blame in her eyes is herself. In reality it is miraculous that such a dark character as her has managed to hang on to any degree of power or influence.

    There are some well-motivated, decent people who care sincerely about the Palestinians. Jenny Tonge is not one of them.

  3. PS – Great post, Richard. Your blog is my favourite in the world.

  4. It is so sad how Tonge’s loss of a daughter has affected her mentally in this way

  5. Well, sorry, I do condone such comparisons. That vile man was talking about 10,000 thugs (sorry, ‘angry Moslems’) attacking parliament. Reichstag fire, anyone?

    And Tonge understands only too well. Her agenda is unmistakable.

  6. Aaron
    I’d wish you either be more specific by for example saying that Tonge never vented on Israel before her personal tragedy
    either that or leave Tonge’s private predicament out of the picture.
    after all she isn’t affected enough to not lament her loss of status

  7. As someone who is ” Traditional Labour ” Politically – I’m not a big fan of the Liberal Democrats .

    But on a constructive level , I have just checked out the website of Liberal Democrat Friends Of Israel ( which can be found on the BLOGROLL to the right hand side of Richard’s Blog ) – it’s good that there are Liberal Democrats Who are willing to stand up & defend Israel within the party .

  8. I delight in telling lib Dems who come to my door that I would never vote for them, and that Ms Tonge’s continued presence in the Lords as a LibDem (what would it take to withdraw the whip?) is a disgrace.

    She is actually ill.

  9. Adam, same here. And I have emailed Clegg to that effect.

    It certainly has occurred to me to wonder whether she is ill or simply evil.

  10. Yoni
    even if she is ill, her stuff must have been in her somewhere, mustn’t it?

    based on my grandfather’s “teachings” I might, once dementia got to me, spout terrible stuff about Catholics … and based on my own experience terrible stuff about sneering snobs from academia … but about Jews?
    I must have heard a lot against them too but none of it found sustenance in later life in soberly observed incidences.

  11. either that or leave Tonge’s private predicament out of the picture.

    What Silke said. It is both too simple and distasteful to deprive Tonge of agency and responsibility. Her attitude predates this private tragedy. It is a little like calling Hitler a madman so we can put him in a special category safely away from wider accountability.

  12. “The way Israel behaves is just not kosher. Jewish people should be totally ashamed of themselves that they are not doing more to stop them. It’s absolutely disgusting…”

    http://hurryupharry.org/2010/02/13/defending-jenny/
    The above quote is very illuminating. Apart from her other views, Jenny clearly conflates ‘Israel’ with ‘the ‘Jewish people’ as a whole. She clearly doesn’t get it, Richard.

  13. Yoni, on reflection, I think she’s just evil.

  14. Amie (and to some extent Silke), you are barging through an open door. I wasn’t attempting to deny her agency.

  15. Penny, all Israel-haters are antisemites. You don’t ‘hate a country’. Nobody goes around saying ‘I hate Iran’, ‘I hate Syria’, ‘I hate China’.