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.