Baroness Tonge, who was forced to resign from the Liberal Democrat Party in the House of Lords over antisemitic remarks in 2012, has once again tried to hold Jews to account for ‘crimes’ she perceives Israel to have committed.
Speaking in the House of Lords today, Baroness Tonge blamed Israel for the rise of extreme Islamism and ISIS. She then went on to say that Israel did not deserve the support of British Jews, but that Jews nonetheless had a special responsibility to stop the Israeli government “destroying…the Middle East and the wider world”.
Tonge also claimed that Palestinian terrorist groups have a “justified grudge” against Israel, effectively defending the terrorism that is aimed at Jewish people in Israel and around the world by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organisations.
In January last year we condemned Baroness Tonge for submitting a written question in the House of Lords which asked the government “to encourage Jewish faith leaders in the United Kingdom publicly to condemn settlement building by Israel and to make clear their support for universal human rights.”
Baroness Tonge has a long history of making these sorts of remarks. It is despicable to see her continuing to use the House of Lords to try to make demands of Jewish people. Dictating to Jews what their relationship should be with the Jewish state of Israel is unacceptable, and the definition of antisemitism clearly states that it is antisemitic to hold Jews “collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.”
Having previously suggested an investigation into supposed Israeli harvesting of human organs, which is the modern-day incarnation of the mediaeval antisemitic blood libel, Baroness Tonge is once again claiming that British Jews are the ones with unacceptable opinions on Israel.
We cannot expect Baroness Tonge to apologise, as she means it, and has a long history of antisemitism which has seen her forced to resign from the Parliamentary Liberal Democrat Party. It is now time for her to be expelled from the Liberal Democrat Party entirely, not just the parliamentary party, and it is also high time she was expelled from the House of Lords.
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