Jenny Tonge faces ‘show-down’ with whips today

Jenny TongeThe BBC reports that “A Liberal Democrat peer is to face party whips over claims she repeated remarks critical of the political influence of the “pro-Israeli lobby”… The party has the power to withdraw the whip (removing her from the Lib Dem group of peers in the House of Lords) after the hearing on Monday, if it is unsatisfied with her explanation.”

Following Jenny’s rebuke by the party leader last month which prompted a heated debate on Lib Dem Voice, Baroness Tonge contacted us to say: “My original response which was on the letter page of Lib Dem news 29th Sept still stands. I am not, never have been anti Semitic or anti any other group. I am a Liberal.”

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26 Comments

  • I have been old enough to vote in 3 elections. Each time I voted lib-dem. After previous outbursts of that racist hag I ignored them, but she won’t shut up. Consequently I would now vote for anyone instead of the party that includes that David Duke in a dress.

    When I think of cringeworthy Der Sturmer-like nonsense like this I do not think of Liberalism. The lib dems seem to want to appease the more unpleasent end of Islam whilst ignoring the liberals from that community. Disgrace. Disgrace!

    Oaten! Opik! Get out of this rotten party. Join one of the others. The lib-dems are now sub-Respect. Gladstone is wincing in heaven.

  • Mark Pack Doesn't Always Win Elections 27th Nov '06 - 9:37pm

    Never mind Gladestone, I imagine Jo Grimmond is turning in his grave! True liberals vote Conservative…

  • Angus J Huck 27th Nov '06 - 9:59pm

    I have managed to extract the words which have caused the offence. Here they are:-

    “The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a grip on our party.”

    I don’t think anyone can take issue with the existence of a pro-Israeli lobby; there are lobbies which promote a wide variety of causes. What is problematical with Jenny’s statement is its baldness. Far better to tell us who is involved in the pro-Israeli lobby, how much influence they exert, on whom, and by what means.

    Nothing Jenny has said can reasonably be construed as “anti-Semitic”. After all, we don’t call critics of De Valera or Gerry Adams “anti-Irish”, do we? Or opponents of Mr Ahmedinedjad “anti-Iranian”.

    Let Jenny say what she likes. The day we silence dissenting opinions in the Liberal Democrats is the day I leave. I don’t care what Mark Oaten does, quite frankly (!!).

  • I don’t vote Lib Dem, but am always interested in their ideas – some are very reasoned. But what Tonge has said would, I imagine, go against the fundamental beliefs of the party (i.e tolerance, equality, not stirring up hatred). Although I am well aware that there are freedom of speech issues, I believe she is now the ‘Galloway’ of the party and Ming should show her the door. No doubt ‘Respect’ would be her next destination – then you would really hear what she truly believed. To all true liberals out there, she is tarnishing the good name of your party.

  • Angus J Huck 27th Nov '06 - 10:32pm

    Oh, come off it, Davros! What a load of baloney! Jenny Tonge has spoken up for the Palestinian side in the Middle East conflict. Supporters of Israel have taken great offence at this, and some are seeking to caricature Jenny’s views as “anti-Semitic” (see above for some OTT examples) – along with Arthur Koestler, Norman Finkelstein, Daniel Barenboim, etc.

    I have met Jenny Tonge on several occasions. She is a gentle, mild-mannered lady who cares passionately about injustice. She has virutally nothing in common with (Dis)Respect, George Galloway, Der Sturmer or David Duke. Those mouthing off this preposterous hyperpole are basically making prats of themselves.

    By the way, those with long memories will recall that in the early 1980s a certain David Irving published a magazine called “Focal Point”. He publicised it by flyposting Central London (which is how I got to hear of it). One of those issues carried a headline, “The Best of Begin”, and praised the action which Israel was then taking against Lebanon.

    Psychotic racist nuts often think alike, even if they support opposing teams.

  • I left the Lib Dems after 27 years very active membership after Jenny was forced to resign. I actually heard her speak, giving a well balanced typically Liberal talk (she was the only speaker who asked for the plight of the Israelis to be considered for example). What happened is a good example of how the pro Israeli lobby bullies politicians and human rights activists should they “dare” to highlight Israel’s very full in your face racism (backed up by killing a lot of people).

    Since then I have been to Palestine twice. Israelis are overwhelmingly hideously racist. They have built an Apartheid wall, their army (as Lebanon so sadly showed once again) does routinely murder civilians and a horrifyingly large number of children.

    Until you have been to the Holy Land and personally borne witness the the mindless inhumanity and barbarity of this State, I would keep quiet. It is more vile than you could imagine if you had a year of sundays to think it all up.

    Please go – we are being conned big time.

  • And two postings which perfectly illustrate the sterility that usually characterises this debate and the fundamentalism and idiocy that both sides are capable of exhibiting.

  • Rob Fenwick 29th Nov '06 - 7:53am

    One of those posts has been removed – I’d like to make it clear that was done not because of the viewpoint it took, but because it contained what could be construed as a threat, and that crosses the line of free speech.

  • hywelmorgan 29th Nov '06 - 2:57pm

    Sort of makes my post above look slightly odd now 🙂 If you want you can pull that (and this one)

  • So what happened then?

  • “I’d like to make it clear that was done not because of the viewpoint it took”

    That’d be a first. My posts are never approved by the moderator.

  • Derek Rutter 2nd Dec '06 - 11:52am

    Once again Jenny Tonge is being critised for being truthful The Board of Deputies of British Jews, have once again, played the anit-Semitism card, against anyone whom rightly is critical of the pro-Isrealilobby.The former archbishop of Canterbury, Greorge Carey has no right to be critical of anyone, he had Terry Waite lie to the whole world, and accepted bribes from the Thatcher government to hide the truth.
    Derek Rutter

  • Derek Rutter 2nd Dec '06 - 11:57am

    Hi Jenny, See that in this world where lies are proclaimed
    as truth, you are once again being victimised for your truthfulness.

    Love to you,

    Derek Rutter

  • I missed what “Anonymous” said, but you should not have censored him. Isn’t freedom of speech a pillar of our Christian civilisation?
    I am sure he would not have been censored in the website of the Israeli paper “Haaretz”. Why don’t you try airing your views there, “Anonymous”?
    Regarding inhumanity and barbarity, OK Ian, Saudi Arabia is a good candidate.
    But there are a lot of strong contenders: Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Darfur, Ethiopia, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, et al, et al….
    Not many Lib-Dems there, alive and free, that is! Not many Liberals, not many democrats! But absolutely no reason for Jenny Tonge to worry about the state of democracy in the Land of Islam! Don’t the Muslims deserve a better life, Jenny?
    Much better to pour her venom on the only democracy of the region, what’s more the only trustworthy strategic ally of the West, Israel.
    Let us count our blessings and the joy to live in a free and Christian Europe where anybody, including mad laughable people can say anything, at the risk of becoming an embarrassment to their parties and the laughing stock of the political world!!! But please, Jenny, don’t blow yourself up! We will miss good occasions to laugh when you die!

  • hywelmorgan 2nd Dec '06 - 5:26pm

    “Isn’t freedom of speech a pillar of our Christian civilisation?”

    [cough] Blaspemy laws [/cough]

  • Angus J Huck 3rd Dec '06 - 1:17am

    Who is “De Laval”? Any relation to the French Quisling whose minnions rounded up Jews for the Gestapo?

    One or two points need correcting.

    Israel cannot reasonably be described as a”democracy”, in the sense that the UK is a democracy. That is because the indigenous Palestinian people who were ethnically cleansed in 1948 do not have the vote.

    Then we get the strange assumption that because Jenny criticises Israel she also supports or condones human rights violations by Arab and other Moslem governments. Does Monsieur Laval have any evidence to back this up?

    In what way is Israel an ally of the “West”? Indeed, what is the “West”? Certainly, Israel is an ally of the United States and its oil industry and military-industrial complex. But is that the same thing as the “West”? It seems to me that the existence of Israel, and the unresolved conflict which this creates, actually threatens our security and well-being.

    But let’s not be too critical of the Americans. After all, it is the United States, and only the United States, which prevents Israel imposing a final solution on what remains of Palestine.

  • Angus,
    You should not allow your obsessive hatred of the Jews and Israel distort your perception of the world, and your judgment.
    The 1.6 million Israeli Arabs (Palestinians) do have the vote. They always had…since the state of Israel was created in 1948. (They did not under the British mandate).
    By the way, they were only half a million fifty years ago. So much for “ethnic cleansing”…
    They can vote for their own parties, they have their own legislators as well, and enjoy full democratic rights. Much more than their brothers in the independent Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza!
    If, after the Paris bombings, the 9/11 outrage, the Madrid bombings, the London bombings of 7/7, the Bali bombings, the Egyptian bombing, the Kenya bombing, the Mumbai bombings, the Moscow bombings, you feel threatened by….Israel, you should definitely see a shrink!
    You probably will have the privilege of sitting next to your “gentle, mild-mannered” lady, “Kamikaze Bomber” JENNY in the waiting room.

    PS. By the way, you spell “Minnions” : “Minions” with one “n”, or “Mignons” if you want to be posh. And it was Pierre Laval, not “de Laval” that was heading the French Vichy government. He was neither an aristocrat, nor a gentleman, but definitely a common fascist, and a Jew-hater who probably would have agreed with you on many issues. Interestingly enough, he was first a pacifist and a socialist before turning fascist. History repeats itself…
    A few details that needed to be corrected…

  • Joachim Martillo 3rd Dec '06 - 3:55pm

    Walt&Mearsheimer’s analysis of the organized Jewish/Zionist Lobby does not even include the movie industry, on which Jack Shaheen has done extensive interest and on which I have independent analysis specifically with regard to the Palestinian question. Moreover, W&M do not cover the marginalization effort directed against Muslim and Arab Americans of which I have extensive documentation, nor do they cover the gatekeeper effect that Alison Weir, Daniel Dor and Laura Leff have covered in various ways. Melani McAlister describes the interrelation between pop culture and foreign policy from a slightly different angle in Epic Encounters. The organized Jewish/Zionist community also uses Holocaust indoctrination to manipulate the USA and Germany. Arch-Zionist Haim Saban (owner of The Power Rangers) has used his investments in German media to influence German elections at critical junctures.

    The power of the organized Jewish/Zionist Lobby is a major issue that politicians really should be able address without being accused of anti-Semitism. Either we have a civil dialogue or an uncivil dialogue on the question, and flinging accusations of anti-Semitism is simply uncivil.

    Joachim

  • Joachim Martillo 3rd Dec '06 - 4:02pm

    Archbishop Carey, who led the attack on Tonge, is a real piece of work.

    From the Wikipedia entry on Carey.

    As Archbishop, he was active in inter-faith work, and worked for better relations with Muslims, calling for “deeper dialogue” between the two faiths. However, on 25 March 2004, after his retirement, he made a strongly worded speech attacking lack of democracy and innovation in Muslim countries. He alleged a lack of critical scholarship toward the Qur’an and said that moderate Muslims should “resist strongly” the take-over of Islam by extremists. He also criticised the majority of Muslims, who do not support extremists, for not denouncing them. This speech was widely interpreted as an outspoken attack on Islam. Carey defended it saying “Those who took the trouble to read my lecture will have noted that I was as critical of the West, of Christianity and, for that matter, also sharply critical of Israel’s policy with respect to Palestine.”

    Apparently democracy to Carey does not include frank and open discussion of the behavior and tactics of Israel-supports.

    In February 2006, he attracted more controversy by declaring in a letter to the Times that a General Synod motion supported by his successor in favour of disinvestment in a company active in the occupied territories of Israel made him “ashamed to be an Anglican”. In September 2006, it was revealed that the same phrase, “ashamed to be an Anglican”, had been used by the Nobel prize for peace laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, privately to Dr Carey in 1998 in relation to the Lambeth conference resolution 1.10 against homosexual practice.

    Someone should send Carey a copy of President Carter’s new book on Israel and Apartheid.

  • Angus J Huck 3rd Dec '06 - 5:10pm

    De Laval is a LIAR. No wonder he hides behind a pseudonym, because he is a cringing, whimpering, snivelling coward. For the record, I do not have an obsessive hatred of Jews. I actually have a record of anti-racism. That includes defying instructions of managers to exclude ethnic minorities from interview shortlists. Perhaps Mr Laval will give me his name and address. If he does, I will sue him, bankrupt him and deprive him of everything he possesses. After all, that’s what the Israelis did to the Palestinians, so he can’t complain. Whatever did this blog do to attract this lowlife?

    For those who are interested, Laval’s history is straight out of the Zionist Noddy Guide of 30 years ago. Even the Israeli Embassy no longer makes these ridiculous claims. Laval’s anti-Gentilism knows no bounds.

    Hitler would have found plenty of work for Mr Laval. He would have put him straight to work in the Propaganda Ministry assisting Goebbels.

  • Angus J Huck 3rd Dec '06 - 5:38pm

    Joachim, you have rightly pointed out that the intellectual lightweight, Carey, is a homophobic bigot. Yet Carey has a seat in the House of Lords where he can mouth his objectionable opinions. Formerly, he had it as a bishop, presently as a life peer courtesy of Tony Blair. Archbishops of Canterbury have been a motley lot. It isn’t so long ago that we had Geoffrey Fisher, a sadistic child-abusing pervert and chain-smoker. Fisher walked out in a huff when his bishops eventually plucked up the mettle to stand up to him (I think the issue was the compulsory wearing of gaiters).

    Isn’t it time we disestablished the Church of England? I am not an Anglican. Nor is any member of my family. Does this make me a second-class citizen? The fact I don’t belong to the “national” church?

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