A petition is demanding that Baroness Jenny Tonge, an anti-Israel activist, be expelled from the House of Lords for stoking anti-Semitism.
Jenny Tonge is a member of the British House of Lords (the second – unelected – chamber). She is a ‘baroness.’ She was formerly an MP for the Liberal Democrat Party.
Tonge has a long history not just of hostility to Israel but of making statements which stoke antisemitism.
She has said that Israel causes antisemitism; has proposed that the IDF and the Israeli Medical Association establish an inquiry into antisemitic allegations that an emergency Israeli medical team in Haiti, after the 2010 earthquake, was stealing body parts; and has said that “Israel is not going to be there forever in its present form.”
The Liberal Democrat Party has progressively distanced itself from her. After her Haiti remark, she was removed her from her position as the party’s health spokeswoman in the House of Lords.
Baroness Tonge chaired a meeting in Parliament where attendees compared Israel to ISIS and claimed Jews ‘provoked’ their own genocide. She failed to speak out against this antisemitic libel. As a result, she was suspended by the Liberal Democrats and then resigned from the party (27 October 2016).
In short, Baroness Tonge abuses her privileged position in the House of Lords (paid by taxpayer money) to denigrate Israel and harass Jewish people.
Most recently, she posted an antisemitic article on her Facebook page which falsely claimed that the President of Israel made antisemitic Jew/Nazi comparisons.
And on 2 February 2017, the Community Security Trust (CST – the organisation which protects Jews in the UK), sent its 2016 Antisemitic Incidents Report to all MPs and members of the House of Lords.
The very last straw was Baroness Tonge’s email to the Community Security Trust on 2 February, in response to being sent the 2016 Antisemitic Incidents Report. She wrote:
“Do you NEVER consider that the actions of the Israeli government are contributing towards this rise? Sadly, many people do not distinguish between Jewish people and Mr Netanyahu and his colleagues. If CST and the Board of Deputies spoke up against the abuse if [sic] human rights, flagrant disregard for International law and the Geneva Convention they would do much to improve the situation there.
“The perpetual victim mentality of your organisation is counter productive and does not help real decent Jewish people.
“We want a country free of all racism.”
Never before has anyone managed to pack so many offences against the Jewish People into less than 100 words………
The Commissioner for Standards is the official in the House of Lords who investigates allegations of breaches of the Code of Conduct by members of the House.
Baroness Tonge is currently under investigation by the Commissioner for allegedly breaking the rules on the use of House facilities. However, this is a relatively minor offence and is not likely to result in suspension, let alone expulsion.
But the Commissioner is refusing to investigate one of the most recent cases documented above (the postings on Facebook). The Commissioner says that the Code of Conduct “does not extend to members’ performance of duties unrelated to parliamentary proceedings; and it is outside my remit to consider complaints about members’ expression of views or opinions. I interpret that as covering members’ posts on social media.”
We therefore have written a petition to try to persuade the Commissioner to change her mind and also investigate Tonge’s offensive response to the CST.
In five days it has attracted over 500 signatures. Please read it, sign it and to share it with like-minded friends and family.