Jenny Tonge has called for an “inquiry” into the Haiti blood libel:
Baroness Tonge, the Liberal peer, said this week that Israel should set up an inquiry to disprove allegations that its medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims for use in transplants.
Her call has been sharply criticised by fellow LibDems, but party leader Nick Clegg has refused to act against her.
The organ theft claims were published last week in the Palestine Telegraph, an online journal based in Gaza of which Baroness Tonge is a patron.
In a statement to the JC, she said the Israel Defence Forces were “to be commended for their fantastic response to the Haitian earthquake”.
But she added: “To prevent allegations such as these — which have already been posted on YouTube — going any further, the IDF and the Israeli Medical Association should establish an independent inquiry immediately to clear the names of the team in Haiti.”
In June, Mr Clegg was challenged over his tolerance of Baroness Tonge after he pledged his opposition to antisemitism in an address to the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism.
Douglas Murray, of the Centre for Social Cohesion, asked when the LibDem leader would root out antisemitism in his own party.
Mr Clegg insisted that Baroness Tonge’s offensive remarks had all been made before he became leader, and that he would discipline her if she repeated such behaviour.
In September, he hedged his bet on Tonge this way:
“Can the comments of Jenny Tonge in the recent past be described as racist? No. You can call them wrong, you can call them daft, you can call them misguided. But that’s not the point. Can you call them racist? They are not.”
But he goes further: “I have to say, and I know this will be enormously unpopular for many readers of the Jewish Chronicle, but the sad thing is that Jenny Tonge says many other things that are worth listening to and are completely obscured by what has become polemicised. It does a disservice to her.”
This time round, it appears that calling for an “inquiry” into a foul blood libel does not count:
A spokesman for Mr Clegg said neither Baroness Tonge nor the Lib Dem leader gave the allegations “any credence whatsoever. We do not believe there is a need for an investigation and we understand why the idea would be offensive to the Jewish community”.