antisemitism,  UK Politics

Lord Wallace Defends Tonge

Lord Wallace Of Saltaire is the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats and spokesman for foreign affairs in the House of Lords.

Yesterday he delivered a speech that was so extraordinary some members of the Board of Deputies of British Jews decided to walk out.

As the Jewish Chronicle reports:

Lord Wallace, the Liberal Democrats’ deputy leader in the Lords, has defended Baroness Tonge’s “over-emotional approach” to Palestinian rights in a wide-ranging address to the Board of Deputies on Sunday.

He explained that she has not been expelled from the party because “we do sadly find the current Likud Party very intolerant of all criticism”.

His remarks prompted a number of Deputies to walk out in protest.

Baroness Tonge was sacked as Lib Dem spokesman on health in February after suggesting Israel should set up an inquiry to refute allegations that its rescue teams in Haiti were trafficking organs from earthquake victims.

This is a reference to the Haiti blood libel of Sameh Habeeb’s Palestine Telegraph, a vile antisemitic website. Jenny Tonge was its patron at the time. Does this matter to the Liberal Democrats? No. She is still listed as a patron today. Putting your name forward to boost Jew haters is just fine.

If there is a media outlet Lord Wallace has it in for, it is the Jewish Chronicle:

Lord Wallace, who is a LibDem spokesman on international affairs, told the Board: “She answered a deliberately provocative question from the Editor of the Jewish Chronicle… I think Jenny Tonge is over-emotional, mistaken.

“She did not say that body parts had been taken in Haiti…She was trapped by a question from the Jewish Chronicle which she should have known better than to answer.”

Baroness Tonge was in fact contacted by a JC reporter, by email, for her reaction to a news story in the Palestine Telegraph, an online journal based in Gaza of which Baroness Tonge is a patron.

“Deliberately provocative”? “Trapped”? Oh those devious Jews, asking questions when people openly despise them. Bad, bad Jews. Keep it up and you will be in trouble:

“We need to be extremely careful however and unfortunately some people within the Israeli government and sometimes I think the Jewish Chronicle are not careful to distinguish between criticism of the Israeli Government and its policies and antisemitism and it’s very important to keep those things distinct…Don’t use the label ‘antisemitic’ to criticise people who criticise Israel. It’s very dangerous and it’s not good for the future of the Jewish community.”

You see, Lord Wallace has high expectations of Jews, I mean Israelis, who are supposed to be better than “third world” savages:

Lord Wallace said that the “collective punishment of the Gaza is not acceptable”; that he had met some members of Hamas willing “to accept the legitimacy of Israel”: and that as a democracy Israel should be held to higher standards than “uncivilised countries in the Third World”.

Hey, he even has “Jewish friends”:

On the issue of universal jurisdication, the LibDem peer said: “We are strong supporters of international law and the whole issue of international law does raise major problems for us and the way in which the Goldstone Report was handled by the Israeli Government did raise a number of problems for many of us including many of my Jewish friends within Liberal Democrats

Do read the whole article.