Jenny Tonge Quits PSC

Jenny Tonge is no longer a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

After widespread reporting of her comments in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooting she was told to leave and promptly did so.

The Jewish News reports:

The former Liberal Democrat peer, who now sits as an independent, is known for her anti-Israel views, and has in the past been accused of antisemitism.

In a statement, the PSC said: “Baroness Tonge has offered to stand down as a patron of PSC. In agreeing with this course of action, PSC wishes to acknowledge the enormous work Baroness Tonge has done over many years to bring attention to the injustices suffered by the Palestinian people and to campaign for them to be brought to an end.”

In the aftermath of the massacre of 11 Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Baroness Tonge posted a comment on Facebook that suggested Israel’s policies and its treatment of the Palestinians could be contributing to a rise in anti Semitism generally. Baroness Tonge subsequently removed the post.”

PSC regards the original post to be deeply troubling. Whilst the post acknowledged that the killings were appalling and a criminal act, it risked being read as implying that antisemitism can only be understood in the context of a response to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Such a view risks justifying or minimising antisemitism.”

PSC understands antisemitism to be prejudice, hostility or hatred towards Jews as Jews. It is never to be condoned or justified. The killings in Pittsburgh were an appalling crime motivated by antisemitism and we stand shoulder to shoulder with Jewish communities in opposition to antisemitism and all other forms of racism.”

Following the announcement, Jenny Tonge again to Facebook, to say: “PSC are very worried about the furore surrounding my remarks following Pittsburgh and I have resigned to save them embarrassment!!!”

Underneath, anti-Zionist Jewish activist Tony Greenstein, who was expelled by Labour in 2018, commented:  “I suggest that you retract your resignation as nothing you said was in the least bit wrong. I am at present writing them a letter and now I know this will adjust it accordingly. Please retract your resignation“.