Jenny Tonge confirmed today that she is retiring on 19 February. No doubt she will still spew her antisemitic bile about Israel but at least she will no longer have a Parliamentary platform. And the taxpayer will no longer have to meet her £305 per day attendance allowance (plus travel expenses and subsidised restaurant facilities). And if she wants to book a room for an antisemitic meeting she will have to pay for it.
My petition to expel her from the Lords was started about five years ago and has 11,000 signatures.
Other relevant blogs by me are here here here here here and here. I’ve complained about her to the Lords Standards Commissioner at least four times but no action was taken.
The Lords Code of Conduct states that ‘Save for paragraphs 17, 18 and 19, the Code does not extend to members’ performance of duties unrelated to parliamentary proceedings, or to their private lives.’ (these paragaraphs forbid members to act as paid parliamentary consultants). This is ludicrous and needs amending. If a pharmacist has to meet professional standards outside the workplace too, why should members of the House of Lords be able to indulge in antisemitism?
As fate would have it I wrote a fresh complaint to the Commissioner yesterday.
As a retirement gift to Tonge, I’ll publish it here.
3 February 2021
Dear Ms Scott-Moncrieff
There is a definition of antisemitism which is accepted by the government and all major political parties. The House of Lords can therefore be assumed to accept it too. It is the IHRA definition of antisemitism. You can find it here.
The examples form part of the definition.
I request that you open an investigation into Baroness Tonge’s conduct. I submit that she has failed to act on personal honour because she has repeatedly made antisemitic comments or posts, as judged by the yardstick of the IHRA definition. Here are six examples.
1. Tonge gives credibility to antisemitic blood libel
In 2010 Israel was the first country to send assistance to Haiti after the earthquake. Antisemites propagated a conspiracy theory that the Israelis giving assistance were stealing body parts from the dead to sell on the open market for use in transplant surgery. This is an antisemitic allegation (IHRA: ‘Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis’). A politician acting on their personal honour would have denounced this conspiracy theory. Tonge gave it credibility by maliciously suggesting there should be a public inquiry into the allegation.
2. Tonge blames the ‘pro-Israel lobby’ for the result of the 2019 general election
Tonge commented on Facebook ‘The Chief Rabbi must be dancing in the street. The pro-Israel lobby won our General Election by lying about Jeremy Corbyn.’
88 House of Lords members called for her to withdraw this disgraceful claim.
This is antisemitic.
IHRA: ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective’.
3. Tonge calls Israel ‘America’s puppet master’
In a debate in the Lords in March 2020 Tonge called Israel ‘America’s puppet master’. This is antisemitic. IHRA: ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective’.
4. Tonge celebrates the death of Sheldon Adelson
Sheldon Adelson was a major philanthropist and a strong (Jewish) supporter of Israel. During the pandemic he maintained salaries for thousands of workers at his Las Vegas properties despite a massive decline in revenue. Tonge celebrated his death in January 2021.
The only reason she celebrated his death was because he was a strong supporter of Israel. Celebrating the death of a Jewish philanthropist because he supports Israel is profoundly antisemitic. How can anyone possibly maintain she ‘acts on her honour’?
IHRA: ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews’.
5. Tonge suggests IDF soldier who nearly lost her life to a terrorist is lying
On 26 January a young Israel Defence Force soldier from London, Corporal Leanne Harush, managed to hold a terrorist back when he tried to stab her three times. The Commander of her force shot the attacker dead in coordination with Leanne. The assailant was identified as Atallah Muhammed Rayan (17). There were multiple reliable reports of the incident.
But Tonge cast doubt on the reports, implying Harush was a liar. To suggest that a Jewish IDF soldier who came within inches of death is lying – in other words, Tonge alleges that Atallah Muhammed Rayanthat was simply shot for no reason – is despicable and antisemitic,
IHRA: ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews’
6. Tonge suggests in the Lords that Israel causes antisemitism
In the recent Lords debate on antisemitism (21 January, the link contains a link to Hansard) Tonge suggested that Israel causes antisemitism. ‘They are victims because of the illegal actions of the Israeli Government. Please will our Government investigate the connection?’
This is despicable and antisemitic. Israel was created BECAUSE of centuries of antisemitism. It is a refuge for persecuted Jews.
IHRA: ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective’
I request that you begin an investigation into Baroness Tonge’s failure to act on personal honour. A member of the House of Lords who crosses the line into antisemitic discourse so frequently cannot possibly be viewed as ‘acting on their personal honour’.
Update: The Mail links Tonge’s decision to retire with my petition, which has 11,000 signatures. Just waiting for the first one to say that Zionists control the House of Lords………….