UK lawmaker: Israel responsible for anti-Semitism

Jenny Tonge, a well-known critic of Israel, asserts that Israel's treatment of Palestinians is the cause of anti-Semitism in Britain.

Elad Benari ,

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A British lawmaker who is a well-known critic of Israel is blaming Israel's treatment of Palestinian Arabs for the rise of anti-Semitism in the country.

Jenny Tonge, a House of Lords member from the Liberal Democrat party, took to Facebook on Monday after the publication of a report which determined that the Labour party’s leadership is failing to confront seriously anti-Semitism in its ranks.

In her post, Tonge quoted a letter which she said she had sent to The Guardian newspaper and which the paper hadn't published.

She wrote that the report on anti-Semitism should be welcomed, “but it would have been more useful if it had investigated the causes of anti-Semitism too.”

“It is difficult to believe that a 75% increase in anti-Semitism it reports, have been committed by people who simply hate Jewish people for no reason,” continued Tonge, claiming that “these incidents are reflecting the disgust amongst the general public of the way the government of Israel treats Palestinians and manipulates the USA and ourselves to take no action against that country's blatant disregard of International Law and the Geneva Conventions.”

“Added to this,” continued Tonge, “is Israel's adoption of the official title of the 'Jewish State of Israel'. This conflates Israel with Jewish people here,whether or not they support the Zionist State and many do not.”

Tonge is known for her controversial statements against Israel. This past summer, she accused Israel of being a major cause in the rise of jihadism worldwide.

In 2004, she said that she would consider becoming a suicide bomber if she were an Arab living in the Palestinian Authority.

In 2006 Tonge said that “the pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they've probably got a grip on our party.”

In 2010, Tonge accused Israel of being the “cause of terrorism” and said that the West's treatment of Muslims was caused by what she called “Holocaust guilt” and the “power of the pro-Israel lobby”.

And in 2012, she resigned from her position of party whip, a task equivalent in the United States to speaker, after she spoke about Israel’s demise at an event promoting the boycott of the Jewish state.