Anti-Semitic British lawmaker suspended

British lawmaker Jenny Tonge quits Liberal Democratic party after it suspends her over her latest anti-Semitic escapade.

Elad Benari ,

British parliament
British parliament
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British lawmaker Jenny Tonge has been suspended from her Liberal Democrat party over her latest anti-Israel rhetoric, JTA reported on Thursday.

The party suspended Tonge, who serves in the upper house of the Parliament, after she hosted an event earlier this week at the House of Lords that featured critical observations about the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which the United Kingdom committed to viewing favorably the establishment of a Jewish national home in what would later become the British Mandate on Palestine.

Participants at the event said that some in attendance made anti-Semitic statements, including blaming Jews or Zionists for the Holocaust. Participants also reportedly drew comparisons between Israel and Islamic terrorists, according to JTA.

"The party has suspended the membership of Jenny Tonge. We take her comments very seriously and have acted accordingly,” The Daily Telegraph quoted a party spokesperson as saying.

Later on Thursday, reported The Guardian, Tonge quit the party altogether following her suspension.

The event in question is just the latest in a series of occurrences in which Tonge has been involved in or made anti-Israel remarks.

Just last week, she blamed Israel's treatment of Palestinian Arabs for the rise of anti-Semitism in Britain.

In July, Tonge said that “the treatment of the Palestinians by Israel is a major cause of the rise of extreme Islamism and Daesh,” using the Arab-language acronym for the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization.

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.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, which has called repeatedly for Tonge’s dismissal, welcomed her suspension on Thursday.

"She is a repeat offender, propagating the worst anti-Semitic tropes over and over again,” Jonathan Arkush, the board's president, said in a statement quoted by JTA.

Gideon Falter, the chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism charity, also called the suspension a step in the right direction but called for Tonge's expulsion from the Liberal Democrat party, which has eight seats among the 650 in the House of Commons, the British lower house, and 104 out of 813 in the upper house, the House of Lords.

“Baroness Tonge specializes in baiting Jews and her ongoing membership in the House of Lords and the Liberal Democrats is a disgrace to both institutions,” Falter was quoted as having said.



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