13 November ’10
Jenny Tonge – who sits in the House of Lords on the Lib Dem benches as Baroness Tonge, having been given a life peerage in 2005 after several years as an MP – is a veteran detester and demoniser of the world’s only Jewish State, and as a result has earned the epithet “Jihad Jenny”. In 2004 the then Lib Dem leader, Charles Kennedy, sacked her as a party spokesperson after she had refused to apologise for saying of Palestinian suicide bombers: “If I had to live in that situation – and I say that advisedly – I might just consider becoming one myself.”
In 2006 Tonge made headlines when she announced: “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.” Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell – himself no great friend of Israel – called her remarks “unacceptable” and possessing “clear antisemitic connotations”.
An all-party group of members of the House of Lords led by former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey noted that her comments “evoked a classic anti-Jewish conspiracy theory”. She retorted that Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer’s article “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” that appeared in the 23 March 2006 issue of The London Review of Books – whose “as-a-Jew” editor Mary-Kay Wilmers is on record, incidentally, as describing herself as “unambiguously hostile to Israel” – bore out her contention that the “‘Israel lobby’ had a disproportionate voice in Anglo-American foreign policy”.
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