Jenny Tonge, who Richmond LibDems have put front and centre of their by-election campaign, has hosted an event in parliament in which Jews were blamed for the Holocaust. In the video below Tonge listens and does not interject when an audience member claims Jews “antagonised Hitler” and that the Holocaust was caused by “Judea declaring war on Germany”. Another audience member said “If anybody is antisemitic, it’s Israelis themselves”. The Israeli embassy say the comments are “hard to believe”.
Yesterday Sussex Friends of Israel posted the following very short video taken at an event held at the British Parliament. What is fun is, it led to a conversation between Jihad Jenny Tonge and Kay Wilson:
I’d certainly love to see Kay and Jenny sit down in the House of Lords for a cup of tea. Do you think we can make that happen?
Here is a longer video of an absolutely vile piece of Jew hatred which the participants happily sat and listened to without interruption.
Man says Jews were responsible for the Holocaust; panel thanks man, BDS is mentioned, general applause pic.twitter.com/3FbBNoXUjm
— Yiftah Curiel (@yiftahc) October 26, 2016
David Collier has a great and detailed write up of the event on his blog:
Yesterday there was an event at the House of Lords, put together by the Palestine Return Council (PRC). The evening was hosted by Jenny Tonge.
There were no tickets remaining, but I had to go. The PRC and I have history. It was at one of their events that Gerald Kaufman told tales of Jewish money and Israeli conspiracies. Jenny Tonge needs little introduction. I wanted in. A little back story, a tale or two spun along the way, and I had successfully gate-crashed a party at the Houses of Parliament. Soon I was sitting in the front row of committee room 2A.
As it turned out Tonge was tame, but there was still much to shake me. I go to so many of these events and I am still trying to formulate a complete picture of what it is I am seeing. For example, there is more antisemitism in the air than there was 18 months ago. Much more. I see it on campus, I saw buckets of it at a recent event at Lichfield. I saw it last night at Westminster. A definite increase. But why?
Behind their pay wall, The Times has a substantial write up:
Jews blamed for Holocaust at ‘shameful’ House of Lords event
Israel last night said an event at the House of Lords where Jews were blamed for the Holocaust was “hard to believe”.
A meeting hosted by Baroness Tonge, a former Liberal Democrat MP who sits as an independent, provoked concern about the level of antisemitic discourse in mainstream politics. She was launching a campaign for Britain to apologise on the hundredth anniversary of the Balfour declaration of 1917, which pledged support for a home for the Jewish people in Palestine.
A spokesman for the Israeli embassy described the House of Lords gathering as “a shameful event, which gave voice to racist tropes against Jews and Israelis alike”.
An audience member was applauded after suggesting that Hitler only decided to kill all the Jews after he was provoked by anti-German protests led by a rabbi in Manhattan. The speaker, described on a blog as an ultra-orthodox Jew, said that in the 1930s Rabbi Stephen Wise, whom he described as a heretic, “made the boycott on Germany, the economic boycott . . . which antagonised Hitler, over the edge, to then want to systematically kill Jews wherever he could find them”.
The speaker went on: “As opposed to . . . make Germany free of Jews, a Jew-free land. He became a madman after this boycott. Judea declares war on Germany. In Manhattan they had 100,000 people marching in the economic boycott in 1935, it was the same heretic rabbi who caused that.”
The speaker also said that Rabbi Wise told the New York Times in 1905 that there were “six million bleeding and suffering reasons to justify Zionism”. He urged the audience to note the number. This famous quotation is regularly used by Holocaust deniers to suggest that the figure of six million Jews later killed by the Nazis was a myth.
The speaker compared Israel to Islamic State, and said the best way to atone for the declaration was to prevent such things happening in future. “Just as the so-called Jewish state in Palestine doesn’t come from Judaism, this Islamic State in Syria is nothing to do with Islam. It is a perversion of Islam just as Zionism is a perversion of Judaism.”
Another audience member suggested that the “Zionist movement” had power over the British parliament comparable to the power which was once believed to have been wielded internationally by Jews.
They said: “Chaim Weizmann [a founder of Israel] did a confidence trick back in 1917/1918. He made the British establishment think that world Jewry had power that it just didn’t have. The trouble is, 100 years on, I am not talking about world Jewry, I am talking about that segment which we called the Zionist movement, has that power and it has that over our own parliament.”
David Collier, a blogger who attended the meeting in a Lords committee room, wrote last night: “This is the transference of classic antisemitic tropes, from the hand of the Jew to the hands of the Zionist.”
Another audience member was applauded after saying: “If anybody is antisemitic, it’s Israelis themselves.”
Lady Tonge made no attempt to challenge the provocative comments.
Yiftah Curiel, spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in London, tweeted video excerpts from a live feed of the event which was broadcast on the Facebook page of the London-based Palestine Return Centre. Mr Curiel said: “Hard to believe, but this happened this week at House of Lords.”
When an audience member spoke up for Israel as a democracy, Jafar Ramini, a campaigner, said: “What a difference between the Jew and the Zionist.”
Lady Tonge has run into trouble for her own anti-Israeli outbursts and resigned the Lib Dem whip in 2012 after claiming that the state of Israel was “not going to be there for ever”.