Had she solely been seeking solutions to the nastiness of anti-Semitism, then she may have been worth listening to. Unfortunately, Baroness Jenny Tonge’s obsession is not with the safety of Jewish people but with the vilification of Israel –hence her latest rant about “the causes of anti-Semitism”.
These causes, she said, include Israel’s “manipulation” of Western governments. Thanks for your concern, Jenny. We suspect that, far from the causes of anti-Semitism, you’ve just offered a definition of it.
Of course there is a link between Israel and anti-Semitism: when Israel engages in military activity, anti-Semitic incidents in the UK and elsewhere spike. But to blame Israel for anti-Semitism is to conveniently forget that people hated, attacked and killed Jews for thousands of years long before 1948.
That Tonge is wrong is self-evident. That she is still to be cast aside by the Liberal Democrats is not. The party of lofty ideals such as ‘reason’ and ‘liberty’ has been slow to place ethnic, racial and/or religious tolerance on the same plain. And yet, notwithstanding arguments of fairness, you’d have thought the Lib Dems would by now have recognised a final straw when they saw one. And you’d have thought their blindness to the offence Tonge routinely causes thousands of Jews would be challenged by the realisation that many of those Jews are now disenfranchised by Labour, and looking for a new political home.
The signs are that Tim Farron might now finally be prepared to wake up and bid goodbye to a baroness verging on bigotry.