An Open Letter from Baroness Jenny Tonge

I must be allowed to correct the allegation made about me by Andy McSmith (“0ops, the Baroness did it again“, 29 February). When I was asked 18 months ago by the Jewish Chronicle to comment on YouTube postings that the IDF were stealing body parts from victims of the earthquake in Haiti, I congratulated the IDF for their swift and generous response to that disaster and said that to stop any such rumours spreading, they should have a swift inquiry into the allegations. Nothing more.

This was interpreted by the Israel Lobby as an accusation of “blood libel” which, in turn, was believed by Nick Clegg. He then sacked me from the Party’s front bench without waiting to speak to me or hear the truth.

My remarks last week were at a meeting at Middlesex University which was constantly disrupted by abuse, mouthed obscenities and heckling from Zionists against all the speakers.

The Israeli government breaks International Law and the Geneva Convention and abuses the human rights of Palestinians in a brutal and humiliating way. The US supports them and despite words of condemnation our government and my party does nothing.

In this context, I noted that Israel was losing allies all over the Middle East following the Arab Spring and it is therefore appropriate to warn that country that its actions against the Palestinians threaten its survival in the long-term, especially when the influence of the US dwindles and the American people begin to get fed up with funding Israel’s activities.

Many people agree with me and have said so publicly. It is sad that Israel and its supporters do not listen.

Jenny Tonge
Independent Liberal Democrat
House of Lords