Today in Parliament with Mark D’Arcy

M D’A:
“good evening. This is Mark D’Arcy at Westminster, where a peer who quit the Lib dems renews her attack on Israel.”

J T:
“I am not antisemitic. But I am anti-injustice.”M D’A:
“Plus border tensions between parliament and the civil service as the Sir Humphreys insist they answer to ministers, not to MPs[…] but first tonight, former Liberal democrat peer Lady Tonge who quit the party whip in the Lords after being told to withdraw criticisms of Israel has spoke out during a debate on the Middle East. Lady Tonge attracted furious criticism when she said Israel would not be there forever, defended her comments.”

J T :
“I am not antisemitic. But I am anti-injustice. And I think the treatment of the Palestinians over the last six decades by Israel and the international community has been a gross injustice which has eaten away at peace in the Middle East and has served to fuel extreme Islamism and terrorism.”

M D’A:
“She said she accepted that Israel had a right to exist – within its 1967 borders, but she gave a warning that its actions were becoming more and more dangerous, and she claimed it was attempting to make life for Palestinians impossible.”

J T :
“Our government deals with these violations of international law by urging restraint, and expressing concern. They’re worthy sentiments my lords, but they do not stop the relentless ethnic cleansing, land grab, and what many people would describe as terrorism, by the Israeli Airforce with their targeted assassinations. And because of the pro Israel lobby bullying tactics against anyone who speaks the truth, Israel is allowed to act with impunity.”

M D’A:
“Later, winding up the debate the foreign office minister Lord Howell said that Israel suffered regular missile attacks from Palestinian enclaves, and retaliated with force. Lady Tonge intervened.”

J T:
“The raining of missiles on Southern Israel, from Gaza, always follows a targeted assassination by the Israel Airforce.”

M D’A:
“Lord Howell retorted by quoting the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu”

L H:
“If there’s quietness on one side there’ll be quietness on the other side. There were targeted assassinations, there are constant threats of the elimination of Israel, there are these repostes by rockets.”

M D’A:
“At that Lady Tonge threw up her hands in exasperation. The debate ranged across the hotspots of the Middle East …….”

It did indeed, and nobody joined the dots.

I’m not blaming the BBC for reporting this ill-informed rant by Tonge, I’m not even bothering to tell Mark D’Arcy that he oversimplified and thus misrepresented the real cause of Ms Tonge’s dismissal from the Lib Dems. I’m not even going to mention the blurb that describes the audience at the event during which she sat next to and applauded Ken O’Keefe, as “a university audience.”

What I am doing is blaming the BBC for creating an atmosphere in Britain where a selective, fallacious and mischievous speech of this nature can pass virtually unchallenged in the House of Lords.

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To

That outrageous interview on Today was but a mere chapter in the Jenny Tonge saga.
She may not have anticipated that her recent ill-advised antics at the Middlesex University would make the headlines so spectacularly. That is, apart from on the BBC.

The BBC were particularly reticent about the event, waiting till her ‘resignation’ was announced before they realised they had little option but to report it. Even the Guardian was quicker off the mark. Martin Bright suspects that the report in the Guardian “not known for its Zionist views” was what finally did for “Jihad Jenny”. Of course Ed Miliband’s Tweet obviously helped:
“[There is] no place in politics for those who question [the] existence of the state of Israel. Nick Clegg must condemn Jenny Tonge’s remark and demand [an] apology.”
Motes and beams.
Despite Baroness Tonge’s record of making antisemitic speeches of varying degrees of virulence and her relentless pro Palestinian campaigning, which frequently veers into full-on conspiracy theory paranoia, Nick Clegg dragged his feet interminably before deciding to dump her from his party. Previously the Lib Dems had dealt with her by imposing a series of cautious incremental demotions.Of course the BBC itself has used Mrs Tonge before, as a roving reporter. In 2004 they sent her to Israel, or rather to Gaza, as an apologist for the suicide bomber.
The clutch of below the line comments “reflecting the balance of opinion” were gratifyingly hostile to the line she took, and I’m pleasantly surprised that the BBC let them through.
The Web Article.
The BBC is not alone in giving the impression that the Baroness ‘quit’ the party – rather than being presented with an ultimatum that forced her resignation, but I think it’s fair to say that anyone who hadn’t been following the tale through Richard Millet, Student Rights, The Commentator, Guido Fawkes, etc., might glean from the BBC’s report that she was made a martyr. Martyred for the cause, scuppered below the line by the all powerful Jewish Lobby.
The strap-line implies that she had been unfairly punished for making a relatively trivial observation, which stated the obvious:

“A Liberal Democrat peer has resigned from the party after saying Israel “is not going to be there forever”

Many people have taken this line and defended her on various blogs, remarking that she was ‘only saying what’s true.’ I imagine John Humphrys would identify with this notion.
She herself complains that her comments were taken ‘out of context’, but clearly anyone who viewed the video in which she played a prominent role in what she disingenuously calls the “ill-tempered meeting” would realise that taking her comments ‘out of context’ as the BBC does here, effectively does her a huge favour. It’s viewing them in context that damns her out of hand and justifies the Lib Dems’ ultimatum and her dismissal.
The sub-heading “Proud Record” stands out. An odd choice, because it alludes, not to Jenny’s personal record, as any casual reader might assume, but to the Lib Dems’ proud record of campaigning for the rights of the Palestinians.
She was given a considerable amount of space to defend herself in the article, which included a generous number of direct quotes, although her accusation that the Zionist campaigners mouthed obscenities at her, and her complaint that:
“the leadership of my party” (ex party) did not consult me….
“…………...seems always to abet the request of the pro-Israel lobby” looked like desperate straw clutching.
The Today Interview.
Throughout the interview John Humphrys was clearly sympathetic to Baroness Tonge. He spoke to her warmly, and sounded ‘sorry for her troubles’. He allowed her to speak virtually uninterrupted, whereas while Robert Halfon was speaking Humphrys continually interjected with helpful counter-arguments on Jenny‘s behalf. “She’s saying what she believes”
He addressed Mr. Halfon with amused cynicism. Robert Halfon seemed sadly unprepared. He kept calling her Mrs Tongue, and over-used the word ‘delegitimise’ which has become meaningless. Through over-use.

Baroness Tonge spoke with the confidence of someone who knew she was among friends, sure that what she was saying would be welcome.
“Oh, come on Robert,” she laughs beguilingly at one stage, like a person who knows the world is on her side.

“Israel is making enemies all over the Middle East” she states. She knows she can get away with insinuating that Israel has deliberately made enemies of Turkey or Egypt. She can make wildly inaccurate comments with impunity under John Humphrys’s compassionate chairmanship. She knows quite well that with the aid of – or in her words ‘abetted’ by the BBC, many listeners languish in ‘psychologically embedded’ denial of the irrational Jew-hate that Islam drums into its followers. The BBC prefers to pretend that the Islamic world – Turks, Syrians, Iranians, those liberated Egyptians and Libyans, Muslims from Arab and North African Islamic states are ‘just like us’, only perhaps, being more devout, they’re all the more motivated by benevolence and goodwill.

Although I doubt that John Humphrys has watched the video of that “Ill-tempered meeting” he was evidently aware that Jenny Tonge had been sitting next to Ken O’Keefe the dangerously unhinged antisemite who the pro Palestinian fraternity have been busy distancing themselves from recently. Oh how the BBC fawned over him not so long ago, when they hailed him as a hero after the Mavi Marmara debacle.

John Humphrys wanted to hear why Jenny Tonge hadn’t challenged crazy Ken, but failed himself to challenge her likely story: “I didn’t know I was sharing a platform (with him)”. He asked if she had applauded him, knowing full well that she had indeed, and that it was captured on the film. She got away with a blustering justification “Probably at the end of his speech I did, y’know, at the end everyone gives a little clap.”

But the most outrageous thing was that she got away with her appalling little history lesson:
“Israel was a good concept at the beginning. I wish they’d left the Palestinians where they were. Jews were in a minority when the state of israel was founded. there were very few of them there.
If they’d gone in and said okay we’re going to help you, we’re going to build up this state and we’re gonna include Palestinians from the very beginning – If they’d done that instead of persecuted(sic) them and now trying to take the whole area for themselves it would have been a very different story.”

Pointing out that this is all wrong is not an attempt to enter the debate about the history of Israel. What I am saying is that anyone who knows the first thing about the birth of Israel (and if they don’t they shouldn’t really be opining) knows that there are conflicting ‘narratives’.

The Arabs allege that they were physically displaced in 1948 to compensate European Jews for the holocaust. The Jews say that when Israel was born they begged the Arabs to stay. It’s easy to find out what each side has to say on the matter. All you have to do is read a bit from both sides to gather that there are different versions of the story, and it’s up to you to decide which version, or which parts of which version, you believe. Which story seems more credible? Which bits are evidenced? Who do you trust?

“WE APPEAL – in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.
WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.
We all know that the surrounding Arabs merely responded by launching their war of intended annihilation against Israel.” (H/T Bio)

The BBC has been methodically portraying the Jews as greedy, untrustworthy, and recently, completely batty. They’ve reported Israel in a systematically negative manner and have continually portrayed the victim as the aggressor / aggressor as victim. At the same time they’ve been doggedly whitewashing Islam, and the more crazed the Islamists appear, the more the BBC whitewashes them. So the chances are that the majority of viewers will identify with Arabs and be suspicious of Jews. They’ll follow Jenny Tonge’s propagandistic defamation-by-short-cut, referring, knowingly, to “What Israel is doing” or “How Israel is treating the Palestinians.” Having established that Israel is a brutal, heartless, racist, supremacist, expansionist pariah state, they are confident that there’s no need to explain what’s already understood. Their obsession with the notion that Israel is oppressing the Palestinians is so ingrained that any mention of any measure Israel might take in self defence is reflexively treated with derision.

Some of this might stem from antisemitism of the type with which the foreign office is tinged, or the traditionally ‘Arabist’ proclivities of those who view Johnny Arab with a mixture of awe and amusement. The Queen has never, for example, visited Israel. In the political left this uneasy feeling about Jews is coupled with a misguided empathy towards Muslims whose intolerance towards everything, including themselves, they view with an illogical disregard. The need to be thought of as liberal and tolerant could explain the BBC’s policy of treating all Muslims, bar the bogeymen Al Qaeda, with exaggerated sensitivity, and re-branding them as ‘the new Jews’. This has taken political correctness to stratospheric heights, where almost any less than reverential reference to Islam is deemed offensive.

They needn’t worry about Jenny Tonge though. She will still be keeping herself busy.

Curb Your Tonge

Nick Clegg seemed television-friendly and attractive before the general election, but after gaining all that popularity during the first election debate he threw most of it away, almost snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Neither the Lib Dems’ underwhelming performance in the election nor Nick’s astonishing indecision when the balance of power lay in his hands have curtailed the public’s enthusiasm for the deputy PM. Well, maybe a tiny bit.

The current Lib Dems are not known for their support of Israel. Nick Clegg was all for disarming them, which the BBC probably found rather endearing. Then he tried to distance himself from Jenny Tonge’s unfortunate remarks about organ harvesting, but he wouldn’t ditch her; no doubt the BBC felt not ditching her was the right thing not to do.

Fancy making a rash promise in your election mani-fiasco, then having to admit that you didn’t realise what you were saying at the time? Nick got away with it though, credibility intacto. Didn’t realise how bad the deficit was then, but we do now? Sorry.

Robin Shepherd has pointed out a strange thing. Nick Clegg has spoken at a Liberal Democrats Friends of Israel lunch. (lol) ‘We got it wrong on Israel.’ Whaddya think of that, BBC?
He said he recognised there had “not always been an equal voice for Israel within his party”. That’s certainly one way of putting it.
He didn’t mention Jenny Tonge, nor Lib Dem Peer Lord Phillips who spoke at a PSC meeting about America being in the grip of the Israel Lobby.

But Jenny Tonge is at it again. She has spoken in a debate on the strategic defence review in the House of Lords. 3:33 pm.
In her muddled view the Israel lobby is forcing us to be nice to Israel. Then we can use Israel as a launching pad to attack Iran, and dispense with the Ark Royal etc. Cuts, you see. Moving on from this illogical supposition, she says Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians has alienated the Muslim world, which she thinks is at the root of terrorism worldwide. If Israel stopped persecuting the Palestinians there would be world order and peace. Just like that. She does look a bit like Tommy Cooper, without the fun.

Didn’t realise how badly he got things wrong then, but he does now? Is that it? Or does he endorse all this nonsense? Plenty of otherwise sensible people apparently do, thanks to the BBC’s relentlessly partial reporting of the Israel/Palestine conflict, despite the best efforts of Jewish tentacles, the Israel lobby, the holocaust industry and Zionist control of the universe.

Thanks to Jonathan Hoffman for the H/T.

I Used to be Indecisive… but Now I’m Not so Sure….

Nick Clegg has finally done the right thing. He’s sacked Jenny Tonge!

The BBC reports this as though it was a quick decisive move by the Lib Dem leader. But this was done after considerable equivocation and hesitation, and protestations that she is not anti-Semitic, and is still worth listening to. Something must have got to him. Maybe Jenny Tonge was right all along about the Jewish Lobby getting its evil grip on ‘our party.”

Unfortunately, it can’t be much of a grip because Nick Clegg wants to halt Britain’s arms sales to Israel and persuade our EU counterparts to do the same, and suspend the proposed new cooperation agreement with Israel till ‘things change in Gaza.’ etc etc etc.

From what I’ve read about Nick Clegg’s policies on the Middle East, some lobby or other might have had a hand in forming his ideas, but it certainly wasn’t the ‘Israel’ one.