Thursday, November 03, 2016

If Jenny Tonge resigned then so should Jeremy Corbyn

I first knew Jenny Tonge when she was a Liberal councillor in Kew, and I liked and respected her.

In part the pariah status she came to occupy for a younger generation of Liberal Democrat activists was precisely because of the generation gap.

When I was a student, anyone with any claim to being on the left was instinctively sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Nowadays young Liberal Democrats display little influence in it.

But Jenny has also been the author of her troubles, notably in 2010 when she called for an investigation into claims that Israeli forces sent to help in Haiti after the earthquake had been harvesting body parts to send back to Israel for transplant. Surely that was vicious nonsense?

She finally resigned from the party last week after a video of her chairing an event in parliament.

In the words of Guido Fawkes, she did not
interject when an audience member claims Jews 'antagonised Hitler' and that the Holocaust was caused by 'Judea declaring war on Germany'.
We've all sat in meetings and stared at the ceiling, waiting for the nutter to finish. But, yes, Jenny should have protested and she should have been more careful about the company she kept.

But if Jenny was right to resign - and I fear she was - then what do we make of the video above. It shows Jerermy Corbyn playing at being a TV host on Press TV, the propaganda channel funded by the Iranian regime.

Note than when the caller appears to be saying something positive about the US, Corbyn pulls him up short. But when he calls Israel a disease, his only reply is "OK".

If Jenny Tonge was right to resign, then so should Jeremy Corbyn.

And you can be sure that the Conservatives are studying his Press TV appearance in readiness for the next election campaign.


Anonymous said...

The problem with our party is that too many people shriek blue murder when anyone sympathises with the Palestinians and say nothing when Israel commits yet another incursion into the Palestinian state. It harries people like Jenny Tonge and David Ward for speaking their minds (surely a democratic right in the UK, not only our party), withdraws the whip from them instead of engaging in dialogue. On the question of Israel and Palestine our party is conducting the dialogue of the deaf.
Now don't get me wrong, both Jenny and David are crass in the extreme in the language they use (and I have certainly said this to both of them), but the basic points they raise about the treatment of Palestinians are correct.
It must surely be a matter of great regret when anyone with the talent of Jenny Tonge feels she has to resign from the party in this way

Disgruntled Radical said...

You call Jenny the author of her own troubles. There may be some truth in that but not in relation to Haiti. The Jewish Chronicle called Jenny at the time to seek her views on allegations that the Israeli Defence Force was harvesting body parts in Haiti. Jenny regarded this as absurd and suggested that the Israelis should call an inquiry to show that it was nonsense. The Jewish Chronicle reported that as Jenny Tongue demands enquiry. Her mistake was even to speak to the JC who twisted her words. Whilst I broadly agree with you that when chairing a meeting, one might choose to comment when an utterly ludicrous opinion is uttered, I also sympathise with Jenny's view that it is often better to remain a neutral chair and move on. What is wrong is for the media repeatedly to attribute to Jenny comments made by others at meetings. I also share her view that when supporters of Israel characterise any criticism of the Israeli government or army as anti-semitic they are not only wrong but weaken the true use of the term when it is needed.