“good evening. This is Mark D’Arcy at Westminster, where a peer who quit the Lib dems renews her attack on Israel.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“The raining of missiles on Southern Israel, from Gaza, always follows a targeted assassination by the Israel Airforce.”
“Lord Howell retorted by quoting the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu”
“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.”
“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.