Cowardice Beyond the Call of Duty - PSC forces Jenny Tonge’s resignation and Briefs Against Her
Yesterday I learnt from the Facebook page of the far-Right Sussex Friends of Israel that ‘Palestine Solidarity Campaign issued “deep concerns” about its patron Baroness Jenny Tonge, after she appeared to blame Israel for a resurgence in antisemitism in the wake of the deadly Pittsburgh massacre.’
In Jewish News I learnt that ‘Palestine Solidarity Campaign told Jewish News it has “contacted Jenny Tonge to express our deep concerns at her post and is in the process of considering any further steps.” What did Jenny say that the Zionists reacted so furiously to and which PSC found impossible to defend?
Jenny Tonge said, in response to the Pittsburgh massacre:
“Absolutely appalling and a criminal act, but does it ever occur to Bibi and the present Israeli government that it’s actions against Palestinians may be reigniting anti Semitism? I suppose someone will say that it is anti Semitic to say so?”
|The offending remarks|
Jenny was attacked by Eric Pickles, former Chair of Conservative Friends of Israel and the nearest thing to a rattle snake in human form. Pickles ‘called on the minister to condemn the “the words of Baroness Tonge in suggesting that the murders in Pittsburgh were caused by the actions of the Israeli government”. It would apparently ‘cause great pain in Pittsburgh and falls foul of the International Holocaust definition of anti-Semitism.” I doubt if anyone in Pittsburgh was even aware of the comments of the noble Baroness but of course that wasn’t the point of Pickle’s attack.
|Open Letter to Ben Sofa, Secretary of Palestine Solidarity Campaign|
Pickles is the same foul creature who defended the Tory’s alliance in the European parliament with the European Conservatives and Reformists. A group that contains at least 3 anti-Semitic parties and which was chaired by Michal Kaminski, who used to belong to the anti-Semitic and fascist National Revival before founding the mainstream anti-Semitic Polish Law & Justice Party. The ECR also included Robert Zile of the Latvian Fatherland and Freedom Party/LNNK.
|Unlike PSC America's Liberal Zionist The Forward isn't afraid to draw the connections between the Pittsburgh murderer, Trump and Netanyahu|
Zile has a quaint habit of marching with the veterans of the Latvian Waffen SS every March, something which Pickles had no problem defending. As Jonathan Freedland observed Pickles
‘offered an appalling defence, telling the BBC last month that the Latvian Waffen-SS were only conscripts fighting for their country, and to say otherwise was a Soviet smear. Again, this misses the fact that a substantial minority of the Latvian Waffen-SS were eager volunteers, including veterans of pro-Nazi death squads who had already taken part in the first phase of the Holocaust – and that should be enough to decide that those who march in celebration of men who fought with Hitler, and against Britain and its allies, are beyond the pale. Once no self-respecting politician would have gone near people such as Kaminski
Pickles who sees nothing wrong with forming an alliance with Kaminski, who excused the Jedwabne massacre of Jews in 1941 (up to 1600 were herded into a barn which was then set alight) on the grounds that they had collaborated with the Soviet Union and a Latvian MEP who marches with formers members of the SS, was however concerned about “the words of Baroness Tonge in suggesting that the murders in Pittsburgh were caused by the actions of the Israeli government”. Apparently it “will cause great pain in Pittsburgh and falls foul of the International Holocaust definition of anti-Semitism.”
|Netanyahu makes it clear that his and Trump's refugee policies are one and the same|
Well it may well fall foul of the IHRA because that is the sole purpose of the IHRA, to conflate anti-Zionist comments with anti-Semitism. Jenny herself posted on her Facebook page that:
‘PSC are very worried about the furore surrounding my remarks following Pittsburgh and I have resigned to save them embarrassment!!! Sad day.
Let us look at the comments which have so aroused the Zionist ire and which PSC is too cowardly to defend. First she condemned without hesitation the murders in Pittsburgh. No one bar a malevolent mischief maker could therefore accuse her of anti-Semitism.
She then asked whether it has ever occurred to Netanyahu and the Israeli government that their actions may be reigniting anti-Semitism. That is a fair question. The only possible objection to the comment is not that it is wrong but that the actions of the particular individual, Robert Bowers, were those of a more traditional neo-Nazi who believed that Jews were responsible for the destruction of the white race by introducing into them non-white refugees.
What is though clear is that Bowers was motivated by the racist atmosphere that has been stirred up to fever pitch by Donald Trump against refugees, in particular the refugee caravan. It can hardly have escaped even PSC’s notice that Netanyahu has been to the forefront of this campaign. Netanyahu has done his best to deport 40,000 Black African refugees because they are neither Jewish or White. He has even tweeted in support of Trump’s plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico. Clearly Netanyahu has contributed to this anti-refugee campaign of Trump with his own, not inconsiderable efforts.
Jenny’s observation that Israel’s attacks against Palestinians are stirring up anti-Semitism in the West is a fact. Zionist bodies go out of their way to say that Jews, all Jews, support Israel’s attacks against the Palestinians. Only recently the Board of Deputies defended Israel’s shooting of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza. Is it surprising that when the self-proclaimed body that represents British Jews supports Israel’s murderous actions in Gaza that some people will then blame and even attack British Jews?
However just as racists like Pickles reject the idea of connecting what Israel does with anti-Semitism in the West, so Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett was reported in The Times of Israel as saying that connecting Trump to the attack is wrong because Trump has been a good friend to Israel and has strongly condemned anti-Semitism, in particular he had moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
Bennett defended Trump’s anti-Semitism on the grounds that he is pro-Israel. This is the standard Zionist defence of anti-Semites.
“Using the horrible anti-Semitic massacre to attack the president is unfair, it’s wrong. He condemned anti-Semitism in the strongest possible words. Clearly President Trump is a great friend of Israel and of the Jews.’
There is however a very clear connection between Trump and anti-Semitism (and therefore Netanyahu). After the election of Trump Dana Millbank of the Washington Post wrote Anti-Semitism is no longer an undertone of Trump’s campaign. It’s the melody. In it Dana described how Trump’s election campaign had deliberately used anti-Semitism as a means of appealing to the White Supremacist vote.
In the wake of the Pittsburgh massacre Dana Milbank describing how Trump’s election ‘began with genteel anti-Semitism, progressed to dog whistles and ended with a full-throated targeting of Jewish “globalists.’ Millbank gave us a few examples:
Telling Jewish Republicans they wouldn’t support him
Tweeting from an anti-Semitic message board with a Star of David atop a pile of cash.
Saying “I don’t have a message” for supporters who threatened anti-Semitic violence against a Jewish journalist, and Melania Trump saying the writer “ the threats.
Branding his campaign with the “America First” slogan of the anti-Semitic pre-war movement.
that “blood suckers” and “a global power structure” including “international banks” are secretly plotting against ordinary Americans.
And, when to stop using traditionally anti-Semitic tropes, repeated the tropes in an ad with images of prominent Jews, including George Soros.
Once in office, in addition to making common cause with the Nazis of Charlottesville, Trump stocked his administration with people like Stephen Bannon and other figures of the nationalist “alt-right;”, issued a Holocaust remembrance statement lamented Alex Jones, who peddles anti-Semitic conspiracy theories; declaring himself a “nationalist,” as well as increasing verbal attacks on “globalists,” particularly Soros. This was in addition to appointing as an advisor the openly neo-Nazi
|PSC shamefully leaked against its own patron|
The attacks on Jenny Tonge are wholly hypocritical and for PSC Executive and its Secretary Ben Sofa, to have bowed before the tide of Zionist hypocrisy, beggars belief. If PSC Executive don’t retract and either refuse to accept Jenny’s resignation or alternatively invite her to reconsider then I shall move a motion of censure on PSC Executive at the forthcoming AGM.
It would appear from the latest issue of Jewish News that PSC have accepted Jenny’s resignation and they also quote me as saying ‘“I suggest that you retract your resignation as nothing you said was in the least bit wrong. I am at present writing them a letter and now I know this will adjust it accordingly. Please retract your resignation“.
See also the excellent Mondoweiss article The Israeli government is exploiting the Pittsburgh murders to try to demonize Palestine solidarity