Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Anti-Israel Event at British Parliament Turns Into ‘Jew-Hating Festival’

Britain’s House of Lords has been home to some of that country’s greatest debates. But according to the Jewish Chronicle, the upper chamber of parliament hosted on Tuesday an anti-Israel event that verged into anti-Semitism.

“If anybody is anti-Semitic, it’s the Israelis themselves,” said one speaker, at the event organized by Baroness Jenny Tonge and run by the Palestine Return Centre.

Another man, appearing to belong to the ultra-Orthodox, anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect, called Zionism a “perversion of Judaism.” He then falsely accused Rabbi Stephen Wise, “a Reform heretic” in his words, of having encouraged the Nazis to commit the Holocaust.

Intended to launch the PRC’s Balfour Apology Campaign — an effort to get Britain to apologize for the decree that committed the country to a Jewish state in the Mandate of Palestine — the event was denounced by Israel’s embassy in London as well as by attendees.

A spokesman for the consulate told the Chronicle that the discussion “gave voice to racist tropes against Jews and Israelis alike.”

Blogger David Collier said that it left him feeling ill, and he stated, “I witnessed a Jew-hating festival at the heart of the British estate.”

Tonge has a history of controversial activities and statements when it comes to Israel-Palestine. She was forced to resign from her post within Britain’s Liberal Democratic Party after comments four years ago in which she declared that Israel “would not last forever” and would “lose support, and then they will reap what they have sown.”

In a previous debate before the House of Lords, she told her fellow peers that “Israel is creating terrorists with a justified grudge.” She has also defended an Islamist cleric who attacked Israel by invoking the medieval blood libel that Jews sacrifice non-Jewish children for Passover matzoh.

British politics has been rife with charges of anti-Semitism recently, due to the feeling of some that criticisms of Israel have often crossed the line into Jew-hating. So far, though, much of that controversy has been confined to Labour Party, whose furthest left flank has been empowered by the rise of faction leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The Council for Christians and Jews, a British forum for interfaith engagement, demanded Tonge renounce her association with the discussion, exhorting her “to clarify the events of yesterday evening and to distance herself from the comments that were made.”

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    50th meeting of the Yiddish Open Mic Cafe

    Hybrid event in London and online.

    Aug 14, 2022

    1:30 pm ET · 

    Join audiences and participants from across the globe for this live celebration of Yiddish songs, poems, jokes, stories, games, serious and funny - all performed in Yiddish with English translation.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at editorial@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.