UK’s Liberal Democrats suspend baroness over anti-Semitic event


( The United Kingdom’s Liberal Democrats has suspended a House of Lords member after she held an event that compared Israel to the Islamic State and blamed the Jews for the Holocaust. 

Baroness Jenny Tonge. Credit: Galilee Foundation. 

Baroness Jenny Tonge, an independent peer in the Lords, chaired a meeting organized by the Palestinian Return Centre. It was part of a larger campaign calling on the British government to apologize for the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which pledged British support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Tonge had previously stepped down as leader of the party’s parliamentary group in 2012 after previous anti-Semitic comments.

“It is high time that Baroness Tonge has been suspended from the Liberal Democrats, and I welcome this step by the party, it is long overdue,” Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said in a statement.

The Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel also praised the decision, saying: “Finally, Baroness Tonge has reaped what she has sown. She is an anti-Israel zealot, who can now espouse her offensive views outside our party.”

The Israeli Embassy in the U.K. said in a statement “anti-Semitism should never be tolerated.”

Posted on October 27, 2016 .