Jenny Tonge – the Baroness
Jenny Tonge is a member of the House of Lords. Tonge is a key anti-Israel activist, but for years has been faced with allegations of extremism and antisemitism. In 2004 she had stated that she ‘might consider becoming a suicide bomber if she were Palestinian’. In the UK such remarks are clearly rewarded and a year later, Tonge was made a life peer in the House of Lords. By 2006 she was speaking about the western world being the ‘grips of the Israeli lobby‘. In 2010, an online newspaper of which Jenny Tonge was a Patron, made outrageous claims about an Israeli team sent to help earthquake victims in Haiti ‘harvesting organs’. A week later Tonge suggested Israel should set up an ‘independent inquiry‘ to investigate these claims. As a result she was sacked from her position as the Liberal Democrats health spokesperson.
In 2012, blogger Richard Millett recorded Tonge commenting that Israel ‘would not be there forever’. This led to her resignation from the Liberal Democrats whip. In 2016, I attended an event with Tonge, in which several attendees made antisemitic remarks. My report led to Tonge’s final departure from the Liberal Democrats. Since 2016 she has been sitting as an Independent.
In March of 2018, I exposed Jenny Tonge as one of the political figures actively posting in a secret Facebook Group called Palestine Live. A group swimming in antisemitism. This week, following the horrific attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Jenny Tonge created a post on Facebook that blamed Israeli actions for the attack:
I saw the post, published it via Twitter, it went viral and it was soon picked up by several major news outlets. This latest antisemitic incident has led to her resigning her position as a Patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
As someone who spends time researching antisemitism within anti-Israel activism, I frequently come across Jenny Tonge’s activity online. What I have known for a long time, is that many of the supporters she regularly interacts with are hard-core antisemites. I pointed this out in my report on Palestine Live, and even to this day, Tonge has remained a member of the group:
One of the key elements of my research is not to simply suggest ‘some’ people are antisemitic, but rather to quantify the problem. Highlighting that 40% of people in a crowd are antisemitic (as with a demonstration of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign) or even 50% (a demo by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign) makes an important statement about the level of antisemitism in anti-Israel activity.
To do this I use an enclosed environment, where I can identify the anti-Israel activists involved, and then use their social media activity to check whether they promote antisemitic ideologies. Jenny Tonge’s resignation from the PSC provided a good opportunity. As is always the case with this type of research, I make no attempt to identify the people offline. The assumption is that these accounts are real and they are who they say they are. Additionally, I do not base the identification of antisemitism on the IHRA definition. The bar for antisemitism has been set unnaturally high and deflections over Israel cannot be used against it (this report is available for download and contains a full explanation about the *definition* of antisemitism used).
Jenny Tonge – the resignation post
Following her resignation from the PSC, Jenny Tonge, made an announcement on Facebook. This is the original post:
There were 68 comments made on this thread (and a few comments had responses). I wanted to look at those people who made comments. This is the Facebook account of a sitting member of the House of Lords. Many of the people who responded can be seen on her threads all the time. Given her position, you would expect the majority of those exchanging views with her, not to be racists. As I have noticed in my years of research, with Jenny this is simply not the case. For whatever reason, whenever Jenny Tonge interacts online, hard-core antisemites are always present. I wanted to use this opportunity to highlight just how high the concentration levels are.
At the time I took the image, I identified seventy-four people who interacted with the thread. To confirm these were not casual observers, I cross-referenced with Jenny Tonge’s Facebook friend list. Of the seventy-four posters, seventy-one of them (96%) are Facebook friends.
As is always the case, privacy issues hinder a comprehensive check of everybody who had responded. Of the seventy-four, sixteen had too little public activity to investigate. Some of these (five) are also members of Palestine Live but still had to be discounted from this investigation. One comment was left by someone who opposes her. This left a sample of fifty-seven Facebook accounts to look at. How many of these accounts share antisemitic images? That was the question.
In the antisemitic swamp with Jenny Tonge – part one
*These images are not from the thread, there are from the social media activity of those who responded*.
These were the first three people on the list:
Seymour Alexander has for years acted as a photographer for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. He also posts conspiracy theories:
Bilal Hasan, and the first of far too many posts calling the Holocaust a ‘hoax’:
Sandra Watfa from the Islamic activist group InMinds. Sandra, who frequently posts antisemitic images, is often on London’s streets protesting against those who trade with the Jewish state. We can start with Holocaust denial:
Two more posts just to remove any doubt:
Continuing to work through the list. Number four – Hale Armani:
Number six, John Karabinas:
The account of number seven, Hanan KH, was only partially accessible, but I still managed to find this admiration for David Duke:
Number eight, Derek Jardine is an InMinds activist:
Number ten, Suhad Suhad. These are in Arabic but suggest Israel created ISIS so that Muslims would kill Muslims and to enhance its own security:
Number eleven, Tony Gratrex was an admin of Palestine Live. I have hundreds of such images of his posts:
Number thirteen Mohammed Zakaria and more on the ‘Holohoax’:
Number fifteen, Malcolm Chapman
In the antisemitic swamp with Jenny Tonge – part two
Number sixteen and it is more Holocaust Denial and Rothschild conspiracy from Nola Lloyd Griffiths Wolley:
Number seventeen, Mari Zadeh, and the obsession with Holocaust continues:
Number eighteen, Arnie Hindaugh, ‘putting the Holocaust to bed’ (it is a letter of Holocaust denial):
Number nineteen, Yunus Elias, more Holocaust Denial:
Number twenty, Asif Rana, has a fixation with Gilad Atzmon and the ‘Neo-Nazi‘, Trevor Labonte. Rana liked or commented on all these posts (JWO is ‘Jew World Order’):
Number twenty-one is Zarina Bhatia (link to the video in the second image):
Number twenty-two is Paddy O’Keefe providing another link to a David Duke video:
Number twenty-three is Gilad Atzmon fan, Charlie Blake:
Number twenty-four is Kathyln Gadd, sharing Rothschild and 9/11 conspiracy, along with talk of a ‘Jewish Lobby’:
Number twenty-five Janet Hussain has the Mossad blamed for Lockerbie. With an additional example of how David Irving videos are still doing the rounds:
Number twenty-six is another one who loves conspiracy theories, especially involving Zionists. This is Karen Mint with a Charlie Hebdo conspiracy alongside a couple of truly unsettling comments that she ‘liked’:
Number twenty-seven is Jahn McCallister:
On top of conspiracy theory, number twenty-eight Patrick Mansfield, provides us with a history lesson on the ‘Holohoax’:
Number thirty is David Mills:
In the antisemitic swamp with Jenny Tonge – part three
Number thirty-one is Damian Moran:
Number thirty-three is Anton Lloyd-Wallis. Wallis is a friend of Holocaust Denier Alison Chabloz and ‘managed’ the Facebook group in the name of convicted Holocaust Denier Sylvia Stolz:
Number thirty-four is Debbie Moustafa with some Rothschild conspiracy:
Number thirty-five is Choki McKenzie:
In the antisemitic swamp with Jenny Tonge – part four
An additional five of the fifty-seven posters have not been listed as having shared antisemitic posts online but have been set aside.
Mick Napier. Napier is the head of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. As my own research has shown, his movement is riddled with antisemitism. Just recently he introduced a new group of ‘anti-Zionist Jews’ who were fronted by someone who has shared Jewish conspiracy and Holocaust denial posts.
Karl Sabbagh owns a publishing house. Last year he published a book full of antisemitic conspiracy theory.
Alan Maddison spent much of last year producing distorted statistics that were designed to deflect from accusations of antisemitism. Even though he was a member of Palestine Live and was able to see the evidence himself, he set out to deny the existence of antisemitism in Palestine Live. Absurdly he seemed to suggest that Israel as ISIS, Mossad 9/11 conspiracy and Rothschild Zionist conspiracy is *NOT* antisemitic because of the use of the word Zionist instead of Jew:
Abbas Ali is chair of InMinds. A group that often puts antisemites on the streets (two examples are above). Additionally Ali openly supports Hezbollah, a genocidal antisemitic organisation. Their military wing is proscribed in the UK. Ali supports the ‘resistance’. This is what Ali said of the Hezbollah leader Nasrallah:
Tony Greenstein has been expelled from Labour, has a fetish for ties between Jews and Hitler’s Germany and is widely regarded as an antisemite. He is at the head of the movement ‘Labour against the Witch Hunt’. The argument that a Jewish person cannot be antisemitic is deeply flawed. Many Jewish people, including most of the anti-Zionist Jews in the Labour Party, regard Gilad Atzmon and Paul Eisen as antisemites. It seems odd that they deny the possibility when they themselves believe in it.
Thirty-six of the fifty-seven accounts have shared hard-core antisemitic material. Another five accounts are set aside as ‘special cases’.
The shame of the Baroness
63% of posters were found to have shared antisemitic material. When we include those who are responsible for putting antisemitism onto the streets, or helping to spread it, then we reach 72%. These are her Facebook friends. Even for me, with years of research behind me, these concentration levels are as high, if not higher than I have experienced before. This on the social media account of a member of the House of Lords.
These levels reinforce the underlying issue with antisemitism in anti-Israel activity. Whether Jenny Tonge is an antisemite herself is an irrelevance. What is certain is that she is surrounded by it. Antisemites are attracted to her presence and form the main basis of her visible support.
How can Jenny Tonge not be aware, after all this time, that so many of these people swarming around her social media pages have deep issues with Jewish people? Far too many of these posters are attracted to Holocaust Denial, and a support for ideologies of the hard-right. In the images above we have support for David Duke, Trevor Labonte, Gilad Atzmon and there is even a link to the white nationalist, neo-Nazi website Renegade Tribune. How many Holocaust deniers, how many people sharing white supremacist material, do we need on ONE THREAD, before we can call them ‘far-right racists’? More to the point, how can Jenny Tonge swim in this antisemitic swamp every day and not realise that there is a problem she needs to address?
Perhaps the time has come for other members of the House of Lords to force her hand.
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