May 25, 2019

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Stinkers From the Swamp: Stephen Sizer’s "Sad Day"

By Daphne Anson


“A sad day.”  

That’s the so-called Peacemaker Trust’s CEO Stephen Sizer’s reaction to the loathsome life peer Jenny Tonge’s news of the parting of the ways between her the Palestine Solidarity Campaign over her reprehensible assertion regarding last week’s synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

David Collier observes in his latest analytical post (“In the antisemitic swamp with Jenny Tonge”)  here,

“As someone who spends time researching antisemitism within anti-Israel activism, I [Collier] 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….

 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.”

Among the individuals Collier mentions in his post are our old mate the ex-vicar of Virginia Water, and, at length, the latter’s Facebook chum Tony Gratrex (a founder of Reading PSC and an inveterate 9/11 truther).

As I’ve remarked many times, Sizer really needs to defriend Gratrex and other incorrigibles on his social media posts, if he is in earnest about his own denials of antisemitism. 

But he carries on regardless.  The pseudonymous Christian Israel-hater Harriet S. Place, who happens to be featured in the above example of Gratrex’s posts posted by Collier (there are others) is a repeat offender in the conspiracy stakes.  Witness these posts, for instance.

(The self-inflicted scars incurred by that infamous 9/11 Facebook post of yours, eh, vicar?)

 The reference immediately below is to blogger and Anglican vicar’s husband Robert Cohen,

 Stinkers from the swamp, indeed.

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