Not bad for five hours work and a tip of the hat to Student Rights for pushing this to us.
Think it’s time for a pint…
Nick Clegg has finally woken up to today’s mess and apparently told Baroness Tonge that she has “a few hours” to apologise or resign. The comments that have caused Jihad Jenny trouble today were made over a week ago, but it is clear they were not a one off, nor was her willingness to share a platform with unsavoury characters. Just two days ago Tonge popped up at the Queen Mary’s University’s Palestine Solidarity Society.
Guido hears that all known Jews and critics were evicted before the start, including the man who filmed Tonge’s outburst last week, as well as Jewish Chronicle journalists. On the stage, Azzam Tamimi, a controversial activist, declared that he was ready to become a martyr for his cause. Tamimi went on to say that he wished he was in Hamas and that the banned terror group were the only “true representative of the Palestinian people.” And Jihad Jenny just sat there. Is that official LibDem policy?
And it gets worse, the reason Tonge was silent was because she agrees with loonies like Tamimi. Last year she gave an interview to Iranian state television that stated:
“It is necessary for the international community to include Hamas in the Middle East peace process, as it is the only trusted faction [in the occupied territories] in which the Palestinian could rely upon”
The LibDems weak holding statement this afternoon said:
“The Liberal Democrats are wholehearted supporters of a peaceful two-state solution to the Israel / Palestine issue.”
Not all of them it seems…
Tory MP Robert Halfon is on the attack. This open letter has just been sent to Nick Clegg:
Dear Deputy Prime Minister,
As you may be aware, several media outlets are displaying videos of Baroness Tonge, the Liberal Democrat peer. The video shows her making the following comments:
“Beware Israel,” she says. “Israel is not going to be there forever on its present performance. One day the United States of America will get sick of giving £70 billion a year to Israel.” The Lib Dem peer goes on to say that she thought of Israel as “America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East” but that one day people in the United States would say “enough is enough”.
She added: “It will not go on forever, it will not go on forever and Israel will lose its support, then they will reap what they have sown.”
Baroness Tonge has an appalling record of strong anti-Israel rhetoric. Too often, her remarks carry an offensive anti-Semitic tone. You will know this from personal experience, as you were forced to ask her to resign from the Liberal Democrat frontbench in 2010 following similar comments. As the time, you said that her comments were “wrong, distasteful and provocative”.
I know that, like me, the Liberal Democrats are supportive of a peaceful two-state solution in Israel and Palestine. Baroness Tonge’s remarks are hugely damaging and disruptive to those efforts. On this basis, I would ask that you consider withdrawing the whip from her with immediate effect.
Robert Halfon MP
The LibDems are yet to ask Baroness Tonge to retract her comments, and it beggars belief that they are deemed acceptable in a mainstream political party, let alone one of government.
The Chairman of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel, Gavin Stollar, is not very happy with Jenny:
“LDFI strongly condemns Baroness Tonge’s latest outburst not only because it is wrong but because it is contrary to Lib Dem Party policy. Jenny Tonge is an irrelevant, siren and marginal voice in the Liberal Democrat Party and we call on her to resign the Lib Dem whip. If she truly believes the things she says, how can she justify being a member of a Party whose policies are diametrically opposed to her views on Israel and the Middle East, a subject on which she talks on almost a daily basis.”
Guido understands a statement from HQ is imminent…
UPDATE: A LibDem spokesperson said:
“Jenny Tonge does not speak for the party on Israel / Palestine. Her presence and comments at this event were extremely ill-advised and ill judged. The tone of the debate at this event was wholly unacceptable and adds nothing to the peace process. The Liberal Democrats are wholehearted supporters of a peaceful two-state solution to the Israel / Palestine issue.”
Not sure that will be enough for everyone…
Hearing a rumour that the Israeli ambassador has called Nick Clegg. Embassy sources don't deny.—
Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) February 29, 2012
Have a feeling the Sultan of Brunei is going to be big news this week. Call it intuition, or what you will…—
Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) February 26, 2012
On Sunday Guido had a premonition which, as can be seen above, he tweeted.
A law firm called Archerfield Partners has written to MPs and peers on the Joint Committee of Privacy and Injunctions saying they act for the ex-wife of an unnamed Asian head of state, and threatening the 26 MPs and peers. The lawyers gave them until 2 pm yesterday to remove from the parliamentary website this publication.
In the letter, which has come into the hands of The Telegraph, they say that Guido’s mystical premonition tweet breaks the terms of an interim injunction which unfortunately Guido hasn’t seen. Surely by asserting that the tweet breaches the injunction these learned lawyers have themselves just outed their client by confirming the injunction involves the subject of the tweet? Could they not be in contempt of their own injunction, if indeed it exists? Who knows? No one we know had heard of it until now…
Nick Hurd has confirmed that the government consultation into “Pilgrims” is “about to start imminently”. He told a feisty Westminster Hall debate on taxpayer funding of trade unions:
“We will seek to review and rebalance the amount time off for Trade Uion duties… the current level is significantly more that the private sector… The consultation I’ve just described is focussed on the civil service, where my responsibilities as a Minster lie. However other colleagues who have responsibility for these matters in the wider public sector have been asked by the PM to review the position in their sectors.”
A good starting point is why should the taxpayer fund those that want to destroy the Olympics, costing the taxpayer even more money…
A LibDem Peer who was sacked as their health spokesman for anti-Israeli comments in 2010, has struck again. Video has emerged online of Jenny Tonge telling a meeting at Middlesex University last week:
“Beware Israel. Israel is not going to be there forever
It will not go on forever, it will not go on forever. Israel will lose it’s support will lose its support and then they will reap what they have sown.”
She also remained silent and did not protest when a fellow panellist, Ken O’Keefe, compared Jews to Nazis. Given Tonge has previous in this area, that includes accusing an IDF aid team of harvesting organs and spinning for Palestinian suicide bombers, Guido had to check whether Tonge still actually had the LibDem whip. She has, but is Nick Clegg really prepared to let her spew this sort of bile while serving under his party banner?
UPDATE: The Commentator has a full witness account of Jihad Jenny’s outburst.
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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:
“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”
Christie Malry @fcablog
Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops