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.