Holocaust deniers such as the President of Iran allege that the Jewish conspiracy is so strong as to have invented the Holocaust and to have persuaded everyone that it really happened.
It has often been claimed that the international Jewish conspiracy is responsible for wars and revolutions in which Jews themselves are neither prepared to kill nor to die, but out of which they benefit. The founding document of Hamas makes this claim. Jews and their front organisations, it has been said, were responsible for the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Boer War, the First World War (notably by Hitler himself), the Second World War, the Vietnam War (through Kissinger), and the Iraq War.
Jenny Tonge is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords. In September 2006 she publically outlined her version of the Jewish conspiracy myth clearly and concisely:
“The pro-Israeli Lobby has got its grips on the Western World, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a certain grip on our party.”
In January 2004 Jenny Tonge boasted that if she had been a Palestinian then she might have supported a political programme of murdering Jewish civilians, by herself becoming a suicide bomber:
“I think if I had to live in that situation, and I say this advisedly, I might just consider becoming one myself.”
In June 2008 Tonge appeared to speak in support of the killing of Iraqi civilians in a letter published in the Independent:
It should come as no surprise to anyone that suicide bombers in Iraq are Palestinians…. Israel’s security wall is forcing them to export themselves to another arena to fight in this ridiculous “war” against terrorism…”
Israel forces Palestinians to go to Iraq and kill civilians, in Tonge’s view. How? By preventing Palestinians from going to Israel to kill civilians.
Unsurprisingly, given that Tonge believes that Jewish front organizations have their grips on the Western World, and given that she has spoken in favour of the murdering of Jewish civilians, and given that she finds Israel responsible for the crimes of Palestinians in Iraq, some have wondered whether Tonge’s sentiments are not antisemitic.
Tonge believes that allegations of antisemitism are made against people like her not because they push conspiracy theory, not because they hold Israel responsible for war and terror around the world, not because they normalize the murder of Jewish civilians, but in fact because they are critical of Israeli human rights abuses. Tonge believes that the “Israel lobby”, which she thinks is represented in Britain by groups like the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Conservative Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Israel, makes unfounded allegations of antisemitism in bad faith in order to deter and silence legitimate criticism of Israel:
“They take vindictive actions against people who oppose and criticise the lobby, getting them removed from positions that they hold and preventing them from speaking – even on unrelated subjects, in my case. I understand their methods. I have many examples. They make constant accusations of antisemitism, when no such sentiment exists, to silence Israel’s critics.”
This is a classic re-statement of the Livingstone Formulation.
A student at UCL has passed to Engage an exchange of emails between her and Jenny Tonge, after Tonge gave her permission to share it with other people. The student wrote to Tonge to ask her to expand on her views about the “Israel lobby”:
“I would be grateful if you would explain the nature of the Israel lobby’s power and its methods and also provide the examples to which you refer.”
1. The lobby in the UK is represented by “Friends of Israel” groups which are affiliated to each political party. They work hard and raise funds for the local and national parties but individuals within the group will insist on meetings and organize letter campaigns against any MP who is openly critical of Israel. Does not always work of course, but as an MP you get an awful lot of extra hassle to cope with if you step out of line! Many MPs therefore just stay quiet.
2. For the greatest examples of all, you should of course read Walt and Mearscheimers’ book ‘The Israel Lobby’ which catalogues the behaviour of AIPAC in the USA.
In the UK I will give you examples of what has happened to me – I was sacked from the front bench of my party in the Commons, after remarks empathizing with suicide bombers after intense pressure on the leadership from FOI and the BOD.
After I stood down from the Commons the Leadership elevated me to the House of Lords because party members had been so incensed by his treatment of me, which from my point of view was totally out of character. It is simply not something Charles Kennedy would have done without pressure. He is a passionate defender of freedom of speech.
After criticizing the lobby in a fringe meeting at conference (just after the publication of the book I mentioned) I had to stand down from the board of Christian Aid because they had been warned by the BOD, that my membership would endanger projects going ahead in the West Bank and Gaza.
I had to withdraw from an event I was sponsoring for the bereavement charity CRUSE because the Jewish businessman who was funding the event refused to do so if I was a sponsor.
I had an invitation to speak on medical matters at the London Medical Society withdrawn, after Jewish members of the committee had insisted I should be excluded.
Every time I speak in the House of Lords now, the Chair of FOI in our party and the chair of the BOD complain to our leadership and insist on the whip being withdrawn from me- i.e.. Sacked from the party.
In other words, every time I speak, they prove me right by trying to shut me up/ get me demoted.
I am in the House of Lords for life and so far, my party has not withdrawn the whip. We shall see.
I hope this is useful.
Can I please add, that I am not, nor have ever been, anti Semitic (UCL, for goodness sake), but I am seriously concerned that the actions of the Israeli Government over the last 40years are causing that terrible emotion to return. People cannot understand why a nation who suffered the worst event in the whole of human history, can behave in such a cruel way to people, who had to make way for the creation of the Jewish state (and I am a supporter of the concept of an Israel within the borders originally given by the UN).
I do hope we can meet one day. Good luck with your studies.
PS Do you have contact with Prof. Honderich Emeritus. Philosophy at UCL? Very interesting too.
Engage will leave it to its readers to de-construct and analyse this closely woven example of contemporary conspiracy theory.
One strange twist is Tonge’s claim that Charles Kennedy was unable to make his own decision but instead was the manipulated by the Israel lobby and its “pressure”. In fact Kennedy’s spokesperson articulated Kennedy’s position very clearly:
“Jenny Tonge was expressing her personal views. The Liberal Democrats do not condone terrorism in any circumstances whether by suicide bombers or anybody else.”
It would be curious for the party leadership to allow one of its spokespeople to glorify terrorism in its name when the party does not at all support terrorism? But Tonge finds it necessary to cast Kennedy as a victim of the “Israel lobby”, as much as she herself was.