Anti-Israel baroness weighs joining Corbyn’s Labour
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Anti-Israel baroness weighs joining Corbyn’s Labour

Jenny Tonge, who was forced to resign from Lib Dem post in 2012 for anti-Israel comments, says she has been 'favorably impressed' by Hamas

Baroness Jenny Tonge (YouTube screen capture)
Baroness Jenny Tonge (YouTube screen capture)

British Baroness Jenny Tonge has said she is considering joining the Labour Party following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as party leader.

Tongue was forced to resign from her parliamentary post as Liberal Democratic whip in 2012 after making controversial statements against Israel.

Corbyn, a far-left fringe politician who won the top Labour post by a landslide, is widely regarded as one of the British lawmakers most hostile to Israel. In the past he has referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends.”

Tonge told the BBC she was weighing joining the House of Lords under his leadership.

“I have met Hamas leaders both in Damascus and in Gaza. So has Jeremy Corbyn,” she said. “We were all favorably impressed by those people. We all feel it was very very important to listen to their point of view.

British opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn gestures as he speaks at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Brighton, south-east England, on September 15, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL)
British opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn gestures as he speaks at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Brighton, south-east England, on September 15, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL)

“They said a lot of wise things,” she added.

Tonge resigned as party whip of the Liberal Democrats in early 2012 after saying that Israel would not survive for long in its present form.

Tonge’s remarks, made at a meeting at Middlesex University, included the observation that the American people would soon “get sick” of the billions their government sends annually “to support what I call America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East — that is Israel.” Party leader Nick Clegg called on Tonge to apologize, but Tonge refused and resigned instead.

Tonge has a well-known history of making inflammatory comments about Israel. In 2004, as a member of Parliament, she was fired as the children’s spokeswomen of the Liberal Democrats after she said she might consider becoming a suicide bomber if she were forced to endure the same conditions as Palestinians.

In 2006, she said, “The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the Western world, its financial grips.” That comment also was condemned by the party leadership.

Prime Minister David Cameron warned last week that Labour had become a security threat to the country following Corbyn’s election.

“The Labour Party is now a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family’s security,” Cameron said in a tweet to his 1.17 million personal followers.

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