Condemn Treatment of Baroness Jenny Tonge by Clegg
Friends of Al-Aqsa
March 1, 2012
Baroness Jenny Tonge was given an ultimatum by Lib Dem Party leader Nick Clegg when she made a fair and accurate statement about the state of Israel – ‘retract the statement or leave the party’
Baroness Tonge, a long time champion of the Palestinian struggle for freedom chose to leave the party rather than be forced to toe the party line where Israel is concerned.
The exact statement she made at Middlesex University last week was:
“Israel is not going to be there forever in its present form. One day, the United States of America will get sick of giving £70bn a year to Israel to support what I call America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East – that is Israel. One day, the American people are going to say to the Israel lobby in the USA: enough is enough. Israel will lose support and then they will reap what they have sown.”
Ismail Patel, Chair of Friends of Al-Aqsa stated: “There was nothing in her statement which was unfair or inappropriate. The fact is that Israel in its present form is a racist state which has been occupying Palestinian land for over 44 years. This cannot and will not last forever. Millions of people around the world who form the ‘Free Palestine’ solidarity movement will work hard to ensure that Israel ends its occupation and that Arab Israeli’s are given equal rights within Israel. These aims merely represent international legal standards.”
Party leader Nick Clegg’s ultimatum was unnecessary and reflects the unacceptable sway the pro-Israel lobby appears to have on the party’s policies towards Israel.
1. Write to Nick Clegg condemning his ultimatum to Jenny Tonge.
2. Write to Baroness Jenny Tonge expressing support for her brave stand and continued solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Read FOA’s letter expressing our disappointment to Nick Clegg and our letter of support to Jenny Tonge.
I would like to thank you for your continued support of Palestine.
Friends, I share your desire to see a comprehensive peace in the Middle East but Israel’s current Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu continues to build settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Last November, there were a further 6 UN Resolutions on Palestine and the Middle East. There are over 150 UN Resolutions. Furthermore the ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Hague pertaining to the ‘security barrier’, which is 3 times the length of the Berlin Wall, has been ignored by Mr Netanyahu.
Friends, I cannot envisage a two-state solution, if settlements and the ‘security barrier’ are finally completed. Palestinian communities will be separated into pockets of territory that lack contiguity, surrounded by settlements only accessible by settler only roads. ‘Natural growth’ settlements too were not acceptable as part of Phase I of the internationally agreed Road Map (2003) either.
Please Friends, I plead that you address the ‘security barrier’ and the expansion of settlements. Both Israelis and Palestinians deserve peace and security, but how is this possible with Mr Netanyahu’s refusal to end these policies and to reject the US President’s 1967 lines.
Friends, there are 130 nations in the world that recognise Palestine including India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil. Day by day, the ‘security barrier’ and settlements erode the possibility of a two-state solution, the viability a comprehensive peace, the contiguity of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (including Arab East Jerusalem) and the relevance of the Palestinian National Authority.
Thank you and God bless you.
Mr Anthony Aloysious
March 4, 2012 at 8:55 am
4th March, 2012
Dear Baroness Jenny Tonge
PALESTINE – ISRAEL
Thank you for saying during your speech at Middlesex University what the majority think but won’t publically say regarding Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
You are accused by others who seem to have vested interests against the withdrawal of Israel from Palestinians home land, of being ‘anti Israel’ and racist – I believe nothing could be further than the truth. Your speaking out for the Palestinians is in accord with interpretation of international law and in accord with the longstanding U.N. verdict following the Israel 1968 illegal occupation. The objections to your statement, “Israel is not going to be there forever in its present form” is surely in accordance with your right to free speech – this freedom is not allowable in oppressive and racialist states and now it emerges as unacceptable in British politics.
I look forward to your publically voiced opinions on this vital subject in the future.
Graham P Matthews
March 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm